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Gophers sweep Spartans with 4-2 Friday night win, extend win streak to 6-0

Minnesota’s depth was a large part of its success against Michigan State.
Image by Audrey Rauth
Gophers defenseman Jackson LaCombe fist bumps goaltender Jack LaFontaine during player introductions before facing Penn State at the 3M Arena at Mariucci on Thursday, Nov. 19.

With the Spartans biting at their heels as the game clock wound down, a late empty net goal from Sampo Ranta secured Minnesota’s sixth win in as many games on Friday night.

Scott Reedy had another strong game for Minnesota, assisting Ranta’s late goal and securing the game winning goal in the second period with a deflection off a shot from Jackson LaCombe to put the Gophers ahead 3-2.

Minnesota was once again perfect on its penalty kill tonight, killing off two penalties on the night. The team’s flawless record is tied for first among all programs in the nation, and they are the only team to have successfully killed off more than 10 penalties without error.

The game started off with a busy first period. A pass from Bryce Brodzinski set up Ben Meyers, who has scored in three of his last four games, for a goal just five minute into the game.

Minnesota held MSU to zero shots until halfway through the first period, while getting seven shots of their own in that time. The Gophers continued to overpower the Spartans offensively in the first as well, with Jaxson Nelson securing his first goal of the year with an assist from Jack Perbix and Cullen Munson.

Michigan State was able to respond directly after with a goal from Kyle Haskins to make the score 2-1 at the end of the first period.

Head coach Bob Motzko said post game the team couldn’t have had a better night on the road, but gave Michigan State credit for putting pressure on the Gophers all game.

“Give Michigan State credit – they battled back hard…It was a good old-fashioned gut out – we had to gut one out down the stretch, “ Motzko said.

Minnesota faces Michigan on the road in Ann Arbor this upcoming Tuesday and Wednesday to round out the first half of its season.

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