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Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Published March 1, 2024

Minnesota outscored Michigan State 11-3 in Friday, Saturday games

No. 4 ranked Gophers men’s hockey completes its most successful series of the season and will go on to compete against Wisconsin this weekend.
Image by Ethan Fine
Forward Logan Cooley looks to pass the puck during the Gophers’ game against Penn State, Nov. 11.

After an unexpectedly challenging two-game series against Arizona State, the Gophers got back to their bread and butter by beating Michigan State for the tenth and eleventh straight time last weekend, finishing their six-game road trip with a record of 5-1.

Shutout in Sparty Land

Logan Cooley began the Gophers’ dominating performance in East Lansing with a one-timed shot that would quiet the sold-out Spartan house. This would begin a long weekend for two-time 2022 B1G First Star of the Week goaltender Dylan St. Cyr.

Michigan State came the closest to breaking Justen Close’s shutout campaign in the second period with constant pressure on the Gopher goaltender, but to no avail. Rhett Pitlick, after being denied on a partial breakaway earlier in the middle period, scored with just under 3 minutes remaining.

The Gophers amplified their offense in the final period as Bryce Brodzinski and Matthew Knies both slugged the puck past St. Cyr. Michigan State recovered after a line change after receiving a breakaway gift. Cooley finished the match with his second goal of the game, and Minnesota left with a 5-0 win.

“It was a solid game and a lot of good Gopher hockey going on out there tonight,” Minnesota head coach Bob Motzko said. “It started with our goalie Justen Close. He had to make two monster saves when the game was close and we only broke it open there at the end.”

Six Gophers score and Close saves career-high

The best line in the Gophers’ arsenal and possibly the country — Jimmy Snuggerud, Cooley and Knies — continued to show out for the second game against Michigan State. Snuggerud and Cooley sparked a blazing 60 minutes of offense with a 2-on-0 breakaway that Snuggerud successfully completed. Michigan State’s offense was more in tune as well with plenty more shots on net.

Six minutes into the second period, Minnesota tallied one more goal from Brodzinski to make the game 2-0. Mason Nevers and Knies also added to the tally to give the Gophers a commanding lead going into the final period.

The Spartans struck back in the third period with three goals of their own, but it was too little, too late, and the Gophers would win 6-3 with the last goal coming from their captain, Brock Faber. Close would save 40/43 shots on net, a career-high.

“We didn’t like the way we played in Arizona,” Cooley said. “For us to come back on the road was big for us.”

The now No. 3 Gophers will play against their rival Wisconsin at home on Friday at 8 p.m., which will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network, and Saturday at 6 p.m. on Bally Sports North. These will be their final games until Dec. 29 when they have an exhibition match against the U.S. National-Under 18 Team.

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