Brent Gates Jr.'s goal, with 50 seconds left in the second period, proved to be the eventual winner as the No. 5 Gophers defeated Michigan State 3-1 on Friday night at 3M Arena at Mariucci. It was Minnesota's third win in a row.
The Gophers (6-3, 2-1 Big Ten) took a 1-0 lead in the opening period on sophomore defenseman Ryan Lindgren's first goal of this season and the second of his career. He scored when Jack Sadek, another defenseman at the right point, threaded a perfect pass to him alone by the far post. It was an easy tap-in at 3:22.
"It was easy for me, it was all [Jack], it was good to get a start like that," Lindgren said. "... I hit the blue line and I just kicked it out to him and thought I would try to go back door."
Gates, a junior forward from Grand Rapids, Mich., scored his third goal of the season. He redirected Leon Bristedt's shot on a power play.
Minnesota was 1-for-2 with a man advantage after scoring three power-play goals last week in a sweep of Clarkson. Michigan State was 0-4 on the power play. Minnesota has killed off 12 penalties in a row.
Sam Saliba scored in the third minute of the final period to bring Michigan State (4-3, 0-1) within one goal.
But 2½ minutes later, Rem Pitlick of the Gophers answered with his fourth goal of the season, set up by Casey Mittelstadt, who got his sixth assist.
Eric Schierhorn had 25 saves for the Gophers, John Lethemon 24 for the Spartans.
"Eric, I thought, played really good again," Gophers coach Don Lucia said. "I thought both goalies did."