PLYMOUTH, MICH. – Rem Pitlick and Joey Marooney each scored two goals and Eric Schierhorn made 29 saves as the No. 6 Gophers routed the under-18 U.S. national Under-18 team 7-1 on Saturday afternoon in exhibition game at USA Hockey Arena.
“First start in forever, you know,” Schierhorn said. “You kind of go out there with a little jitters because it’s been a while. I felt good. I kept my game simple. Didn’t overmove, didn’t commit to guys because they have a lot of skill over there.”
Thirteen Gophers tallied points in the win. Robbie Stucker, Brent Gates Jr. and Tyler Sheehy had one goal apiece for Minnesota.
“We had a huge advantage — they played last night,” Gophers coach Bob Motzko said. “First period I thought was intense. It was up and down, and then they got a little tired and we kept getting stronger.
After a scoreless first period, Pitlick put the Gophers ahead 1-0 at 9 minutes, 32 seconds with a breakaway, unassisted tally. Stucker’s slapshot from the point at 14:13 made it a two-goal game.
The U.S. national team, which beat Michigan 6-3 on Friday night, closed within 2-1 at 2:07 of the third period on Judd Caulfield’s goal.
Minnesota answered back with five consecutive goals. Gates and Sheehy got goals at 8:35 and 10:57, respectively, to make it 4-1.
The Gophers scored three more times in the final 2:39. Marooney scored twice in 18 seconds.