ANN ARBOR MICH. – Giving up nearly twice as many shots on goal as you take is not usually a formula for winning hockey. But it worked for the Gophers on Saturday night.
Brent Gates Jr. scored the decisive goal with 1 minute, 41 seconds left, Mat Robson made 50 saves and the Gophers men ended their four-game winless streak with a 4-3 victory over Michigan.
The Gophers (5-6-4, 3-2-3 Big Ten), outshot 53-28 on the night, had tied their previous three games, only to give up a goal — and an extra point in the conference standings — in 3-on-3 play. This one appeared like it might be headed to overtime, too, until Gates’ winner.
Rem Pitlick set up the goal by winning a faceoff in the Wolverines zone and feeding the puck to defenseman Jack Sadek, whose shot from the blue line was tipped by Gates past Michigan goalie Strauss Mann. It was Gates’ fourth goal of the season.
That came less than three minutes after Michigan thought it might have scored the go-ahead goal with 4:23 to play, as Robson made the initial save before getting pushed into the net. But officials signaled no goal and the score remained tied.
The Gophers led 2-0 early when Brannon McManus and Sampo Ranta scored in the opening 4:34. Michigan (6-7-4, 2-4-4) tied it before the halfway point of the first period on goals 1:43 apart from brothers Nick and Michael Pastujov.
Josh Norris gave the Wolverines a 3-2 lead in the second period, but Tyler Sheehy tied it for the Gophers 55 seconds into the third.
McManus finished with a goal and an assist, while Sadek and Tyler Nanne each had two assists for the Gophers.