Leon Bristedt and Mike Szmatula, two alternate senior captains, both scored their first goals of the season as the Gophers edged Clarkson 2-1 Saturday to sweep the nonconference series between two top 10 teams.
Bristedt's goal for the No. 7 Gophers (5-3) came midway through the first period on a power play and tied the score at 1-1. Mike Szmatula got the second, also with a man advantage at 23 seconds of the middle period.
The Gophers' power play was converting at just 11.1 percent coming into this game (4-for-36), and one of those goals was in Friday's 3-1 victory over the Golden Knights.
"Two senior captains — you want to get that first goal," Gophers coach Don Lucia said. "[It was a] nice shot by Leon on the power play coming across and a great pass from Casey [Mittelstadt] on the back door for Szmatula. I hope they relax a little bit now and a few more will go in."
Bristedt had 12 goals last season and 20 as a sophomore.
"I am trying to get a lot of shots," he said. "I wasn't playing good enough, but what I've tried to do is play simple, stick with it, stay positive have fun at the rink. I hope this will be a start."
No. 9 Clarkson (4-3-1) took a 1-0 lead at 6:06 of the opening period on Sheldon Rempal's goal. It came on the Golden Knights' only shot on goal in the period.
Eric Schierhorn made 18 saves for the Gophers. Jake Kielly, a sophomore from Eden Prairie, had 21 for Clarkson.
"We had some chances to extend leads in the second and couldn't do it," Lucia said. "At the end, we made sure we defended. ... [We] did a great job of keeping things to the outside, blocking some shots and finishing out the game."
Minnesota is no2 6-0 vs. Clarkson, an ECAC school in Potsdam, N.Y.
"We put a little bit too much pressure on ourselves at the beginning of the season," said Szmatula, who had 10 goals as a junior. "We'll find our way. We've got a good nucleus, good leaders. Our goalie's been awesome. We're starting to click."