STATE COLLEGE, PA. – For one game, at least, scoring goals wasn’t a problem Saturday afternoon for the Gophers.
Minnesota routed Penn State 7-1 to earn a series split at Pegula Ice Arena. The seven goals were a season high, by two, for the Gophers.
Hudson Fasching scored two shorthanded goals and Justin Kloos had a shorthanded, empty-net goal and three assists as the Gophers (9-10, 4-2 Big Ten) bounced back from Friday night’s 3-2 overtime loss.
“We can’t let one game beat you twice,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said, “and it seems like all year long our guys have been able to rebound” after losing a series opener.
Goalie Eric Schierhorn made 29 saves for the Gophers, who scored four goals in the third period to pull away from No. 14 Penn State (13-4-3, 3-1).
Leon Bristedt scored 7 minutes, 43 seconds into the first period to give the Gophers a 1-0 lead. Then Fasching, denied on two shorthanded breakaways Friday night, made it 2-0 a little more than four minutes later, 17 seconds into a Gophers penalty kill.
“The first-period success helped us roll into the other two periods,” Kloos said.
Tyler Sheehy made it 3-0 just 2:29 into the second period. Vinni Lettieri scored unassisted 91 seconds into the third period to give the Gophers a four-goal lead.
When Gophers defenseman Michael Brodzinski got called for a double minor at 5:49 of the third period, Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky pulled goalie Matthew Skoff for a 6-on-4.
But Kloos scored his empty-netter at 9:24 of the period to make it 5-0. Fasching scored shorthanded again off an assist from Kloos at 13:51.
“We been working on trying to more aggressive on the penalty kill,” Fasching said, “And we finally made plays.”
“Hudson did a nice job tonight [and] Kloos,” Lucia said. “The guys we need to lead, led the way.”
Ryan Norman scored the final Gophers goal, 64 seconds after Penn State’s Vince Pedrie of Rochester, Minn., broke up Schierhorn’s shutout at 16:21 of the third period.