ANN ARBOR, MICH. – For the second Friday night in a row, the Gophers got a goal in a 3-on-3 overtime for an extra point in the Big Ten standings.
This time Jaxon Nelson was the hero. The freshman forward from Luverne got behind the Michigan defense and roofed a backhand shot over Wolverines goalie Strauss Mann for the 2-1 final score. Officially, though, the game will count as a tie.
“[Nelson] had been coming on,” Gophers coach Bob Motzko said on a Big Ten Network postgame interview. “… That was a great play.”
“We were good tonight until the third period. We got nervous. We had freshman turn the puck over. We had to kill a lot of penalties, and they finally stuck one in.”
Junior goalie Jack LaFontaine, who started his college career with two seasons at Michigan, got the win for the Gophers (3-4-2, 0-1-2-2 Big Ten) by making a season-high 33 saves. He held the Wolverines scoreless on six power plays.
Brandon McManus gave the Gophers a 1-0 lead with 57 seconds left in the second period. It was his third goal of the season.
Michigan (3-4-2, 0-2-1) tied the score on Jacob Hayhurst’s backdoor goal at 8:36 of the third.
Last weekend the Gophers, playing at home, went to a second overtime with Notre Dame before Scott Reedy’s goal for a 3-2 final score.