East Lansing, Mich. – Linemates Justin Kloos and Tyler Sheehy each had a goal and an assist as the No. 11 Gophers defeated Michigan State 4-2 on Friday night in Big Ten hockey, spoiling the Spartans’ conference opener.
Justin Kloos tied the score at 1-1 in the middle of the opening period. Then Sheehy’s team-high 10th goal of the season at 12 minutes, 26 seconds of the middle period put Minnesota (8-5-2, 2-1) ahead 2-1. Sheehy has a career-long seven-game points streak.
“They looked like a real good, dominant first line,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said, referring to Kloos’ line, which has Rem Pitlick on the other wing. “They’re scoring every night, and that’s what you [need].”
Vinni Lettieri scored what proved to be the game-winner for the Gophers, unasisted at 14:19 of the second after intercepting a pass by Spartans goalie Ed Minney. Sophomore center Darian Romanko got an unassisted empty-net goal for Minnesota’s final score with 61 seconds left.
Romanko’s goal was the first of his career. “I’m happy for [him]. … The guys were happy for him,” Lucia said.
J.T. Stenglein scored in the fourth minute of the first period and Taro Hirose in the 17th minute of the second for Michigan State (4-7-1, 0-1).
Minney kept the game close, stopping 40 shots; Eric Schierhorn needed to make only 12 saves.
The Gophers’ 44 shots on goal tied a season high, while the 14 shots by Michigan State tied a season low by a foe.