Gophers junior forward Taylor Matson said the team needs to keep working on better starts. On Friday, Michigan State took a 3-0 lead in the first nine minutes and beat the U 5-2 at Mariucci.

"Obviously, we have to work on the first 10 minutes and not taking penalties and getting into our game," said Matson, who scored his sixth goal of the season in the loss. He had six goals and two assists in the past nine games.

The Gophers rallied to close within 3-2 in the second period before MSU got a deflating fourth goal with 1:50 left in the middle period.

"We came out in the second period and started to play like we knew we could play," Matson said.

Two of the Spartans' goals came on power plays. "Penalty-killing has been one of our issues this year," Matson said. "We got to work on that [Saturday] and hopefully come out Sunday and get a better performance."

The Gophers play No. 8 Michigan at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Mariucci Arena.

"[The Wolverines] are going to be a lot more skilled, a lot more faster than what we saw [Friday]," Matson said. "We know what we have to prepare for and come out a lot stronger. Because [Friday's effort] is not going to work against Michigan."