Leon Bristedt's first career hat trick carried the No. 7 Gopher Hockey program to a 5-2 win over No. 4/6 Penn State on Saturday night as the Maroon & Gold swept the Nittany Lions at Mariucci Arena.
Bristedt, who found the net shorthanded, on the power play and at even strength on Saturday, was one of eight Gophers to tally points in the victory while Eric Schierhorn made a career-high 38 saves to pick up his Big Ten-leading 17th win of the season.
WATCH: Leon Bristedt makes it rain hats with his first career hat trick! https://t.co/8jDqAvyfX7— Minnesota M Hockey (@GopherHockey) February 5, 2017
The Gophers (17-7-2 overall, 8-2-0-0 Big Ten) have now won six-straight games at home for a 9-2-1 record at Mariucci Arena this year. The Maroon & Gold have also picked up wins in 10 of the last 12 games and 13 of the last 16.
Minnesota rallied from a deficit to the visitors twice on Saturday night. Alec Marsh put Penn State up with a goal at 8:14 only for Bristedt to convert on a shorthanded breakaway at 14:51. David Goodwin reclaimed a lead for PSU just 41 seconds into the second period, but the Maroon & Gold responded with four unanswered goals to close out the win.
Brent Gates Jr. notched his 12th of the year to tie the game on a one-timer from Mike Szmatula and Connor Reilly at 8:25 of the second, and Taylor Cammarata picked up the eventual game winner from Jack Ramseyat 9:39.
Bristedt closed out the period with his power-play strike at 16:39 from Cammarata and Vinni Lettieri and then capped the hat trick with an even-strength tally at 5:43 of the third period from Steve Johnson and Jack Sadek. Bristedt's special teams strikes were the only such goals of the game as the Gophers went 1-for-2 on the power play (2-for-3 on the weekend) and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill (4-for-4 on the weekend).
Penn State (16-6-2, 5-4-1-0) outshot the hosts 40-28 but struggled to beat Schierhorn in net. The defending Big Ten Goaltender of the Year held the nation's top offense to just three goals on 69 shots on the weekend.
The Maroon & Gold return to action next weekend with a two-game Big Ten series at Ohio State. Tickets for the 2016-17 season are available at MyGopherSports.com or by calling 1-800-U-Gopher.