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University of Minnesota Athletics | October 7, 2018

Men's hockey: No. 13 Gophers open season with tie at No. 1 UMD

DULUTH, Minn. – The Bob Motzko era of Gopher Hockey started with a 1-1 overtime tie on Saturday night as the No. 13 Gophers fought to a draw with No. 1 Minnesota Duluth at AMSOIL Arena. 

Gophers freshman forward Sampo Ranta notched his first career goal for the Maroon & Gold (0-0-1 overall, 0-0-0-0 Big Ten) while junior goaltender Mat Robson stopped 31-of-32 shots from the top-ranked Bulldogs (0-0-1, 0-0-0-0 NCHC). 

Ranta put Minnesota out in front in the first period when he fired a shot into the back of the net at 12:07 of the opening stanza for his first collegiate point and goal. Senior forward Tommy Novak set the goal up nicely with the primary assist while sophomore defenseman Clayton Phillips added the second assist for his first collegiate point. 

The lead help until early in the third period when Peter Krieger netted a power-play goal for the Bulldogs at 3:38. 

Per new NCAA rules for nonconference competitions, the series opener ended in a 1-1 tie after neither teams found the net following a 5-on-5, five-minute overtime session. 

The two in-state rivals will settle the series on Sunday night at 3M Arena at Mariucci. Puck Drop is set for 7 p.m. CT.

RELATED: Minnesota Duluth hopes to be first team to repeat as NCAA champion in 13 years