MINNEAPOLIS — Eleven Gophers tallied points and Bob Motzko picked up his first career win as the head coach at Minnesota as the No. 13 Gophers took down top-ranked Minnesota Duluth 7-4 on Sunday night at 3M Arena at Mariucci.
Five Gophers had multi-point performances for Minnesota (1-0-1 overall, 0-0-0-0 Big Ten) with Clayton Phillips (three assists) and Brannon McManus (two goals, one assist) leading the way. Goalie Mat Robson picked up his first win of the year (1-0-1) while making 42 saves — the second highest single-game total of his career.
A night after scoring one goal in 65 minutes during Saturday’s 1-1 overtime tie in Duluth, Minnesota piled on seven goals on 22 shots for a .318 shooting percentage. Six different Gophers scored with Tyler Sheehy, Sammy Walker, Rem Pitlick, Garrett Wait and Sampo Ranta adding to McManus’ pair of tallies. Walker and Wait notched their first career goals in the win with Wait also recording an assist earlier in the game for his first career point.
Minnesota found the net three times in the opening frame Sunday with McManus recording his first two goals of the season before Sheehy added a power-play goal late in the period. The Gophers ended the night 1-for-3 on the power play.
The Bulldogs (0-1-1, 0-0-0-0 NCHC) bounced back in the second and drew within a goal after tallies from Noah Cates and Mikey Anderson, but Minnesota added two more late in the period with Walker’s first as a Gopher followed by Pitlick’s shorthanded strike that eventually became the game-winning goal.
The two in-state rivals traded goals twice in the final period with Wait finding the net followed by UMD’s Jackson Cates and then Ranta added his second career tally only for Jackson Cates to score his second of the game minutes later, closing out the night’s offense.
Minnesota returns to action next weekend with an exhibition game against the U.S. Under-18 Team in Plymouth, Michigan, on Saturday, Oct. 13.