Senior forward Jaxon Nelson had two goals and an assist, and No. 2 Minnesota men’s hockey completed the sweep of No. 3 Michigan with an 6-3 win on the road on Friday.
Sophomore forward Matthew Knies had a goal and two assists, and senior defenseman Jackson LaCombe had a goal and an assist for the Golden Gophers (10-4-0, 6-2-0 Big Ten). Sophomore goaltender Owen Bartoszkiewicz made 27 saves.
Sophomore forward Dylan Duke scored twice for the Wolverines (9-5-0, 2-4-0 Big Ten). Forwards Seamus Casey and Mark Estapa each had two assists, and junior netminder Erik Portillo made 35 saves.
Multiple players were out of the lineup once again for each team due to illness. Freshman forward Logan Cooley was suspended for a dangerous hit in Game 1.
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LaCombe opened the scoring with 10:47 left in the first, wiring a wrist shot to the top left corner from the left circle off the rush, and sophomore forward Rhett Pitlick doubled the lead just over three minutes later, finishing an odd-man rush with a one-timer off a feed from Knies. It was Pitlick’s third of the series.
The boys are BUZZING in Ann Arbor pic.twitter.com/JSIdRkgV6c— Minnesota Men’s Hockey (@GopherHockey) November 18, 2022
Nelson extended it to 3-0 on the power play less than five minutes into the second period on a tap-in from the slot, thanks to a setup from freshman Jimmy Snuggerud.
Duke cut it to 3-1 with 6:34 left in the second, jamming a loose puck just over the goal line. Video review confirmed the goal, and it held up after a Minnesota challenge. Freshman Rutger McGroarty nearly made it 3-2 in the dying seconds of the period, but time ran out before the puck crossed the line.
Nelson restored the three-goal lead late in the middle frame, making it 4-1 when the puck deflected off him and trickled through Portillo.
Duke picked up his second of the game and fourth of the series with 11:38 left in the third, potting the rebound after sophomore blue-liner Luke Hughes’ bomb from the point rocketed off the boards.
Knies made it 5-2 when Nelson’s one-timer from distance deflected in off him on the power play, but sophomore forward Mackie Samoskevich answered right back for Michigan, cutting it to 5-3 just 24 seconds later.
Senior defenseman Ryan Johnson scored on an empty net from his own zone for the 6-3 final with under three minutes remaining.
Minnesota will travel to Arizona State next weekend, while Michigan will host undefeated No. 10 Harvard in an exciting non-conference matchup.