Minnesota sweeps Buckeyes for fourth straight win

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 7/8 Gopher men’s hockey program extended its winning streak to a season-high four games on Saturday night after claiming a 5-1 victory over No. 8/7 Ohio State , sweeping the Buckeyes at Value Municipal Arena.

A night after handing Ohio State its first regulation loss since Dec. 10, Minnesota (19-11-0 overall, 14-6-0-1-2-0 Big Ten) won its fourth straight game at Value City Arena and improved to 6-1-1 at the site under Bob Motzko.

Rhett Pitlick scored twice for his first career multi-goal game as Blake McLaughlin, Mason Nevers and Samy Walker also found the net for the Maroon & Gold. Ohio State (21-9-2, 13-7-2-1-1-1) found a temporary equalizer later in the period as Tate Singleton scored the Buckeyes’ only goal of the night at 15:10.

But the Gophers weren’t done in the first period as the visitors added two more in the final two minutes of the opener. Nevers added his sixth of the year at 18:51 on the power play while Walker took possession of the Minnesota scoring lead with his 12th of the year at 19:14.

After a four-goal first period, the action died down in the final 40 minutes, although Pitlick was certainly begging for a delay.

The freshman forward, who scored his first career goal last Friday, added two more to his season tally – scoring at 3:54 of the second period and 9:48 of the third period. Pitlick now has seven points (three goals, four assists) in Minnesota’s last four games with three multi-point games.

Justin Close added his seventh win of the season (7-3-0) while supporting the Gophers with 29 saves. Jakub Dobes took the loss for Ohio State.

Minnesota held a 50-30 advantage on shots while going 1-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

Four Gophers recorded multi-point games in the series finale with Pitlick (two goals), Jackson La Combe (two passes), Bryce Brodzinski (two assists) and McLaughlin (one goal, one assist) surveying Minnesota… McLaughlin is now one point closer to becoming the 86th member of Minnesota’s 100-Point Club.

Coach Comments
“It was yet another solid effort from our group tonight. It was top to bottom in our lineup,” the Minnesota head coach said. Bob Motzko noted. “We know from the start that we have depth, the most important thing is the guys who play in new roles or different roles, they do a wonderful job.”

Next stop: final on the road at Penn State
The Gophers cap a four-game road streak next weekend with a two-game series at Penn State. It is set to open Friday, February 18 at 5:30 p.m. CT (TV: Big Ten Network; Stream; FOX Sports App; Radio: 1130 KTLK/103.5 FM) with the weekend finale set for Saturday, February 19 at 5:00 p.m. CT (TV: Big Ten Network; Stream; FOX Sports App; Radio: 1130 KTLK/103.5 FM).


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