The Spartans pushed back in the third period, but some late magic from freshman Casey Mittelstadt and sophomore linemate Rem Pitlick powered the No. 5-ranked Gophers to a key win at home.
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Mittelstadt forced a key offensive zone turnover early in the third period, setting up Pitlick and helping the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team to a 3-1 win over Michigan State in Minneapolis.
The Gophers opened the scoring at 3:22 of the first period, when sophomore defenseman Ryan Lindgren jammed home a rebound.
Junior forward Brent Gates Jr. scored on the power play in the second period to make it 2-0 Gophers, but MSU answered on a power play of their own early in the third period.
Mittelstadt and Pitlick had the answer, pushing the Gophers’ lead to 3-1 at 5:50 of the third.
Junior goaltender Eric Schierhorn made 26 saves for the Gophers, who outshot the Spartans 27-26.
The two teams meet again Saturday at 4 p.m.