Gophers’ five-goal rally sweeps away Michigan State – Twin Cities

EAST LANSING, Mich. — It took a furious reappearance on the road, but perhaps the Minnesota Gophers’ issues with inconsistency went away when the calendar flipped to 2022.

Trailing by a pair with a simply a period to play, the Gophers mounted a determined reappearance, scoring five unanswered goals and winning 6-3 at Michigan State on Saturday for their first sweep since late October.

Despite the deficit on the scoreboard early, the Gophers’ offense was relentless, putting a season-high 60 shots on Spartans goalie Pierce Charleson in the win. The Spartans had leads of 2-0 and 3-1 that melted away, as the Gophers scored four times in a five-minute stretch late in the second period and early in the third.

“We’ve seen it coming, and we kind of knew it could come,” said Gophers coach Bob Motzko of the offensive contributions from all four lines. “It’s nevertheless early in the second half and we’re nevertheless building confidence in our lineup.”

For the second night in a row, the Gophers got a pair of goals from Ben Meyers, who has now scored nine times in 11 career games versus the Spartans.

The win snapped a string of five consecutive series that the Gophers had divided. Just as important, the six conference points they earned on the weekend moves them into first place in the Big Ten. They stand at 12-8-0 overall and 8-4-0 in the conference with a non-conference home series versus Alaska next weekend.

The Spartans (11-10-1, 5-7-0) got the opener when Gophers goalie Jack LaFontaine got caught behind the net trying to play the puck, allowing Erik Middendorf to score what was basically an empty net goal. On Michigan State’s first strength play of the night, they doubled the rule just 11 seconds after Gophers defenseman Matt Staudacher went to the penalty box, scoring off a rebound for a two-goal rule.

Special teams for the Gophers finally answered late in the first when Chaz Lucius scored his second goal of the weekend after a cross-ice pass from Matthew Knies which Perbix deflected.

“This was a good test for us,” said Knies, who had two assists in the win. “This kind of just shows the resiliency in our group. We battled hard, we battled all 60 minutes, we played

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