Gophers’ men’s hockey scores three third period goals to separate from the Nittany Lions

The No.7 Gophers scored three third-period goals to beat Penn State 4-2 on Saturday night at 3M Arena in Mariucci in front of an announced crowd of 7,309.

The victory saved a division for Minnesota (8-6, 5-3) in the series; the Nittany Lions won the opener 5-3 when they scored two goals in the final period.

“We had a good fight tonight from start to finish,” said Gophers coach Bob Motzko. “I think we played a good game in the last half of the second and third periods.

In the rematch, Mason Nevers broke a 2-point tie on a power-play goal 5 minutes and 19 seconds from the end of regulation time. It was the fifth goal of the season for the second-year Edina forward but her first game-winning goal. Brock Faber and Ryan Johnson got assists on the game. Captain Sammy Walker’s second goal of the game, an empty net with 1:21 to go, gave Minnesota their final two-goal margin.

Penn State (7-6, 1-5) took a 1-0 lead in the rematch over Jimmy Dowd Jr.’s goal early in the second. The Gophers tied the score at 1-all on Walker’s goal midway through the halfway window.

Matthew Knies’ power-play goal 4:57 of the third gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead. But the Nittany Lions tied Kevin Wall’s goal at 12:24.

Jack LaFontaine made 35 saves for the win. Oskar Autio stopped 25 shots for Penn State.

Catherine J. Martinez