The young and developing Spartans were unable to capitalize on chances against the veteran Gophers.
Minnesota set the tone throughout the first period. Sophomore defenseman Ben Marshall opened the scoring for the Gophers with a snipe from the point and Minnesota took the first period lead. The Spartans got a chance to answer with a power play when Minnesota freshmen defenseman Mike Reilly got sent to the box on a penalty. Yet, Michigan State couldn’t convert. Leaving the box as the penalty expired, Mike Reilly and junior forward Nick Bjugstad ended up on a two on one break away and Bjugstad was able to notch the second goal for Minnesota, scoring from just below the left dot. Minnesota sophomore forward Christian Isackson would score the third and final goal of the period with a shot from the high slot on a screened Will Yanakeff, leaving the score at 3-0 Minnesota after one.
Though Michigan State looked more organized through out the second period, junior forward Erik Haula potted the fourth Minnesota goal of the night off his own rebound just two minutes in. The second would end with Minnesota up 4-0 on the Spartans.
The third period opened with Minnesota junior defenseman Mark Alt taking a slashing penalty, again putting Michigan State on the power play. However, the Spartans failed for the second time of the night to convert on a power play chance. A third power play chance came for the Spartans soon after the second one with a hooking call on Nick Bjugstad. Again, Michigan State failed to capitalize. The special teams tables then turned as Michigan State sophomore forward Brent Darnell and junior forward Lee Reimer both received tripping penalties. Minnesota went on the five on three, and despite some great saves by Yanakeff, sophomore forward Travis Boyd helped the Gophers pile on a fifth goal. Yet, just when Minnesota thought their season opener would be a shut out win, Michigan State sophomore forward Tanner Sorenson got the first goal of the season for the Spartans and ended the shut out and the game at 5-1 Minnesota.
The Spartans will look for redemption as the teams take the ice again tomorrow night at 9 p.m. ET.