Minnesota poured it on for the second night in a row in what looked like an identical repeat of the previous nights game.
Minnesota set the tone early in the first with a quick goal by junior forward Erik Haula. Nick Bjugstad, Tom Serratore, and Ben Marshall buried three more goals for the Gophers in the first. Shots favored Minnesota 10-4 at the end of one.
The second period was more of the same. Minnesota sophomore forward Kyle Rau beat Will Yanakeff’s blocker hand and potted a fifth goal for the Gophers. The Spartans were then forced to kill six straight minutes of Minnesota power play. Minnesota junior forward Nate Condon ended the second period scoring with a successful wrist shot on Will Yanakeff. At the end of two the Spartans were out scored 6-0 and out shot 24-9.
Freshman back up goalie Jake Hildebrand took over in net for the Spartans in the third, replacing Yanakeff. The Spartans managed to match the Gophers in scoring in the third and stopped the shut out with a goal from sophomore forward Brent Darnell. Minnesota freshman defenseman Brady Skjei converted on a power play chance towards the end of the period, ending the game at 7-1 Minnesota.
Michigan State killed six out of seven Minnesota power plays but continued to be in effective on their own power play.
Minnesota’s excellence shined and Michigan State’s inexperience was obvious. Luckily for State, Minnesota was most likely the best team the Spartans will have to face all season