MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) — The No. 4 Gopher Hockey program returns to Mariucci Arena this weekend after a four-game road swing. Tonight and tomorrow Minnesota will take on No. 19 Wisconsin in a Border Battle series between the top two programs in the Big Ten. Both games this weekend are slated for 7 p.m. CT.
Pitlick Pounces on Penn State
Behind a Big Ten-best six points (four goals, two assists) last weekend, Gophers freshman Rem Pitlick was named the NCAA First Star of the Week and the Big Ten First Star of the Week. The forward helped Minnesota sweep Penn State for the second time in three weeks with a four-point game (three goals, one assist) in Friday’s 6-3 win and then tallied two points (game-winning goal, assist) in Saturday’s 4-3 overtime finale. Pitlick has 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in 28 games this season.
Captain Kloos Leads the Way
Senior captain Justin Kloos continues to climb the Minnesota all-time scoring list and currently ranks tied for32nd with 2002 Hobey Baker Award winner Jordan Leopold. A nominee for this year’s Hobey Baker Award,Kloos leads all active Big Ten skaters and ranks third among active NCAA skaters with 144 career points (61 goals, 83 assists). The forward was named the Big Ten Third Star of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal last Friday, scoring the game-tying goal on Saturday with less than four seconds left and then setting up Pitlick’s overtime winner.
Sheehy’s Scoring Tear Stays Hot
Sophomore forward Tyler Sheehy currently leads the Big Ten and ranks eighth in the nation with 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists) this season. All three stats are career highs for the forward. The Hobey Baker Award nominee has posted four-straight multi-point games entering the weekend and has 17 on the season. In the last 10 years, only Erik Haula has had higher season point totals for the Gophers with 51 in 2012-13 and 49 in 2011-12 (Ryan Stoa also had 46 in 2008-09).
Hat Trick Heaven
Minnesota now ranks tied for the national lead in hat tricks this season with five on the year — Justin Kloos, Brent Gates Jr., Leon Bristedt, Vinni Lettieri and Rem Pitlick. Kloos has two career hat tricks while the four other Gophers all recorded their first career hat tricks this season.
Brent Gates Jr Speaks
Gopher sophomore forward Brent Gates Jr. is the son of the former Gopher baseball star Brent Gates, who played Major League Baseball. MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm sat down with Brent Gates Jr. to discuss this weekend’s Gopher-Badger series, as well as last weekend’s big sweep at Penn State: