Playing in his fourth game in six days to open the season didn’t wear Jack LaFontaine down as the senior earned his first career shutout on Tuesday night in a 2-0 win for the No. 8/7 Gopher men’s hockey program over No. 10 Ohio State.
LaFontaine backstopped Minnesota to its second-straight Big Ten sweep behind a 22-save performance to close out the four-game home stand. The netminder picked up his sixth-straight win dating back to last year and has now started 12-straight games for the Maroon & Gold. LaFontaine (4-0-0) has allowed two or fewer goals in each of his last nine starts.
Minnesota (4-0-0 overall, 4-0-0-0-0-0 Big Ten) has now opened the season with four-straight wins (all over nationally top-10 ranked teams) for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign and has outscored opponents 13-4 this season.
Scott Reedy and Nathan Burke posted goals for the Gophers with Reedy finding his third of the season just 1:53 into the battle off assists from Brannon McManus and Ryan Johnson. Burke added to the lead with his first goal of the year at 11:54 of the third with assists from Ben Meyers and Jackson LaCombe.
Ohio State (0-2-0, 0-2-0-0-0-0) never found a way through LaFontaine in the series finale and managed just one goal against the Gophers on the weekend. Tommy Nappier (0-2-0) made 33 saves on 35 shots on Tuesday night.
Minnesota returns to action next month, starting with a two-game Big Ten series at Michigan State on Dec. 3-4. Both games in the series will begin at 7:00 p.m. CT and air live on FOX Sports North and FOX Sports Detroit.
Quotes from Coach
“We couldn’t be more proud of our guys. I mean fourth game in six nights, and this was our best game of all four,” Minnesota head coach Bob Motzko said. “You watched one heck of a goaltender duel between two seniors – two of the better seniors I believe in the country.”
Minnesota has now won four-straight against the Buckeyes (all at 3M Arena at Mariucci) and is unbeaten in its last five against Ohio State (4-0-1)…the Gophers outshot the Buckeyes 35-22 on Tuesday.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)