Minnesota beats N. Dakota

Published 8:57 am Monday, November 7, 2016

Minnesota goalie Eric Schierhorn stopped 33 shots Saturday to lead the Golden Gophers past North Dakota 2-0.

Schierhorn’s teammates backed him up following Friday’s game, where he gave up five goals in a tie against the Fighting Hawks. Saturday’s saves included stopping a penalty shot in the third period.

“We didn’t get rewarded for what we did tonight,” UND coach Brad Berry said. “Other than the score, we dominated in every category. But that’s hockey.”

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The defending national champion Hawks are winless in their last four games (0-3-1) on the road after starting the season with five straight victories at home. The Hawks lost six games all of last season.

UND has been shut out in two of its last three games, while the Gophers (4-2-2) are unbeaten in their last four.

Special teams were big for the Gophers in Friday’s 5-5 tie and they played a role again on Saturday. Mike Szmatula converted Minnesota’s first power play into the go-ahead goal at 10:34 of the first period.

Szmatula scored just nine seconds into the power play, walking in from Cam Johnson’s left and beating him to the wide side.

“We’ve been doing really well of late on the power play,” Szmatula said.

The Gophers were 3-for-8 in Friday’s 5-5 tie, a game in which it came from behind four times.

“One of the main things to stop their power play is to stop taking penalties,” North Dakota defenseman Gage Ausmus said.

UND was scoreless on four power plays, while Minnesota went 1-for-3. It also missed an opportunity when All-American Brock Boeser was stopped on a penalty shot with 40 seconds left to play.