Columbus, Ohio - Senior Eric Schierhorn, making his first start in goal in 1½ months, made 21 saves and sophomore forward Scott Reedy scored the game-winning goal in the middle of the third period as the Gophers upset No. 2 Ohio State 4-3 on Friday night in a Big Ten hockey game at Value City Arena.
“Two defenseman scored, and we held them to 24 shots, that was a team effort,” Gophers coach Bob Motzko said in a postgame radio interview. “… We have been begging for goals from our defensive corps, and it could not have come at a better time.”
Reedy redirected a shot by Tommy Novak for his fourth goal of the season. It put Minnesota (12-14-4, 9-9-3 Big Ten) ahead 4-2.
With four minutes left and trailing by two, Ohio State (19-6-4, 12-4-3-2) pulled its goalie and the strategy worked for one quick goal. Quinn Preston scored with 3:35 to play to get the Buckeyes, riding a seven-game winning streak, within one but they could not get the equalizer.
Defenseman Jack Sadek gave the Gophers a 1-0 lead late in the opening period.
The lead grew to 2-0 on a pretty play in the middle of the second period. Sammy Walker, carrying the puck down the right side, dropped it back to Blake McLaughlin on a blind pass at the end line. McLaughlin centered the puck to Nathan Burke in the slot, who despite being pulled down, poked the puck past goalie Sean Romeo.
Ohio State’s John Wiitala cut the Gophers’ lead to 2-1 with 15 seconds left in the second.
Four goals — two by each team — were scored in the third. Junior defenseman Ryan Zuhlsdorf gave the Gophers a 3-1 lead just over six minutes into the period. It was his first goal in 99 games and third of his career. Sam McCormick answered for OSU 2½ minutes later.
Goals by Reedy and Preston completed the scoring.