Pitlick Records Hat Trick in Gopher Blowout
Minneapolis, MN- Over the past several years, the Minnesota Gophers (2-0-0) have played exhibition games to warm up prior to their season. This year, Minnesota already had played two regular season games to tune up for their exhibition-tilt against the United States Under-18 Team.
Coming off of a season-opening sweep in Alaska, the Gophers put on an exhibition in their exhibition game against the U-18 team, netting four goals in each of the first two periods and one final tally in the third to win by a resounding 9-0 score.
Freshman forward Rem Pitlick introduced himself to the Mariucci Arena crowd early and often, scoring the game’s first goal (and eventual game-winner) at 8:31 of the first period. Pitlick added his second goal, the fourth of the game and last of the first period, with just under two minutes remaining in the opening frame on the powerplay. The Hat-Trick goal came at 10:04 of the third period on an absolute rocket of a slapshot from the left wing. Pitlick’s last goal closed out the scoring on the night.
Other Gopher goals were scored by Steve Johnson at 10:35 of the first on the powerplay, Jack Ramsey at 13:53 of the first, Junior Gates at 1:40 and 15:46 of the second, Darian Romanko just 12 seconds later at 15:58 of the second, and Tommy Novak at 19:38 of the second.
Each Gopher goalie played one full period, with Eric Schierhorn stopping six shots in the first and Nick Lehr and Brock Kautz stopping twelve shots each in the second and third periods, respectively. The three goalies combined for the shutout, with Schierhorn credited with the win.
One thing fans around the country have noticed is a decided uptick in penalties called by the referees. The NCAA is attempting to crack down on hooking / holding / interference infractions, and it’s showing on the scoresheet as players adjust to the new normal. Penalties were a story in this game, with 15 total minor penalties called. Minnesota went 2-7 on the powerplay, while the US team went 0-6.
Fans may have also noticed some different players on the ice in Maroon and Gold tonight – the Gophers dressed 15 forwards and 7 defensemen, so fans got their first looks at #27 Mitch Rogge and #12 Joey Marooney.
The Gophers get back to playing games that count next weekend, with a home-and-home tilt against the St. Cloud State Huskies. Minnesota hosts SCSU Friday night at 7PM before heading up 94 to St. Cloud Saturday evening. Both games start at 7PM.