Rhett Pitlick celebrates as goal. By Bjorn Franke from GopherSports
Rhett Pitlick celebrates as goal. By Bjorn Franke from GopherSports

Pitlick’s Hat Trick Helps Gophers Blitz Buckeyes 5-2

Minneapolis, MN – Behind a Rhett Pitlick hat-trick, the Minnesota Gophers (13-6-4 Overall, 5-4-1-3 B1G) beat the cellar-dwelling Ohio State Buckeyes (9-10-4, 1-10-2-0) by a 5-2 score Friday night. Oliver Moore and Sam Rinzel each picked up three assists for the Maroon and Gold.

Minnesota opened play with a strong first period, putting 17 shots and 3 goals on the Buckeyes in the first 20 minutes of action. Pitlick scored the first goal of the game at 11:32 of the period, with Oliver Moore picking up his first assist of the game. Moore also assisted on Connor Kurth’s goal at 15:48 of the first, before Jimmy Snuggerud scored his 18th goal of the year on the power play at 17:34 of the first.

Ohio State came back in the second period and made it a game, scoring the only goal of the middle stanza to make it 3-1 heading into the 3rd.

In the final period, Pitlick scored Minnesota’s final two goals of the game to earn the hat trick, with Moore assisting on the third Pitlick goal. Ohio State scored again on the power play to wrap up the scoring at 5-2. Justen Close earned the win in net, stopping 27 of 29 shots for the victory.

After tonight’s action, the Gophers sit fourth place in the Big Ten with 20 points, but have two games in hand on third-place Notre Dame who have 21 conference points. Second place Wisconsin (30 points) is idle this weekend, while first place MSU (31 points) lost big to Michigan tonight.

The Gophers host Ohio State again Saturday night, and will go for their fifth win in a row. Saturday’s contest is a 7PM puck drop.