Gopher hockey team beats Penn State 2-1 for series sweep

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Michael Shibrowski was introduced not once but twice before Saturday night's Gophers men's hockey game at Mariucci Arena against Penn State.

The first introduction was expected: He was one of five Gophers players honored on senior day. The second was rare: He was named the starting goalie for only the fourth time in his career.

Shibrowski shined as he made 25 saves and fellow senior Tom Serratore scored the game-winner in the third period to give the Gophers a 2-1 win over Penn State.

Serratore's goal at 13:15 came on the 10th unanswered third-period shot from the Gophers (23-4-5, 12-2-2 Big Ten).

Before that, Penn State (6-22-2, 2-13-1) tied the score on Curtis Loik's breakaway goal at 17:14 of the second period.

The Nittany Lions carried that momentum into the third period, in which they had the first six shots.

The second-ranked Gophers swept the four-game season series against Penn State, the basement dwellers in the Big Ten standings. However, Penn State was 2-2-1 in its five games before the Minnesota series.

Penn State got off to a slow start in the second period without a shot for more than seven minutes. Seconds after its first shot, Jonathan Milley's shot forced Shibrowski to sprawl for a save. The student section behind Shibrowski noticed and gave him warm applause.

Shibrowski, of Andover, transferred after his freshman year at Colorado College. He played in two games this season, Nov. 16, a shutout win over Minnesota State Mankato and mop-up duty Nov. 24 in a loss to Minnesota-Duluth.

On Saturday, it was close throughout.

In the first period, center Travis Boyd gave the Gophers a 1-0 lead at 12:37 in the first period. Assisting on the Boyd's goal was defenseman Michael Brodzinski, who had missed the past eight games with an injury.

Briefly

The Gophers' five seniors -- Shibrowski, Serratore, Justin Holl, Jake Parenteau and Nate Condon -- were honored in a pregame ceremony with their families. The group has gone 93-41-17 in four seasons, including consecutive WCHA regular-season titles and a Frozen Four appearance in 2012.

"This is a very important class for us," Lucia said Friday.

They helped win the inaugural North Star College Cup in January and hope to win the inaugural Big Ten regular-season championship.

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