Sunday, January 15, 2017

Game Story: Lettieri's hat trick paves the way in sweep of Michigan (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

1/14/2017 Game story for St. Paul Pioneer Press

Michigan 2
Minnesota 4

MINNEAPOLIS- With fans screaming and trying to focus on the task at hand, Minnesota senior forward Vinni Lettieri changed course at the last instant.

Lettieri had an idea of what he wanted to do while lining up for a penalty shot 39 seconds into the third period Saturday night at Mariucci Arena. With the Gophers leading Michigan 2-0 at the time and on the penalty kill, coach Don Lucia said he nearly declined the penalty shot in favor of a penalty.

The crowd wanted to see the penalty shot, though. Lucia abided. So did Lettieri, converting on the team’s first successful penalty shot since March 2011 and leading Minnesota to a 4-2 victory, its sixth consecutive win and a sweep of the Wolverines.

Lettieri’s shot went past the shoulder of Michigan goaltender Hayden Lavigne and into the top shelf of the net.

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