EAST LANSING, Mich. (GopherSports.com) – The No. 17 Gopher Hockey program couldn’t find a way behind Michigan State goaltender Jake Hildebrand on Saturday night, settling for a series split after a 5-0 defeat in the finale.

Minnesota (18-15-0 overall, 13-5-0-0 Big Ten) spotted the Spartans a pair of goals in the opening stanza as Mason Appleton scored 46 into the game and Joe Cox added to the lead at 13:54. The Spartans (10-21-3, 6-11-1-0) added two more in the second period from Villiam Haag – a power-play goal at 3:14 and an even-strength tally at 16:44. Michael Ferrantino closed out the night’s scoring with a power-play goal at 18:47 of the third period.

Brock Kautz made his Minnesota debut in the loss, making eight saves on 10 shots in a relief appearance. Eric Schierhorn took the loss with 10 saves to move to 18-15-0. Hildebrand made 28 saves to lock up the shutout.

The Gophers, who will end the weekend in first place in the Big Ten, close out the regular season next weekend at Mariucci Arena, hosting Wisconsin in Border Battle action.