Oct. 7, 2000
St. Paul, Minn. – The University of Notre Dame hockey team ran into the high-flying Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday night dropping a 7-3 decision in the season opening Hall of Fame Classic at the Xcel Energy Center.
Minnesota, ranked 11th in the nation, got two goals from senior center Erik Westrum while sophomore Jeff Taffe added a goal and two assists in the season opening win. Gopher goaltender Adam Hauser made 15 saves in the game as the Gophers outshot the Fighting Irish, 31-18, on the night.
Notre Dame got single goals from sophomore Connor Dunlop (St. Louis, Mo.) and freshmen Rob Globke(West Bloomfield, Mich.) and Brett Lebda (Buffalo Grove, Ill.).
“We really didn’t play very well,” commented head coach Dave Poulin following the game. “We made plenty of mistakes early, but played better as the game went on especially in the third period,” added Poulin.
The Gophers jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead as they converted a pair of Irish turnovers. Freshman Matt Koalska picked up an errant pass and skated in all alone beating Notre Dame goaltender Tony Zasowski(Darien, Ill.) just 2:36 into the game.
Fellow freshman Grant Potulny made it 2-0 at 18:27 of the stanza when he blasted a loose puck from the top of the left wing circle for the two-goal lead. Minnesota outshot Notre Dame 10-5 in the first period.
The Gopher lead would go to 3-0 as Westrum scored his first of the night via the power play as he drilled the rebound of a Jordon Leopold shot past Zasowski.
Notre Dame got on the board just over five minutes later when Dunlop scored off a feed from junior Jon Maruk (Eden Prairie, Minn.) as the teams skated four aside.
Minnesota took advantage of a Notre Dame penalty at 13:25 to up the lead to 4-1 on a fluky rebound goal. Koalska fired a shot wide of the goal that rattled off the back boards and bounced in front of the goal where Jeff Taffe was camped to fire the rebound home.
Strong Gopher forechecking set up Westrum’s second goal of the night as Nick Anthony worked the puck loose behind the Notre Dame goal where UM’s leading scorer a year ago picked it up the bouncing puck and tucked it under Zasowski’s pads.
Junior goaltender Jeremiah Kimento (Palos Hills, Ill.) took over between the pipes for the third period and was greeted by goals from Troy Riddle (:42) and Pat O’Leary (3:07) to up Minnesota’s lead to 7-1.
The Irish never quit though as they broke through with a pair of goals in the final 6:30 of the game. Globke got his first collegiate goal at 13:32 as he took a feed from Maruk and walked in on Hauser beating him on the backhander.
Lebda put his name on the scoring summary at 15:01 as he picked off a Minnesota clearing pass at the blueline and went in on Hauser, sliding the puck under him for his first collegiate lamplighter.
Poulin was pleased with the way his squad played in the third period. “I thought we showed some positive things in the third period and that’s what we’ll build on for next week,” reflected the Irish head coach. ” I thought (Rob) Globke and (Brett) Lebda showed signs of what they can do offensively. Matt Van Arkel played a strong game as did Connor Dunlop,” added Poulin.
“Overall, we didn’t play well, we played tight, but you can expect that early in the season,” commented Poulin. “We will go back work next week and will be ready to play next Friday.”
Zasowski finished with 21 saves over the first two periods while Kimento made three stops in the final period.
Notre Dame travels to Omaha, Nebraska next week to play in the Maverick Stampede. The Irish face Boston College in the tournament opener on Friday, October 13th with the University of Nebraska-Omaha facing Niagara in the nightcap.
1 2 3 FNotre Dame (0-1-0) 0 1 2 - 3Minnesota (1-0-0) 2 3 2 - 7
1st Period Scoring: Minn: Matt Koalska – 1 (unassisted) 2:36, Minn: Grant Potulny – 1 (unassisted) 18:27.
2nd Period Scoring: Minn: Erik Westrum – 1 (Jordan Leopold) 3:35 PPG, ND: Connor Dunlop-1 (Jon Maruk) 11:13, Minn: Jeff Taffe-1 (Koalska) 13:25 PPG, Minn: Westrum-2 (Nick Anthony, Potulny) 17:26.
3rd Period Scoring: Minn: Troy Riddle – 1 ( Taffe, Angell) :42 PPG, Minn: Pat O’Leary – 1 (Dylan Mills, Taffe) 3:07, ND: Rob Globke – 1 (Maruk) 13:32, ND: Brett Lebda (unassisted) 15:01.
Penalties ND: 20 for 51 minutes
Minn: 21 for 42 minutes
Shots On Goal
Notre Dame: 5-5-8-18
Tony Zasowski (40:00) 8-13-0-21
Jermiah Kimento (20:00) 0-0-3- 3
Adam Hauser (60:00) 5-4-6-15