MINNEAPOLIS — Despite multiple great chances to tie up the game while the extra attacker was on over the final 2:11 of the third period, Minnesota held on for a 2-1 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday at the 3M Arena at Mariucci (9,563).
Alex Steeves scored for the Fighting Irish (17-12-3, 10-10-2-2 B1G), while Tyler Nanne and Scott Reedy scored for Minnesota (14-15-4, 11-10-3-0).
“Lat night we had a little bit of secondary scoring, tonight we didn’t,” Fighting Irish head coach Jeff Jackson said after the game. “I thought we played well in the first and the third but teh second period was the difference in the game. It is the nature of the Big Ten right now, we still have a couple games left … every weekend is a split for the most part.”
Nanne gave the Gophers the 1-0 lead at 8:53 of the opening period.
At 4:50 of the second period Alex Steeves scored to tie it at 1-1, finishing down low after the forecheck of Graham Slaggert and Jake Pivonka created the scoring chance.
But Minnesota answered at 9:28 of the second when it took advantage of an Irish turnover down low that ended with Scott Reedy scoring from the faceoff circle to Morris’ left.
Notre Dame generated numerous quality chances in the final 20 minutes while outshooting the Gophers 13-4 in the period.
A number of those came in the final 2:11 of play while Morris was pulled for the extra attacker. Colin Theisen and Pivonka almost converted point-blank shots and Dylan Malmquist sent a redirection just wide of goal in the final minute. Despite the final flurry, the Irish were unable to net the equalizer past Robson, who finished with 26 saves for the Gophers.
Morris stopped 15 shots in net for the Irish.
The Irish finished 0-for-1 on the game’s only power play. Notre Dame came into the night as the second-least penalized team in the country and posted a second game this season with no penalties.
Notre Dame Goal Descriptions
1-1 | Alex Steeves converted down low on a wraparound attempt after Graham Slaggert dropped the puck off for his classmate below the goal line. Jake Pivonka also assisted on the play, which was created by the line’s forecheck pressure.
- Notre Dame closes out the regular season by playing host to Penn State on March 1 and 2 at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Tickets are still available for both games at UND.com/BuyTickets. Both games are slated for 7 p.m. puck drops, with Friday’s contest also being televised by the NBC Sports Network.
- For Friday’s game, Notre Dame hockey will be partnering with the 525 Foundation’s Drop 2 Stop program, which aims to raise awareness about opioid misuse and abuse. There will be an information table set up just inside the main entrance at the Compton Family Ice Arena during the game with the Nittany Lions, where fans will be able to drop off expired or unneeded pills as part of the Drop 2 Stop “pill drop” program.
- Then on Saturday, March 2 the Irish will honor seniors Jack Jenkins, Dylan Malmquist, Bobby Nardella and Joe Wegwerth in a pregame ceremony. Jim Cornelison of the Chicago Blackhawks will sing the national anthem as part of the senior night festivities and early arriving fans will receive a senior class poster.
- Pittsburgh Penguins’ organist Tim DeBacco will serve as the guest organist for both games.
- Alex Steeves scored his seventh goal of the season and first since the outdoor game at Notre Dame Stadium (Jan. 5).
- Just 31 seconds into the third period there was a nine minute delay after Jake Pivonka hit Brannon McManus through the glass in front of the Gopher’s penalty box.
- Notre Dame finished with zero penalties for the second time this season (Jan. 11 vs. Minnesota).
- The Irish are outscoring their opponents 38-24 in second periods this season (+14).
Trio Up For Hobey Vote
- It was announced on Jan. 16 that forward Cal Burke, goaltender Cale Morris and defenseman Bobby Nardella have each been selected to Phase One of the Hobey Baker Award’s fan ballot (vote at www.hobeybaker.com).
- Awarded annually to college hockey’s top player, the Hobey Baker award includes candidates exhibiting the exceptional character traits of the award’s namesake, Hobey Baker, with consideration given to scholastic achievement and sportsmanship.
- Morris, who was awarded the 2018 Mike Richter Award as college hockey’s top goaltender, was named a Top-10 Finalist for the Hobey Baker Award last season.
- Morris was the fourth player in Notre Dame history to be among the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker, joining Anders Bjork (2017), David Brown (2007) and Dave Poulin (1982).
- Morris, a Larkspur, Colorado, native, was also the first player from the Centennial State to play his way into the Hobey Top 10.
- The Fan Balloting (Phase I) of the Hobey Baker award calendar will continue until March 10.
- On March 20, the Top 10 Finalists will be announced, at which time Phase II Fan Balloting will begin and run through March 31.
- The Hobey Hat Trick Finalist Announcement will be made on April 4.
- The 2019 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists on Friday, April 12, during the 2019 NCAA Frozen Four Championship in Buffalo, New York.
— ND —