NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The No. 9 University of Notre Dame hockey team had no trouble putting the puck on the net Friday evening against Minnesota, but couldn’t turn those shots into goals as the Irish fell 5-1 to the Gophers at the Compton Family Ice Arena (4,008).
The Irish (12-7-1, 5-5-0-0 B1G) outshot the Gophers (8-8-4, 5-3-3-0 B1G) 43-22 on the night, but failed to convert on all but one — a third-period goal by freshman defenseman Nick Leivermann that allowed Notre Dame to avoid a shutout.
Despite Notre Dame’s sizable shot advantage, Minnesota struck first at 12:04 of the second period when Tommy Novak beat Irish goaltender Cale Morris stick-side from just above the slot.
Though the Gophers held a 1-0 lead at the second intermission, they broke through with four third-period scores to put the game away, including an empty net tally.
The Irish looked to even the score in the third, attacking the zone early in the period, but it was the Gophers that padded their lead at 5:35 of the stanza. This time it was Blake McLaughlin, who scored from the top of the crease.
Brannon McManus made it 3-0 in Minnesota’s favor with his goal at 9:15 of the third and Sammy Walker pushed it to 4-0 at 15:57.
“Most of it (Minnesota’s scores) came in transition,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson. “I think we tried too hard to make something happen in the third, turning pucks over, and that’s their game. They do a good job through the neutral zone, we turned pucks over at the offensive blue line and they came back at us and that’s probably where at least three of those goals came from.”
Leivermann scored the first goal of his career in the final four minutes of the contest to put the Irish on the board, but time sided with the Gophers, who made it 5-1 with Rem Pitlick’s empty-net goal with 11 seconds left.
Morris tallied 17 saves with four goals against, while Gopher goaltender Mat Robson stopped 42 of the 43 shots he faced.
In a nearly clean game, the Irish went 0-for-2 on the power play while not offering Minnesota an extra-man opportunity.
Notre Dame Goal Descriptions
4-1 | The Irish finally broke through when Leivermann netted his first collegiate goal, sticking Dylan Malmquist’s feed from the slot past Robson’s glove at 16:50. Cam Morrison also assisted on the play.
- Nick Leivermann’s third-period goal was the first of his collegiate career.
- Dylan Malmquist has a three-game point streak (1-2-3).
- Cam Morrison has a two-game point streak (1-1-2).
- Notre Dame is 3-2-0 against Minnesota as a Big Ten opponent and has won four of the last six meetings.
— ND —