The Irish headed to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers Friday to kick off the team’s last road series of the regular season. The Irish fought for the 3-2 victory, avenging the previous two game sweep by Minnesota in the teams’ previous series in South Bend in January. This win moved the Irish to the second spot in the Big Ten standings as the regular season comes to a close.
First Period: A Shaky Start
The Gophers gained early dominance in the first twenty minutes. Minnesota forward Brannon McManus put Minnesota ahead with the first goal of the game. Gophers forward Nathan Burke then followed up to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead. However, the Irish offense found confidence and cohesion late in the first period, eventually surpassing the Gophers’ six shots on goal with eight of their own.
Second Period: Regaining Structure
Notre Dame carried this force into the second period as they attacked following the penalty on Minnesota forward Blake McLaughlin. A power play goal from Irish forward Colin Theisen brought the Irish their first goal of the game with defenseman Tory Dello and forward Cal Burke both claiming assists. Forward Cam Burke then tied the game 2-2 with a goal for the Irish with forwards Pierce Crawford and Jack Jenkins claiming the assists.
Third Period: Earning the Win
Theisen went on to give the Irish the 3-2 lead with forward Cam Morrison and defenseman Matt Hellickson providing assists. The Gophers later pulled their goaltender, Mat Robson, to no avail.
Notre Dame 0-2-1—3
First period — 1. MIN, Brannon McManus 12 (Tommy Novak, Jack Sadek), 4:20. 2. MIN, Nathan Burke 6 (Sammy Walker, Blake McLaughlin), 12:00. Penalties — Graham Slaggert, UND (hooking), 0:15; Cam Burke, UND (cross checking), 6:45; Tyler Sheehy, MIN (holding the stick), 6:53.
Second period — 3. UND, Colin Theisen 9 (Tory Dello, Cal Burke), 2:47, (pp). 4. UND, Burke 3 (Pierce Crawford, Jack Jenkins), 17:43. Penalties -- McLaughlin, MIN (holding the stick), 0:53; Rem Pitlick, MIN (hooking), 13:09.
Third period — 5. UND, Theisen 10 (Cam Morrison, Matt Hellickson), 8:01. Penalties — Bobby Nardella, UND (cross checking), 3:57.
Shots on goal — MIN 6-8-12—26; UND 8-14-9-31. Goalies — Mat Robson, MIN (31 shots-28 saves); Cale Morris, UND (26-24). Power plays — MIN 0-of-3; UND 1-of-3. Referees — Brett Sheva, Stephen McInchak. Linesmen — Samuel Shikowski, Nicholas Bradshaw. Att. — 8,330.
The Irish will take on the Gophers again Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Check out the game on TV on Fox Sports North or stream online with Fox Sports Go.
Follow me on Twitter.