The Notre Dame Fighting Irish season came to an end on Sunday, after a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the decisive Game 3 of the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. The Irish got goals from sophomore forward Alex Steeves and playing in his final game for the Irish, senior forward Cam Morrison, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a Minnesota team that did a great job of capitalizing on the man advantage.
Much like it had been all year when these teams played, the first period was a stalemate. The only penalty of the frame came when Minnesota forward Blake McLaughlin was called for hooking at 06:46. On the ensuing power-play, the Irish had a few scoring chances, including a shot from Nick Leivermann that went off the post, and the game remained scoreless.
Alex Steeves began the scoring on Sunday night with a wrister that found its way past Minnesota goaltender Jack LaFontaine to give the Irish the 1-0 lead. However, the momentum would shift dramatically when midway through the period, Minnesota forward Ben Meyers tied the game up on the power-play. Just 48 seconds later, Sampo Ranta scored on an odd man rush to put Minnesota ahead 2-1.
Controversy would ensure later in the period. At 14:10, Pierce Crawford was called for hooking, while a call on Cam Burke was also reviewed and called a game misconduct for head contact. This meant the Gophers had two minutes of 5 on 3 hockey, which they capitalized on when Meyers scored his second of the evening.
Midway through the third, a boarding penalty to Minnesota’s Jonny Sorenson lead to Cam Morrison scoring his second power-play goal of the series. The Gophers were called for a team penalty of too many men on the ice at 13:27, but the Irish were unable to tie it. The final opportunity came from a Cal Burke one-timer after goaltender Cale Morris was pulled, but the Gophers hung and will face the top-seeded Penn State Nittany Lions next week.
Notre Dame: Alex Steeves at 05:25 of the 2nd, assisted by Tory Dello
Minnesota: Ben Meyers on the PP at 10:18 of the 2nd, assisted by Blake McLaughlin and Robbie Stucker
Minnesota: Sampo Ranta at 11:06 of the 2nd, assisted by Scott Reedy and Brandon McManus
Minnesota: Ben Meyers on the PP at 16:03 of the 2nd, assisted by Sammy Walker and Scott Reedy
Notre Dame: Cam Morrison on the PP at 10:36 of the 3rd, assisted by Alex Steeves and Spencer Stastny
Minnesota: Blake McLaughlin, 2 for hooking at 06:46 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Colin Theisen, 2 for tripping at 09:55 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Pierce Crawford, 2 for hooking at 14:10 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Cam Burke, 5 for checking from behind at 14:10 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Cam Burke, game misconduct at 14:10 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Jesse Landsdell, 2 for slashing at 16:18 in the 2nd
Minnesota: Bryce Brodzinski, 2 for slashing at 16:18 in the 2nd
Minnesota: Jonny Sorenson, 2 for boarding at 09:37 in the 3rd
Minnesota: Team penalty, 2 for too many players on ice at 13:27 in the 3rd
Minnesota: Jack LaFontaine made 23 saves on 25 shots in the win
Notre Dame: Cale Morris made 18 saves on 21 shots in the final game of his historic Notre Dame career
• 2️⃣ Frozen Fours— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) March 9, 2020
• 3️⃣ NCAA Regional Finals
• 3️⃣ B1G Championships
The Class of 2020 has been special on-and-off the ice.
And thank you, #NDFamily, for the support all season long.
Love thee Notre Dame!