The Notre Dame Fighting Irish finished their series against the Minnesota Gophers Saturday in South Bend. Despite some Irish rallies, the Gophers kept it cool and collected to get the shutout in the end. The 3-0, Minnesota win follows Friday’s game in which the two squads tied 2-2 and the Irish finished the night with the extra conference point in the shootout.
Despite some early extracurricular activities and a burst from the Irish on the power play,the Minnesota Golden Gophers took control from the first possession. Within minutes, Minnesota’s Ryan Chesley took a 5-minute major for contact to the head. Notre Dame’s Ryder Ralston and Grant Silianoff fired off shots, but the clock ran out on the Irish power play. Soon after, Notre Dame’s Hunter Strand hit Minnesota’s Luke Mittelstadt from behind leading to the game’s second five-minute major of the night as well as an on-ice tiff. The shorthanded Irish turned on the jets with shots from Landon Slaggert and Solag Bakich, but to no avail. With just about two minutes left in the first, Minnesota’s Ryan Johnson chalked up the first goal of the game. By the end of the first, the Gophers outshot the Irish 12-7.
The second time around, the Irish more than tripled the Gophers’ 6 shots with 19 of their own, but it wasn’t enough to trip up Minnesota. The Gophers kept their momentum going with an early goal from Logan Cooley and a shorthanded score from Matthew Knies.
The Irish went after it on offense, eventually outshooting the Gophers 12-6 in the third. With less than a minute to go in the third, Minnesota’s Connor Kurth received the third five-minute major of the night with a call for contact to the head. However, the power play was not enough to shift the direction of the game and the night ended with a 3-0, Minnesota win.
Minnesota: Ryan Johnson at 02:15 in the 1st with assists from Brody Lamb and Ryan Chesley
Minnesota: Logan Cooley at 18:47 in the 2nd with an assist from Jimmy Snuggerud
Minnesota: Matthew Knies at 15:56 in the 2nd, unassisted, shorthanded
Minnesota: Ryan Chesley for contact to the head at 17:33 in the 1st, 5-minute major
Notre Dame: Hunter Strand for hitting from behind 11:19 in the 1st, 5-minute major, game misconduct
Notre Dame: Drew Bavaro for cross-checking at 00:35 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Solag Bakich for roughing after whistle at 00:02 in the 1st
Minnesota: Bryce Brodzinski for slashing at 17:12 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Ben Brinkman for interference at 03:45 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Ben Bavaro for holding at 03:43 in the 3rd
Minnesota: Connor Kurth for contact to the head at 00:52 in the 3rd, 5-minute major, game misconduct
Notre Dame: TEAM for unsportsmanlike conduct at 00:52 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Ryan Bischel, 21 saves
Minnesota: Justen Close, 38 saves
The Irish will kick off their series against the Penn State Nittany Lions at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 20 in University Park. Stream the game with Big Ten Plus.
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