The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey has started Big Ten conference play strong, winning 3 of their first 4 games. Their only loss (and one of their wins) coming in a shootout on the road. When they traveled to Minnesota this weekend to play the Gophers the goal was to continue the strong start with at least one road win. They did just that on Friday night with the offense powering the Irish to a 4-2 victory on the road.
Game Summary: Notre Dame 4 - Minnesota 2
The first 20 minutes were very evenly matched, with each team scoring once and the shots in favor of the Gophers 9-7. Minnesota opened the scoring halfway through the period for the first lead of the night, but it did not last long with Notre Dame tying things up just 2 minutes later.
Grant Silianoff took control of the puck in the Irish defensive zone. He carried to center ice where he chipped a pass off the boards and into the offensive zone where Brennan Ali was waiting for it. Silianoff trailed Ali into the offensive zone and made himself open for a cross ice pass and simple tap in to tie the game.
In the second period it took Notre Dame less than a minute to take the lead. Justin Janicke put pressure on the puck carrier behind the Gophers net, forcing a turnover. Patrick Moynihan jumped on the loose puck and stuffed in a wraparound goal for the Irish lead.
After Notre Dame took the lead the ice tilted heavily in Minnesota’s favor. The Gophers dominated the shot share 17-2 and eventually were able to find the tying goal with under 2 minutes left in the period. They went into the break tied at 2.
The third period tilted back in Notre Dame’s favor, and with the offensive edge and strong goaltending they were able to find the winning goal plus one more. The winning goal started with another strong defensive play, this time in their own zone. Moynihan poked the puck away from a Gopher where Landon Slaggert found it. Slaggert quickly gave it back to Moynihan who carried it into the offensive zone and stopped at the point. He passed it to Drew Bavaro who was crashing the slot, Bavaro used his skate to control the puck before finding an open spot for the Irish goal.
Notre Dame added an empty net goal from Landon Slaggert to seal the game and the Irish took a win on the road from a conference opponent.
MINN: Rhett Pitlick (2) at 10:10 in the 1st assisted by Bryce Brodzinski and Jaxon Nelson
ND: Grant Silianoff (2) at 12:08 in the 1st assisted by Brennan Ali
ND: Patrick Moynihan (3) at 0:47 in the 2nd assisted by Justin Janicke
MINN: Jimmy Snuggerud (8) on the PP at 18:39 in the 2nd assisted by Bryce Brodzinski and Rhett Pitlick
ND: Drew Bavaro (4) at 3:30 in the 3rd assisted by Patrick Moynihan and Landon Slaggert
ND: Landon Slaggert (9) on the empty net at 19:34 in the red assisted by Ryan Siedem and Danny Nelson
ND: Grant Silianoff 2 for high-sticking at 2:27 in the 1st
ND: Landon Slaggert 2 for tripping at 2:48 in the 1st
ND: Danny Nelson 2 for cross-checking at 8:19 in the 2nd
MINN: Rhett Pitlick 2 for tripping at 12:40 in the 2nd
ND: Cole Knuble 2 for faceoff violation at 17:53 in the 2nd
ND: Ryan Bischel saved 32 of 34 shots against for the win
MINN: Justen Close made 19 saves on 22 shots in the loss
Notre Dame and Minnesota close out their series Saturday night with the Irish looking for their second straight conference sweep.