Minnesota jumps back into Big Ten conference play this weekend when the Gophers head to play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for a pair of games in South Bend, Indiana. It will be the first time the two foes have paired off as conference foes. The Gophers have a 27-16-3 all time record between the two teams, but the Irish have had the most recent success including ending the Gophers season a year ago in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Gophers are coming off of a series sweep of Harvard. Minnesota won 4-2 on Friday night before coming back and winning 2-1 in overtime on Saturday. Tyler Sheehy picked up the OT winner on Saturday for the Gophers after Minnesota recorded a season high 50 shots on goal. Rem Pitlick has a goal in Friday night’s game and leads the Gophers with 17 points and seven goals on the season.
Notre Dame comes in ranked #4 in the nation. They swept RPI on the road last weekend and are a perfect 4-0 in their inaugural Big Ten campaign with sweeps at Ohio State and at home against Penn State. The Irish come into the weekend on a seven game winning streak. Notre Dame goalie Cale Morris has led the way as he was named the Big Ten First Star of the Week the last two weeks. He has allowed just one goal in his last three games and is 4th in the nation with a .945 save percentage. On offense, Jake Evans leads the team with 22 points on the season and is one of 4 different Notre Dame players who have scored five goals on the season.
This will not be an easy weekend for Minnesota, but a split would go a long way in helping keep the Gophers in the Big Ten race early. A Notre Dame sweep and Minnesota will have a lot of ground to catch up in the second half of the season. The Gophers will need a good weekend from Eric Schierhorn and scoring from several players to get it done. It’s definitely possible ad this weekend should go a long way to showing if Minnesota is one of the five best teams in the nation, or a tier behind.
HOW TO WATCH:
#6 Minnesota Golden Gophers @ #4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Where: Compton Family Ice Center, South Bend Indiana
When: 6:30 Friday; 6:00 Saturday
TV: NBC Sports Network Friday; None Saturday
Stream: NBCSports.com FREE BOTH NIGHTS
Radio: 1130 AM/103.5 FM Friday; 102.5 FM (full game) (1130 AM/103.5 FM After Gopher BB Game) Saturday