Freshmen Lead the Way for Minnesota
CHN Staff Report
Minnesota got all five goals from freshmen, including a late one from Jake Bischoff after Notre Dame had rallied to tie, to defeat the Irish, 5-4, and split the weekend series against two of the nation's highest-ranked teams.
Bischoff’s shot from the left circle through a screen beat Irish netminder Steven Summerhays at 8:57 of the third period.
“It was a game of runs and a little bit of a roller coaster tonight,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said. “I thought our guys came out and played extremely hard.”
Minnesota overcame two goals from Lucia's son, Mario, who plays for Notre Dame.
“Those goals were gifts but I will take them," Mario Lucia said. "I was just in the right spot at the right time. Scoring goals gives you confidence. I’ve been playing hard, but the points haven’t been coming but they finally came tonight.”
Two of Minnesota's goals were from Hudson Fasching, who has points in every game this season, and is 5-6—11.
“We had a better net focus tonight for sure,” Fasching said. “Last night was not our best effort. We had a lot better effort tonight and a lot better result too, obviously.”
Taylor Cammarata added a goal and two assists.
The loss snaps and 11-game home winning streak for the Irish that started last Jan. 26 and drops Notre Dame to 7-3-0 on the season. For Minnesota, the win improves its record to 6-1-1.
“I expected them to be better tonight," Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said of Minnesota. "I don’t think we were as good as (Friday) night and obviously that combination is not a good one. I thought we worked hard all night. We had some key guys who maybe didn’t have as good a night as they should have. That was the biggest issue. Tonight, their top line was like ours was (Friday) night. They scored a couple of key goals. I give our guys credit, they bounced back twice.”
Notre Dame has split the last three weekends after a hot start, though against a fairly tough schedule, it's not much to be alarmed about.
“We didn’t play our A game tonight and we still had a chance to win,” said Jackson. "That says a lot about our team. At least we know that when we have everyone going, we can compete with the best teams in the country. We need to get back on a winning roll here.”
Denver goalie Sam Brittain made 39 saves to lead his team to a 2-1 win over rival Colorado College and five of the six available NCHC points for the weekend.
Freshman Will Butcher and junior Zac Larraza scored in the third period to give Denver the win. Butcher broke up a scoreless game to give the Pioneers the 1-0 advantage just 1:29 into the third period on a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that beat Colorado College goalie Josh Thorimbert high and to his stick side.
The Tigers answered with two solid scoring chances but came away empty each time as Denver’s Josiah Didier disrupted a CC breakaway attempt just 40 seconds after Butcher’s tally and Colorado College’s Alex Roos clanked a shot off the left post with 15:42 remaining in regulation.
Larraza gave the Pioneers a two-goal cushion with 12:56 left in regulation when he followed a rebound after his own wrist shot and cleaned it up on his own by flipping the puck over Thorimbert’s glove side shoulder for his first of the season.
Roos scored a power-play goal with 3:09 remaining in regulation to help the Tigers avoid the shutout.
“Our effort was phenomenal,” Denver coach Jim Montgomery said. “Our penalty kill was awesome. Butcher gets us that great goal off the power-play faceoff. But what can you say? We won the game because of ‘Great’ Brittain tonight. He was unbelievable. He was a one-man wrecking crew all weekend long.”
* * *
In another low-scoring affair against two teams shaping up among the nation's best, this time Ryan Faragher got the upper hand on Ryan McKay, leading St. Cloud State to a 2-1 win over Miami and a split of the weekend NCHC series.
Friday, McKay had the shutout. This time, Faragher stopped 29 shots for the win, and David Morley scored his first goal, midway through the third period, for what proved to be the game winner.
* * *
Minnesota State and Bowling Green battled through three scoreless periods before senior forward Johnny McInnis scored in overtime to give the host Mavericks to a 1-0 win in a WCHA game in Mankato.