South Bend, IN – Some games, the bounces just don’t go your way.
Hockey games are often decided “on a bounce of the puck,” but not many adhere to that maxim as literally as Friday night’s top-10 matchup between #6 Minnesota and #4 Notre Dame.
The Gophers outshot Notre Dame 44-23 on the evening, but the only goal of the game was scored by the Irish’s Andrew Oglevie, whose second-period powerplay shot from the high slot deflected into the air off a Gopher defender, over a screened Eric Schierhorn and into the Minnesota net to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead.
The good break for the Irish was all that they’d need behind a stellar performance in net from Cale Morris, who stopped all 44 shots he faced from a firing-on-all-cylinders Gopher attack to lead Notre Dame (11-3-1 Overall, 5-0-0 B1G) to a 1-0 shutout victory.
Minnesota (9-5-1 Overall, 3-3-1 B1G) possessed the puck for long stretches at a time and put quality chances on net, but Morris was up to the task, staying calm in the crease and swallowing up everything the Gophers threw at him.
Although outshined by Morris, Minnesota goalie Eric Schierhorn turned in another solid performance between the pipes, stopping 22 of 23 Notre Dame shots. The Gophers as a team have now given up one goal or fewer in eight out of 15 games so far this year, with the team goals against tied for fifth nationally at 2.20 per game.
Even though the goals have been hard to come by recently, the Gopher offense seems to be clicking into high gear. Minnesota has tallied 94 shots in the last two games, which is a significant uptick from the team’s early-season shot totals. Hopefully that increased offensive output can result in goals and wins down the stretch for the ‘U’.
Saturday’s rematch tilt is at 6PM Central Time and will not be televised. However, fans can stream the game on their mobile devices on the NBC Sports Live Extra app, and can listed to Wally and Frank call the game on AM1130.