NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Nick Leivermann scored and Cale Morris made 24 saves, but Notre Dame dropped a 2-1 decision to Minnesota on Saturday night inside a sold-out Compton Family Ice Arena (5,804).
Jack LaFontaine finished with 24 saves to earn the victory in goal for the Gophers.
The Irish went 1-for-4 on the penalty kill and 0-for-2 on the man advantage. As a team, the Irish finished the weekend with a 7-for-8 effort in the penalty kill.
How It Happened
The score remained 0-0 after the first period of play, aided by 15 saves by Morris. Trevor Janicke, who was sent in on a breakaway from a Colin Theisen pass, and Cal Burke, who rang one off the inside of the post, had Notre Dame’s best chances of the opening 20 minutes.
Leivermann scored his second goal in as many nights to open the scoring at 8:01 of the second period. Theisen handed the puck off to a streaking Leivermann at the Irish defensive blue line and the sophomore defenseman did the rest, eventually beating LaFontaine low to the far post from the faceoff dot. It marked Leivermann’s sixth career goal, with five of those tallies coming against the Gophers.
The Irish opened the third period by killing off the remaining 1:39 of a Gopher power play. But then Minnesota took advantage of an Irish turnover at the blue line and Ben Meyers finished a drop pass from Brannon McManus in the slot to tie things back up, 1-1, at the 3:34 mark.
Minnesota took a 2-1 lead at 6:16 of the third when Blake McGlaughlin put a rebound in from just outside the crease following a net-front scramble while the Gophers were on the power play.
With 1:30 remaining in regulation, the Irish pulled Morris in favor of the extra attacker. Jake Pivonka, Spencer Stastney and Cam Morrison had chances down low in the closing moments but LaFontaine kept the Gophers in front and sealed the 2-1 win.
Notre Dame travels to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for a weekend series against Michigan (Feb. 21-22) at Yost Ice Arena.
Both games will be broadcast by Big Ten Network and game one will start at 6 p.m. ET, while game two is slated for 4 p.m. ET.
Nick Leivermann scored his second goal of the weekend and sixth career goal, with five of the six coming against the Gophers.
Notre Dame and Minnesota finished their regular-season series tied at 1-1-2.