College hockey: No. 4 Notre Dame sweeps Minnesota for ninth
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The fourth-ranked University of Notre Dame hockey team erupted for five goals Saturday night en route to its ninth straight win as the Fighting Irish (12-3-1, 6-0-0-0 B1G) downed conference foe and No. 6-rated Minnesota (9-6-1, 3-4-1-1 B1G) 5-2 at the Compton Family Ice Arena (4,383).
Cal Burke tallied a pair of goals while Tory Dello, Jake Evans and Mike O'Leary also scored in Notre Dame's fourth five-goal performance of the season. Cam Morrison (3), Evans (2), Jordan Gross, Jack Jenkins, Colin Theisen, Dennis Gilbert and Bo Brauer all registered assists on the night.
The Gophers outshot the Irish 42-35 on the night, but the Irish owned a 19-5 advantage in the third period when they added two goals to build a comfortable cushion.
Goaltender Cale Morris made 40 of 42 saves for his second straight 40-plus save performance. Minnesota netminder Eric Schierhorn made 30 saves on 35 attempts.
NOTRE DAME SCORING
1-0: The Irish pushed the tempo early, getting on the board at the 1:36 mark of the first period on Cal Burke's sixth goal of the season. Set up just outside the crease, Burke slotted his shot past Eric Schierhorn's left pad off a nifty behind-the-back feed from Jake Evans. Cam Morrison also assisted on the play.
2-1: Notre Dame regained the lead just 2:45 into the second period when Tory Dello capitalized in front of an open net after an errant puck ricocheted off the back boards and found his waiting stick. Jordan Gross and Jack Jenkins earned assists on the goal.
3-1: Jake Evans poked in a rebound off Colin Theisen's initial shot from the right of the crease to extend the Irish lead. Cam Morrison was also credited with an assist.
4-2: The Irish padded their lead at the 9:56 mark of the third period when Gross slipped a pass from behind the net to Burke in the slot for his second goal of the night. Morrison earned the secondary assist.
5-2: Mike O'Leary scored his first goal of the season at the 15:01 mark of the third period, flipping in a back-handed shot from between the circles off a feed from Dennis Gilbert. Bo Brauer also assisted on the goal.
5-2 ND | 2 mins left in this one ...— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) November 26, 2017
Here's a look at O'Leary's 1st of the year! pic.twitter.com/gzdaQslA0b
COACH JACKSON'S THOUGHTS
On Saturday's game ...
"I thought we were much better tonight than last (night), although we took some bad penalties. I thought we put ourselves in a bad position sometimes with some of the penalties that we took, but other than that, five-on-five, I was very pleased."
On messaging and responding to penalties ...
"That's the tough thing about college hockey when you're playing a team back-to-back, two nights in a row. The first night some things brew and the second night they come out. They (Minnesota) took some unnecessary penalties, too, probably. I just think we have to have better discipline with several of those penalties. You can't take penalties 200 feet away from your net, and our first penalties were all in the offensive zone. We've got to clean that up."
On the first line of Cam Morrison, Jake Evans and Cal Burke...
"I made the switch moving Andrew (Oglevie) back to center and I've been wanting to put Cal Burke up with Jake. Cal's ... an energy guy and Jake is a cerebral guy and I thought it gave him some speed and some tenacity on his line. I thought Cam Morrison had a really good night tonight and was part of the reason that line was really good, and Jake just makes plays."
The Irish went 0-for-4 on the power play, while Minnesota was 2-for-7 on the night. The Gophers' two power-play goals were the first Notre Dame had surrendered in 23 opportunities after killing Minnesota's first power play of the night. The Irish mitigated the damage in the first period, however, when they killed off a full two minutes of a Golden Gopher 5-on-3 power play.
- Notre Dame won its ninth game in a row and is in the midst of its longest winning streak since winning 10 games in a row on Feb. 13-March 21, 2009.
- Jordan Gross skated in the 135th consecutive game of his Irish career (dating back to the first game of his freshman season).
- Cal Burke recorded his first career multi-goal performance with his pair of goals.
- Sophomore defenseman Tory Dello scored his first goal of the season and the second of his career (first since Oct. 27, 2016 vs. UConn).
- With his assist on Tory Dello's second-period goal, Jordan Gross earned a point for the second straight night (0-2-2).
- Cam Morrison's three assists were a career high, besting his last two-assist performance last season against Arizona State (Oct. 7, 2016).
- After killing 23 straight opponent power-play opportunities -- including Minnesota's first power play on Saturday -- the Irish gave up their first power-play goal in five games on Mike Szmatula's first-period score at 15:13.
- With a goal and an assist, Jake Evans posted his eighth multi-point game of the season and 29th of his career.
- The Irish are 11-1-1 on the season when scoring first.
- Cale Morris saw his personal shutout streak end at 140:42.
The Fighting Irish will go on the road next weekend, visiting Michigan State for a two-game series Friday (Dec. 1) and Saturday (Dec. 2) at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Michigan. Both games are slated for 7:05 p.m. ET puck drops.