Notre Dame Sweeps Gophers
South Bend, IN (gophersports.com) – Mike Szmatula scored twice on the Big Ten’s hottest goaltender but it wasn’t enough as the No. 6 Gopher Hockey program fell 5-2 to Cale Morris and No. 4 Notre Dame on Saturday night at Compton Family Ice Arena.
Szmatula recorded his first multi-goal game with the Gophers and doubled his season scoring total while Tyler Nanne added two assists for his first career multi-point game. Szmatula’s two-goal showing gives the senior 99 career points (42 goals, 57 assists) as the forward will become the 83rd member of Minnesota’s 100-Point Club with his next tally.
Minnesota (9-6-1 overall, 3-4-1-1 Big Ten) peppered Morris with 42 shots on the night as Minnesota has notched 40 or more shots on goal in each of the last three games – the three highest shot totals of the season for the Maroon & Gold.
Notre Dame (12-3-1, 6-0-0-0) jumped out to an early lead when Cal Burke scoring at 1:36 only for Szmatula to find the equalizer at 15:13 of the first period with a power-play goal off a feed from Tommy Novak and Nanne.
The Irish added two more in the second period from Tory Dello and Jake Evans before Szmatula’s second power-play tally of the night at 14:44. Casey Mittelstadt and Nanne set up Minnesota’s second and final goal of the night.
Notre Dame owned the scoresheet in the third period, however, as Burke added his second of the night at 9:56 and Mike O’Leary picked up an insurance marker at 15:01.
Eric Schierhorn made his 91st-consecutive start in goal for the Gophers as the junior tied Notre Dame alum Cal Petersen for fifth all-time in NCAA history for consecutive starts by a goalie. Schierhorn made 30 saves on the night.
Minnesota’s power play went 2-for-6 on the night while the penalty kill was 4-for-4. The Gophers outshot Notre Dame 42-35 on the night.
The Gophers return to 3M Arena at Mariucci next weekend when they welcome Border Battle rival Wisconsin for a pair of Big Ten games.
Single-game tickets, season tickets and flexible Pick-Your-Packs are currently available at GopherSports.com, by calling 1-800-U-Gopher or by stopping by the ticket office at 3M Arena at Mariucci.