Notre Dame topples top-ranked Gophers 3-2

Notre Dame topples top-ranked Gophers 3-2

Created: January 15, 2021 10:02 PM

The Fighting Irish twice erased one-goal deficits and then Graham Slaggert scored the only goal of the third period to lift Notre Dame to a 3-2 win at top-ranked Minnesota on Friday night at 3M Arena at Mariucci. 

It was the first time the Irish defeated a top ranked team since knocking off Boston College, 2-1 in overtime, on March 1, 2014.

Graham Slaggert’s game winner was his career-best third point of the night, having also assisted on goals by Landon Slaggert and Alex Steeves. Landon Slaggert finished with two points as he assisted on Graham’s game winner. 

Jackson Lacombe scored at 16:50 of the first period when his wrist shot from the top of the near circle beat Bischel high to put Minnesota on top, 1-0. 

The Irish answered to tie it at 1-1 with 32 seconds remaining in the first period. Following a Gopher icing, Graham Slaggert won an offensive zone faceoff by sliding the puck to his right wing, where Alex Steeves slammed home his sixth goal of the season.

The Gophers scored off a faceoff win of their own at 1:48 of the second period to take a 2-1 lead on Sampo Ranta’s ninth goal of the season.

After killing off a Minnesota power play, the Irish went to work on their first power-play chance of the night, with Landon Slaggert capitalizing from in close as he finished off a feed from Graham Slaggert at 6:23. Nick Leivermann got the chance started as he moved in from the point and found Graham Slaggert cutting in down the near boards to earn the second assist. It marked Landon’s third goal in the last three games since returning from the World Junior Championship. 

Leivermann had a nice rush near the end of the period but his shot rang off the post with 1:21 left in the middle frame and the teams headed to the locker room tied at 2-2.

Notre Dame took the lead with 4:43 to play when Landon Slaggert forced a turnover on the forecheck behind the Gopher net and put the puck in front of goal for Graham Slaggert, who buried it past LaFontaine for his third point of the night.

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