The Gophers experienced their first feeling of defeat on Friday night at Notre Dame. The 4-1 loss unveiled several holes in the Gophers’ power-play defense and offense, leaving plenty of room to improve on Saturday.

Expect to see more changes in special teams as coach Don Lucia attempts to fix the problem. With so many freshmen still learning to skate with their new teammates, time is likely the only thing that will fix the issues.

A clean, low-penalty game, much like Friday’s first period, would be most beneficial to the Gophers. They struggled to match up with Notre Dame’s size in penalty situations, but held the advantage 5-on-5 in the first period.

If the Gophers can win Saturday night and split the road series, they should be able to hold onto their No. 1 ranking. No. 2 Michigan is idle this weekend and currently sits at 6-1-1.

The final two unbeaten teams lost on Friday night. First the Gophers, then St. Cloud State fell to No. 7-ranked Miami (Ohio), 2-0.

• Unfortunately, I did not make the trip to Notre Dame this weekend. Local reporter Steve Lowe will cover the game for us. Follow him on Twitter for updates. I’ll do pre-game blogs with lines prior to each game.

Tonight’s 6:05 p.m. game will not be broadcast on TV, but live-streamed online by NBC Sports Network and Notre Dame. It can be heard on 1500-AM.

No. 1 Gophers and No. 4 Notre Dame full series preview.  

Feature on the father-son relationship of Gophers coach Don Lucia and his son, Mario, a Notre Dame hockey standout.

Friday’s game story from Steve Lowe in South Bend.

Gophers lines

Forwards (left wing, center, right wing)
Sam Warning, Kyle Rau, Hudson Fasching
Nate Condon, Justin Kloos, Taylor Cammarata
Gabe Guertler, Travis Boyd, Connor Reilly
Tom Serratore, A.J. Michaelson, Seth Ambroz

Defensemen (left, right)
Brady Skjei, Justin Holl
Mike Reilly, Jake Parenteau
Jake Bischoff, Ben Marshall

Adam Wilcox
Michael Shibrowski

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