"It is always big when you win on the road, especially against a great team like Minnesota," Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said after his Irish beat the Gophers 4-3 on Saturday at Mariucci Arena. "But you have to take it in stride because next week we play Western Michigan home and home.
"And those games will be just as big and bigger by league standards. This time of the year, you just have to take [the win]. Be proud of it, enjoy it for 24 hours and then get back on the horse."
The Irish are 8-3-3 in the CCHA with zero shootout wins for 27 points (three points for a win, one point for a tie and one point for a shootout win). Western Michigan also has 27 points, which means the two are tied for second place in that conference behind Ohio State (34 points).
The Broncos are 7-4-3 with three shootout wins.
On Saturday at Mariucci Arena, Gophers coach Don Lucia said the Irish controlled the pace most of the game.
"The only way you dictate the pace is if you do a good job with the puck and you stay out of the penalty box," Jackson said. "And faceoffs -- [the Gophers] had an advantage on faceoffs after the first period. We need to be a little bit stronger in that area as the game progressed."
The Irish committed seven penalties, the Gophers five. Notre Dame was two-for-three on the power play with a short-handed goal, the Gophers two for five.
On faceoffs, the GOphers won 38, lost 25. Nick Bjugstad won 17 of 22.
The Irish led 4-1 until the Gophers scored two quick goals in the last three minutes."They showed what kind of skill they have," Jackson said. "They made some nice plays in and around the net. There were some unfortunate penalties. I am not sure they were great calls but you live with it on the road,"
*Jackson said sophomore winger Anders Lee of Edina played well for the Irish. "I can always count on him doing things the right way," Jackson said. "Most nights he gets a goal or two. But when he doesn't, he still plays the game."
Lee had six shots on goal as did teammate Riley Sheehan who scored twice. Nick Bjugsatd had seven shots for the Gophers and one goal.
* Irish goalie Steve Summerhays made a career-high 31 saves against the Gophers.
* The last Irish victory over the Gophers was 6-5 on Nov. 8, 1980 in the old Mariucci Arena.
* I Went 9-3 on my WCHA picks last weekend. Missed on Gophers, which looked to be a toss-up game with Notre Dame, and didn't see Alabama Huntsville beating Denver. Misses on two ties, added up to third loss.
* Lucia now 3-1 vs. Notre Dame as a Gophers coach. ... Sophomore defenseman Chris Student played his first game Saturday since March 6, 2010. He is a transfer from Northestern.
* More than $7,500 for the Jack Jablonski Fund was raised Saturday night at Mariucci.