Two weeks ago, the Gophers men's hockey team swept a two-game series from Notre Dame. After the successful weekend, coach Bob Motzko voiced his concerns about the team's play against the Irish.

"I was a little critical of some of our looseness," Motzko said. "But it's hard to get the message across when you win two games. [The team] said, 'Coach, what are you talking about?'"

Motzko saw the same issue in the Gophers' series opener at Wisconsin last weekend.

"There we were again," he said, "with a lead twice. It was the same thing that was kind of distracting. We were playing pretty good, we had 80 shot attempts. But our looseness ... our attention was not real strong on details and we lost in overtime. Then we had their attention."

Motzko said the Gophers heeded his message the next night in a 4-1 victory over the Badgers.

"I give our guys a lot of credit," Motzko said. "They responded the way they needed to. They played a smart game."

The Gophers, who led 3-2 after two periods in the series opener before falling 4-3, scored three first-period goals on Saturday.

After the Badgers scored a power-play goal in the first minute of the second period, the Gophers' Sammy Walker scored 16 seconds later to restore their three-goal lead.

"[During a season] you have to straighten out little things," Motzko said. "I would not say we're there yet, but we're headed in the right direction."

Gophers defenseman Mike Koster agreed.

"In the first few weeks," Koster said, "we were giving up too many goals. Last weekend, we started getting back to our game. We just have to keep it simple and stay committed to our game. We were too loose on Friday. We were very mature on Saturday."

This weekend, the No. 6 Gophers (6-4, 3-1 Big Ten) will play host to No. 18 Ohio State.

The Buckeyes, who were 7-19-1 overall and 6-16-0 in the Big Ten last season, are off to a 6-2 start this season — 3-1 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes swept Penn State — 5-2 and 4-1 — last weekend at home.

One reason for the Buckeyes turnaround is goalie Jakub Domes. Domes, a 6-4 freshman from the Czech Republic, is 6-1 in seven starts with a 1.06 goals-against average and .960 save percentage. He has allowed only seven goals.