Notre Dame, IND. – Jack LaFontaine made 24 saves in his fourth shutout of the season and Sammy Walker and Sampo Ranta — the team's two leaders in goals — each scored once as the No. 5 Gophers defeated Notre Dame 3-0 on Friday in Big Ten hockey.
"We're obviously very pleased with our effort tonight and our commitment to how we were going to come in here and play tonight," Gophers coach Bob Motzko said. "Every guy … all three periods … there was never a letdown. Maybe one of our more complete games of the year, and it came at a great time."
The Gophers got swept 4-1, 8-1 at home by Wisconsin last weekend.
Walker scored at 11 minutes, 10 seconds of the opening period. His 11th goal of the season came on the first of Minnesota's two power plays. Walker also had an assist and now leads the team with 22 points. It stayed 1-0 until Ranta got his 13th goal this season at 15:35 of the third period.
The final goal for the Gophers (16-5, 12-5 Big Ten) was Blake McLaughlin's ninth, an empty-netter with one second left.
LaFontaine was the busiest in the third period with 10 stops.
"He's been the backbone of this team. ... We love playing in front of him," Ranta said. "You want to lay down [to block shots] in front of him. ... He deserves that."
Dylan St. Cyr had 30 saves for the Irish.
Notre Dame (10-10-1, 8-8-1) had swept the Gophers 3-2, 2-1 at 3M Arena at Mariucci on Jan. 15-16.
Since the start of the 2018-19 season, the two Big Ten rivals have played 15 times with 13 of those games ending in a tie, a one-goal deficit or two-goal margin with an empty-net goal.
This game closely followed that same script. Except the Gophers got a little revenge.