Associated Press , Published January 08 2013
Gophers defeat Notre Dame in battle of top two men's hockey teamsMINNEAPOLIS – Top-ranked Minnesota jumped out to an early lead and coasted to a 4-1 win over second-ranked Notre Dame in men’s hockey on Tuesday.
One night after Notre Dame’s top-ranked football team was beaten in the BCS championship game, its hockey team was clubbed by the Gophers, who ran their unbeaten streak to six games.
Sam Warning, Nate Condon and Zach Budish had a goal and an assist apiece for the Gophers (14-3-3), who were coming off an 8-1 thrashing of then-No. 1 Boston College.
The Gophers needed just 1 minute, 21 seconds to take the lead for good, scoring on Condon’s goal past a screened Steve Summerhays.
Getting the first goal was important. Both teams are unbeaten when scoring the game’s first goal.
“It was a good methodical win today, it was the type we needed,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. “We knew we had to come out strong in the first.”
Minnesota went up 2-0 on Warning’s goal six minutes later, and it stayed that way until Jeff Costello’s goal for Notre Dame (14-5-0) later in the period.
“They hadn’t played in a while, and it takes some time in first period to get their rhythm back in the game,” Lucia said.
Notre Dame was playing its first game in 24 days. The Fighting Irish had their six-game winning streak snapped.
Both teams had chances but came up empty on the power play. Minnesota was 0-for-6 and Notre Dame 0-for-4. Minnesota has killed 38 of 41 power plays in the last 10 games.
Christian Isackson scored an insurance goal early in the second, and Budish tossed in an empty-netter in the closing seconds.
“Some guys are starting to chip in more often, and that’s what we need,” Lucia said.
Jeff Costello scored for the Irish.