Gophers Fall to Notre Dame in NCAA First Round


MANCHESTER, N.H. ( – The Gopher Hockey program came up on the short end of a back-and-forth battle on Saturday night, falling by a 3-2 margin to Notre Dame at SNHU Arena. The loss eliminates Minnesota from the NCAA tournament.


Connor Reilly and Vinni Lettieri scored for the Gophers while Eric Schierhorn made 26 saves in goal for the Maroon & Gold.


The Gophers (23-12-3) opened the day with a two-goal lead starting when Reilly stuffed home his first goal in more than a year to put the Maroon & Gold up by a goal in the first period. The redshirt senior found the back of the net at 2:07 of the opening stanza with an assist from Brent Gates Jr. The goal snapped a 38-game goal drought for Reilly dating to Feb. 13, 2015.


Lettieri added his 19th goal of the year 30 seconds into the second period during a Minnesota power play. The senior put home the goal off a feed from Taylor Cammarata and Leon Bristedt. Minnesota finished the night 1-for-5 on the power play.


The Irish (22-11-5) bounced back though with a pair of quick goals later in the second. Andrew Oglevie scored at 14:39 followed by Anders Bjork’s goal at 15:33. The deciding goal came on a Notre Dame power play in the third period as Bjork scored his second goal of the night at 8:42.


Despite the unfortunate end to the campaign, the 2016-17 season was a success for the Maroon & Gold. Minnesota earned its 37th NCAA tournament bid to set a new NCAA record while the program also set a new NCAA record with its sixth-straight regular-season conference championship.