Minnesota splits series with Irish

The Gophers lost 4-1 on Friday but bounced back with a 5-4 win Saturday.

Minnesota forward Hudson Fasching shoots the puck against Lethbridge on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, at Mariucci Arena.

Bridget Bennett

Minnesota forward Hudson Fasching shoots the puck against Lethbridge on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, at Mariucci Arena.

Megan Ryan

The Gophers split a series with Notre Dame over the weekend, in part due to strong play from the freshman class.

Minnesota had six goals in the series, and freshmen accounted for five of them.

The Gophers lost 4-1 Friday night but followed up with a 5-4 win Saturday on the road against the No. 4 team in the nation.

“[It was a] hostile environment — older team, very strong team,” freshman forward Hudson Fasching said Saturday. “We learned a lot from this game.”

Fasching assisted on the Gophers’ lone goal Friday from junior defenseman Ben Marshall. He added two goals of his own Saturday.

Fellow freshman forward Taylor Cammarata also had a big night Saturday. He managed Minnesota’s first goal of the night and added two assists.

Forward Justin Kloos and defenseman Jake Bischoff rounded out the five goals by freshmen.

“Bottom line is, we had a lot of young guys who came in and responded in a real positive manner with their performance tonight,” head coach Don Lucia said Saturday.

Fasching said the difference between Friday’s three-goal loss and Saturday’s tight win came down to better net focus and a stronger effort from all four lines.

“That was not our best performance last night,” Fasching said Saturday. “I think we wore them down a little bit [tonight].”

Freshman forward Gabe Guertler made his collegiate debut Friday. Guertler had been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules before the start of the
season.

With their first loss of the season, the No. 1 Gophers now sport a 6-1-1 overall record.

Minnesota will take on Minnesota State-Mankato next weekend at Mariucci Arena.