No. 2 Notre Dame at No. 1 Minnesota
Joe: Coming off a 24-day break should mean some rust for the CCHA-leading Irish who cannot afford a slow start. The Irish are 12-0-0 when they get the first goal and 2-4-0 when the opposition scores first. It seems likely Minnesota will come out strong at home and take an early lead. Gophers win.
Tyler: On paper, it looks like this clash of the titans will be an all-out defensive battle with the Irish defense ranked second (1.61 allowed goals per game) and the Gophers fourth (1.84 GAA). These two teams have a lot of talent and the Notre Dame offense will get a huge lift with Mario Lucia returning from World Juniors. He’ll be the only Irish player fresh from competition since the team hasn’t played since Dec. 15 and the Gophers will be ready. Minnesota win