Saturday roundup: Sweep completed as Notre Dame defeats No. 1 Minnesota, 2-1; No. 3 BC survives, 2-1, against Merrimack; WMU sweeps No. 4 St. Cloud State

A cutout of coach Gordon Bombay seems to approve as Notre Dame took it to No. 1 Minnesota for the second straight night, sweeping the Gophers in a road series, winning Saturday, 2-1. The Fighting Irish are now 3-1-0 since the start of 2021 (Photo: Jim Rosvold)

What was frustrating for top-rated Minnesota was satisfying for Notre Dame as the Fighting Irish completed a weekend sweep on the road of the nation’s team, 2-1.

The Irish never trailed, scoring 1:54 into the first on Solag Bakich’s tally. Max Ellis’ power play tally at 10:37 of the second expanded the lead.

Dylan St. Cyr (25 saves) was strong in net, though lost his shutout bid with 2:24 remaining when Jaxon Nelson closed the gap to a goal.

Saturday was Notre Dame’s eighth game against a nationally-ranked opponent, with the win improving its record to 6-2-0 in those contests. The Irish is also 4-0-0 on the road, all of those games against top-five teams.


No. 3 Boston College 2, Merrimack 1

Spencer Knight finished with 34 saves, including a close-in stop on Logan Drevitch with 15 seconds remaining as third-ranked Boston College held off a plucky Merrimack team, 2-1. The two clubs will rematch on Sunday in North Andover, Mass.

It didn’t take long for the Eagles to strike as Eamon Powell spotted the Eagles a 1-0 lead at 1:30 of the first. Danny Wright doubled the BC lead at 8:10 of the second.

But Zach Vinneli’s power play goal for Merrimack with 17:15 left set up a wild finish, with the Warriors plastering Knight with 18 shots in the final frame.

Boston College improves to 7-2-0 on the season and have won two in a row.

Western Michigan 3, No. 4 St. Cloud State 1

Western Michigan picked the right weekend to play its best hockey, jumping out early and holding on for a 3-1 victory and a weekend sweep of fourth-ranked St. Cloud State.

Combined with Friday’s 6-2 win, Western Michigan, which began the weekend last in the NCHC standings, has moved to fifth place in the NCHC standings.

Cole Gallant’s goal at 1:26 of the first gave the Broncos an early lead. Ethan Frank extended that lead at 5:20 of the second before Nolan Walker pulled the Huskies within a goal before the end of the frame.

Frank’s goal into the empty net salted away the victory and the two-game sweep for Western Michigan. The Broncos are now unbeaten (3-0-1) in their last four games.