Entering Tuesday night;s game against Notre Dame coming off of an 8-1 victory over Boston College, the University of Minnesota will have to maintain that momentum if they want to beat the second-ranked Fighting Irish. The Golden Gophers, however, will be without their leading scorer.
Erik Haula (Minnesota Wild) injured his finger in the victory over the Eagles and will not dress tonight. Instead, Nate Condon (Colorado Avalanche) will take his second line role between Sam Warning and Zach Budish (Nashville Predators) while Christian Isackson (Buffalo Sabres) gets another shot on the top line.
It isn't all bad for the Gophers as they get back freshman defenseman Mike Reilly (Columbus Blue Jackets). Reilly, along with Notre Dame freshman forward Mario Lucia (Wild) and Minnesota assistant coach Grant Potulny, were all a part of the gold-medal winning Team USA World Junior Championships team. They will all be honored during tonight's game.
Mario, whose father is U of M head coach Don Lucia, will also be the second son to face his father at Mariucci in two weeks. This follows Gopher junior Tom Serratore being on the opposing bench as his father, Air Force head coach Frank Serratore. He joins fellow Minnesotan Anders Lee (New York Islanders) in making their return home.
Adam Wilcox (Tampa Bay Lightning) is expected to get the start in net for Minnesota while Steven Summerhays should do the same for the Fighting Irish.
University of Minnesota Golden Gophers
Kyle Rau (#7) - Nick Bjugstad (#27) - Christian Isackson (#26)
Sam Warning (#11) - Nate Condon (#16) - Zach Budish (#24)
Tom Serratore (#14) - Travis Boyd (#22) - Seth Ambroz (#17)
A.J. Michaelson - Justin Holl(#12)
Seth Helgeson (#4) - Mark Alt (#20)
Jake Parenteau (#6) - Ben Marshall (#10)
Brady Skjei (#2) - Nate Schmidt (#29)
Adam Wilcox (#32)
Michael Shibrowski (#1)
Ryan Coyne (#31)
University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Jeff Costello (#11) - Anders Lee (#9) - Bryan Rust (#21)
Mario Lucia (#22) -T.J. Tynan (#18) - Mike Voran (#16)
Nick Larson (#17) - David Gerths (#10) - Austin Wuthrich (#27)
Thomas DiPauli (#14) - Steven Fogarty (#26) -
Shayne Taker (#3) - Stephen Johns (#28)
Kevin Lind (#25) - Robbie Russo (#5)
Eric Johnson (#23) - Sam Calabrese (#8)
Steven Summerhays (#1)
Mike Johnson (#32)
Minnesota and Notre Dame square off in a battle of the top two teams in the country at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports North Plus (find your FSN+ channel here) and NESN. Before the game starts, check out Chris Dilks' preview here.
Follow Nate on Twitter @gopherstate.