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Notre Dame has faded recently

Gophers at a glance: The Gophers (13-11-4, 8-6-4-3 Big Ten), who are 8-2 since Dec. 28, are coming off a split with Michigan State at home last weekend. The Gophers’ 4-2 loss on Saturday ended their season-high five-game winning streak. The Gophers and Irish met in Minneapolis on Nov. 1-2. They played to a 2-2 tie the first game (the Gophers earned the bonus point) and the Irish won 5-3 the next night. Sammy Walker, Brannon McManus and Ben Meyers each have 21 points to lead the Gophers in scoring. Scott Reedy leads the team with 13 goals.

Irish at a glance: The Irish, who started the season 7-0-1, have won in regulation just twice in the past eight games. The Irish are coming off a 3-3 tie (the Irish earned the bonus point) and a 4-2 victory last weekend at No. 8 Penn State. Sophomore F Alex Steeves leads the Irish with 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists). Steeves is one of four players from Eden Prairie and one of seven Minnesotans on the Irish roster, F Cam Morrison has 21 points (7 goals, 14 assists).

Numbers: With three weekends left in regular season, only two points separate the top four teams in Big Ten. The Gophers are in a three-way tie for second.

JOEL RIPPEL