Nov. 28, 2003
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish extended their unbeaten streak to four games (2-0-2) behind a balanced offensive attack and strong goaltending from freshman David Brown to defeat the Northern Michigan Wildcats 5-1 at the Joyce Center on Friday night.
Rob Globke, Chris Trick (SHG), Cory McLean, Aaron Gill and Jason Paige each scored for the Irish and Brown, who had his bid for a fourth shutout snapped with 2:28 left in the game, made 19 saves in the win. Defenseman Nathan Oystrick scored Northern Michigan’s lone goal on a power play at 17:32 of the third period.
The win improved the Irish to 7-3-2 overall and 6-3-2 in the CCHA and moves the Irish into a tie for first with Ohio State in league play. The last time the Irish were in first place in the CCHA at this point of the season was on Nov. 24, 1998. The Irish were tied with Michigan with 15 points in the standings. Northern Michigan is now 5-6-0 on the year, 4-5-0 in league action.
Irish head coach Dave Poulin was pleased with his team’s balanced attack throughout the night.
“We really did a lot of the little things that we always stress well tonight. We got contributions from everyone. It was one of our better efforts of the season,” said Poulin.
The Irish scored the first five goals of the game. Rob Globke started the scoring with his eighth goal of the year at 10:35 of the opening period.
The play looked like it could prove costly to start as defenseman Noah Babin pinched in from the left point but the Wildcats moved it to center ice. Trick, the lone defender back, made a simple play at center ice that forced Northern Michigan into a turnover.
“They had two guys break out over the blue line,” explained Trick.
“I just moved over from the right side to the middle to make the ice smaller. I knew I had two forwards coming back hard. The pass hit the guy in the skates and went back toward their zone.”
From there Babin and Brad Wanchulak raced in on a two-on-one. Babin waited until the last second to flip the pass to Globke coming late and the senior deposited the puck behind Craig Kowalski.
“Noah (Babin) did all the work and I just went to the open ice,” said Globke.
“I just touched his pass into the net. It was good to get off to a fast start. Everyone played well all night long.”
Notre Dame would make it 2-0 with Trick scoring the first goal of his career – a short-handed game-winning goal at 11:34 of the second period.
With Northern Michigan on a five-on-three power play and controlling the play deep in the Notre Dame zone, a Wildcat centering pass went between the defense at the points just as Trick was coming out of the penalty box. The sophomore blueliner gathered the puck at the Northern blue line and raced in on Kowalski.
“I was standing in the box, hoping we would clear the puck. Cory McLean blocked five shots in a row and all of a sudden the puck is coming towards me as I came out of the penalty box. I could see all the way in he was giving me the stick side, but for some reason I went to the backhand and it worked for the best,” said Trick following the game.
McLean’s hard work paid off at 13:22 of the third as he got a shot of a face-off win by Aaron Gill. Kowalski made the stop, but the tenacious McLean drove to the net and lifted the rebound home for his fifth goal of the season and the Irish went into the second intermission with a 3-0 lead.
The lead would go to 4-0 at 6:26 of the third as Aaron Gill capitalized on some hard work behind the net from linemate Mike Walsh. Walsh fought off a check and slid the puck to Gill who was waiting on the doorstep. Gill tucked it under Kowalski for his fourth of the season. The goal was the final one given up by Kowalski as Tuomas Tarkki in goal replaced him at that point.
Oystrick closed the scoring on the night with his third goal of the year for Northern Michigan as his slapshot from the right point zipped between the post and a screened Brown in the Irish goal.
On the night, Notre Dame outshot Northern Michigan by a 34-20 margin. Kowalski made 25 saves in goal in 46:26 and Tarkki had four saves in the final 13:34 of the game.
The two teams will close out the series on Saturday night. Game time at the Joyce Center is 7:05 p.m.
** With the win, Irish goaltender David Brown extended his unbeaten streak to seven games (5-0-2). He has not lost since October 17 versus Bowling Green.
** The Irish have scored at least one power-play goal in six straight games this season. In those six games, the Irish are 7-for-26 with the man-advantage for a 26.9% success rate.
** Notre Dame’s 7-3-2 record is its best mark after 12 games since being 9-1-2 to start the 1998-99 season. The 6-3-2 mark in the CCHA is the best for the Irish since being 7-3-1 in 1998-99
Northern Michigan (5-6-0/4-5-0) 0 0 1 – 1
Notre Dame (7-3-2/6-3-2) 1 2 2 – 5
First Period: ND: Rob Globke 8 (Noah Babin, Brad Wanchulak), 10:35.
Penalties: NMU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Second Period: ND: Chris Trick 1 (unassisted), SHG, 11:34; ND: Cory McLean 5 (Mike Walsh, Aaron Gill), 13:22.
Penalties: NMU: 4 for 8 minutes; ND: 4 for 8 minutes.
Penalties: NMU: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Northern Michigan 4 – 9 – 7 – 20
Notre Dame 16 – 11 – 7 – 34
NMU – Craig Kowalski (46:26) 15 – 9 – 1 – 25
Tuomas Tarkki (13:34) x – x – 4 – 4
Notre Dame – David Brown (60:00) 4 – 9 – 6 – 19
Power Plays: NMU: 1 for 4; ND: 1 for 7