Feb. 10, 2014
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame senior right wing Bryan Rust (Novi, Mich.) literally snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat on Saturday, Feb. 8; as he scored twice in a 24-second span in the final 1:08 to give the Irish a 3-2 win over Maine.
The individual, late-game heroics has earned Rust the Hockey East’s Warrior Player of the Week honors for the week ending February 9. In the two games against Maine, Rust had two goals and one assist for three points, took five shots on goal, had two blocked shots and was +3 for the weekend.
In Friday’s 2-1 loss to Maine, Rust assisted on Notre Dame’s only goal that came at 18:37 of the third period when he and team captain Jeff Costello (Sr., Milwaukee, Wis.) were parked in front of the goal with a sixth attacker on the ice. Vince Hinostroza’s (Fr., Bartlett, Ill.) went off Rust’s shins and Costello was there to jam it past Black Bears’ goaltender Martin Ouellette to make it a 2-1 game.
It looked like Costello scored again with 26 seconds left to tie the game on the same type of play in front but after a lengthy review, the officials ruled that he had pushed the goaltender and the puck into the goal, costing the Irish a chance to even the score.
On Saturday night, Notre Dame again trailed 2-1 with a face off in the Maine zone with 1:18 left on the clock. With goaltender Steven Summerhays (Sr., Anchorage, Alaska) pulled for a sixth attacker, Rust and his teammates went to work. T.J. Tynan (Sr., Orland Park, Ill.) won the face off to Rust who moved it to defenseman Shayne Taker (Sr., Surrey, B.C.) before getting into shooting position in the slot.
Taker moved the puck to Tynan on the right boards and the senior center passed it back to Taker who had gotten himself free from a Maine defender. Taker redirected the pass to Rust in the slot. With Sam Herr (So., Hinsdale, Ill.) screening the goaltender, Rust buried a wrist shot over Ouellette’s glove hand and inside the right post to tie the game at 2-2 for his 10th marker of the season with 1:08 left in the contest.
With Summerhays back in the goal and a face off outside the Notre Dame zone, Rust would get his second goal just 24 seconds after his first of the night. The draw went deep in the Notre Dame zone to Stephen Johns (Sr., Wampum, Pa.) who moved it to Taker on the left side. Taker hit Rust with a pass as he crossed underneath a Maine forechecker at the Irish blue line. As the Black Bear defenders backed up towards their blue line, Rust picked up speed in the neutral zone.
He carried the puck over the blue line and down the slot before breaking to the right to get around defender Jake Rutt. At the bottom of the right circle, he fired a wrist shot that beat Ouellette over his glove and under the cross bar to give the Irish a 3-2 lead with 43.6 seconds left on the clock. The Irish would hold on for the 3-2 win.
The victory improved Notre Dame to 16-12-1 on the season and the Irish are now 5-9-1 in Hockey East, good for a tie for eighth place with the University of Massachusetts with five league games left to play.
On the season, Rust is fourth in scoring with 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points. He has three power-play goals, two short-handed tallies and two game winners while being +7 on the year.
Rust and his teammates return to action on Feb. 14-15 on the road at Providence College in a pair of key Hockey East games. Both games start at 7:00 p.m.