February 13, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Sophomore defenseman Jim Dube snapped in a 5-on-3, power-play shot midway through the second period and sophomore goaltender Vince Owen finished the night with 38 saves as visiting Ferris State emerged with a crucial 1-0 victory over No. 6-ranked Notre Dame in Central College Hockey Association action Saturday at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse.
The win helped Ferris State (13-10-5, 12-8-4 CCHA) maintain fifth place in the conference standings while moving within a point of Notre Dame (16-9-4, 13-8-3) in the battle for the fourth and final home-ice spot in the CCHA first-round playoff series. The Bulldogs also captured the season series with the Irish (2 games to 1) and will claim the higher playoff seed if the teams end up tied in the final standings.
In other CCHA action Saturday, sixth-place Northern Michigan (12-9-3) stayed a point behind FSU and moved within two points of the Irish, thanks to a 6-2 home victory over second-place Ohio State (16-7-3). Notre Dame and NMU will conclude their season series on Feb. 26-27 at the Joyce Center, in a pair of games that should have major home-ice ramifications.
The loss was Notre Dame’s first at home this season (10-1-2) and second straight scoreless game, after dropping a similar 1-0 game at No. 3 Michigan State on Friday. The weekend produced the first back-to-back shutout losses on consecutive nights and the first back-to-back shutout losses versus conference opponents in the 31-year modern history of Notre Dame hockey. The program’s only other consecutive shutout losses came during the team’s final season as an independent (1991-92), when the Irish lost at home to Army (4-0) on Jan. 18, 1992, before losing by the same score at-of all places-Ferris State on Jan. 31.
Owens, who was coming off a 28-save effort in Friday’s 5-2 win at Western Michigan, made a large chunk of his 38 saves while playing with the 1-0 lead (he had 15 second-period saves and 13 in the third).
The night’s only goal came at 9:22 of the second period, with 41 seconds left on a Bulldogs’ 5-on-3 opportunity after a slashing penalty on sophomore right wing Ryan Dolder (8:03) and a checking-from-behind infraction on Cotnoir (8:13). Junior center Brian McCullough set things in motion with a pass from the bottom of the left circle to the left point. Freshman center Rob Collins then quickly zipped the puck towards the right faceoff circle and the lefthanded Dube skated onto the pass before drilling a one-timer that knicked off the crossbar for his seventh goal of the season.
Irish senior Forrest Karr came out of the weekend with two losses, despite stopping 96 percent of the shots he faced (46 saves, two goals against). Karr lowered his season goals-against average to 2.38 while boosting his save percentage to .907. In the 13 home games this season, Karr has allowed just 22 goals while making 277 saves (for a 1.67 GAA and .926 save pct. at home).
The Irish, who had averaged 4.6 goals per game in their previous 12 home games this season, saw the usually potent power-play unit remain in its recent funk, failing to cash in on seven man-up chances versus the Bulldogs (with a total of 15 power-play shots on goal). The Irish power play is now 0-for-14 during the last three games.
The Irish scoring drought has spanned the last seven-plus periods (for a total time of 145:19), since Ben Simon scored in the second period of the 5-2 win over Alaska Fairbanks on Feb. 6 (at 14:41). In addition to the 68 shots during the drought that have been saved by the opposing goalie, Notre Dame also has attempted 50 other shots during the last seven periods that have been blocked by the defense or sailed wide (32 vs. FSU). The Irish amassed 70 total “launches” in Saturday’s game, more than double FSU’s total (34).
Notre Dame was considerably more healthy than in the previous games vs. FSU. A pair of defensemen-junior Nathan Borega and senior Benoit Cotnoir-missed the Oct. 16 win at FSU (5-3) while senior left wing Aniket Dhadphale, junior right wing Joe Dusbabek and sophomore defenseman Ryan Clark missed the 4-2 loss at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Clark has since missed the last 13 games following Dec. 23 shoulder surgery).
One of Notre Dame’s best scoring chances came in the closing moments of the second period, when Dhadphale sent a shorthanded shot on net. But Owen batted the puck into the air and the puck ended up wedged in his glove, averting any chance at a rebound shot for the Irish.
Carlson had a memorable, 360-degree spinning try from the slot in the third period but Owen squeezed his pads just enough to stop the five-hole shot. Sophomore right wing Matt Van Arkel also came close to scoring a third-period goal from close range, but Owen managed to smother the puck in front of the goalline as he was falling backwards into the net.
PLAYOFF WATCH: In other CCHA games, third-place Michigan (14-6-4) pulled out a last-minute 2-2 tie at ninth-place WMU (3-14-7), with the Wolverines now leading the Irish by three points … Miami (6-14-4) won 4-2 at Lake Superior (7-14-2), placing those teams back into a tie for the eighth and final CCHA playoff spot … seventh-place Bowling Green (9-12-3) was en route to late victory (9-3 in the third) at last-place Alaska Fairbanks (6-18-1) … FSU has far-and-away the toughest remaining schedule of any CCHA team, including a bizarre three games still left with MSU (two on the road), plus games at OSU and Miami and a home game with BG … FSU’s remaining opponents (counting MSU three times) are a combined 38 games over .500, with a .635 aggregate winning pct. … by comparison, Notre Dame’s remaining opponents are an even .500 (@MSU, @BG, NMU twice, @Miami twice) and NMU’s are .472 (LAKE, @LAKE, @ND twice, WMU, MICH). NOTES: Notre Dame is just 7-5-1 when playing its second game of a weekend (9-2-3 the first night) … the Irish are 0-6-1 when junior C Ben Simon is held off the scoresheet (15-3-3 when he has at least one point) … senior RW Brian Urick has accounted for 15 of Notre Dame’s 68 shots in the scoring drought, followed by Carlson (10), sophomore LW Chad Chipchase (6) and four players with five: Dhadphale, freshman C David Inman, Cotnoir and junior RW Joe Dusbabek … Simon stunningly has just two official shots on goal in the scoring drought (he is averaging one goal per every 5.3 shots he takes this season).
FERRIS STATE (13-10-5, 12-8-4) 0 1 0 - 1NOTRE DAME (16-9-4, 13-3-3 CCHA) 0 0 0 - 02nd: FSU 1. Dube 7 (Collins, McCullough), 5-on-3, 9:22.Shots: FSU 7-11-5/23, ND 10-15-13/38. Saves: FSU (Vince Owen) 10-15-13/38, ND (Forrest Karr) 7-10-5/22.Power Play: FSU 1-for-8, ND 0-for-7. Penalties: FSU 9 or 18:00, ND 10 for 20:00.
CCHA STANDINGS (as of 2/14/99)
Team W-L-T Pts GP Games Left1. Michigan State 16-2-6 38 24 ND, MICH, @FSU, WMU, FSU (2)2. Ohio State 16-7-3 35 26 FSU, UAF, BG, @BG3. Michigan 14-6-4 32 24 @WMU, @MSU, MIAMI (2), @LAKE, @NMU4. Notre Dame 13-8-3 29 24 @MSU, @BG, NMU (2), @MIAMI (2)5. Ferris State 12-8-4 28 24 @OSU, @MIAMI, MSU, BG, @MSU (2)6. Northern Michigan 12-9-3 27 24 LAKE, @LAKE, @ND (2), WMU, MICH7. *Bowling Green 9-13-3 21 25 ND, @WMU, @FSU, @OSU, OSU8. Lake Superior 7-15-2 16 24 @NMU, NMU, @UAF (2), MICH, WMU Miami 6-14-4 16 24 UAF, FSU, @MICH (2), ND (2)10. Western Michigan 4-14-7 15 25 MICH, BG, @MSU, @NMU, @LAKE11. *Alaska Fairbanks 6-19-1 13 25 @MIAMI, @OSU, LAKE (2)
REMAINING STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE (opponents’ combined CCHA record):
MSU 69-52-26 (+15) .552 6 games 5 home 1 awayOSU 36-53-11 (-17) .415 4 games 3 home 1 awayMICH 51-68-26 (+17) .441 6 games 2 home 4 awayND 61-61-23 (even) .500 6 games 2 home 4 awayFSU 80-40-28 (+38) .635 6 games 2 home 4 awayNMU 58-66-21 (+8) .472 6 games 3 home 3 awayBG 51-44-20 (+7) .530 5 games 2 home 3 awayLAKE 54-78-19 (-22) .421 6 games 3 home 3 awayMIAMI 72-55-19 (+18) .558 6 games 4 home 2 awayWMU 58-45-18 (+12) .554 5 games 2 home 3 awayUAF 36-51-11 (-15) .424 4 games 2 home 2 away
“Easiest” remaining schedules (based on opp. win pct.):
OSU (.415), LAKE (.421), UAF (.424), MICH (.441), NMU (.472) and ND (.500).
“Hardest” remaining schedules (based on opp. win pct.):
FSU (.635), MIAMI (.558), WMU (.554), MSU (.552), BG (.530).
MSU vs. UAF, BG, LAKE, MIAMI, NMU and OSU (1-1-1, +1)OSU vs. UAF, LAKE, MICH, ND, NMU and WMU*MICH vs. UAF, BG and FSU*ND vs. UAF, BG, LAKE and WMUFSU vs. UAF, ND and NMUNMU vs. UAF, MIAMI and WMUBG vs. LAKE, MIAMI and NMULAKE vs. FSU (1-1-1, +1)MIAMI vs. LAKE, OSU and WMUWMU vs. UAFUAF vs. BG, MIAMI
* Notre Dame and Michigan finished with an even series record (1-1-1) and even series goal differential (5 FG, 5 GA); tie would be broken based on record vs. top CCHA finishers, in descending order.
TIEBREAKERS STILL TO BE DECIDED
MSU vs. FSU (0-0-0), MICH (0-1-1), ND (0-1-1) and WMU (1-0-1)OSU vs. BG (1-0-0), FSU (1-1-0)MICH vs. LAKE (1-1-0), MIAMI (1-0-0), MSU (1-0-1), NMU (1-1-0) and WMU (1-0-1)ND vs. MIAMI (1-0-0), MSU (0-1-1) and NMU (0-0-1)FSU vs. BG (0-1-1), MIA (0-1-1), MSU (0-0-0), OSU (1-1-0) and WMU (1-0-1)NMU vs. LAKE (1-0-0), MICH (1-1-0), ND (0-1-0) and OSU (0-1-0)BG vs. FSU (1-0-1), OSU (0-1-0) and WMU (1-1-0)LAKE vs. UAF (0-1-0), MICH (1-1-0), NMU (0-1-0) and WMU (1-0-1) MIAMI vs. FSU (1-0-1), MICH (0-1-0) and ND (0-1-0) WMU vs. BG (0-1-0), LAKE (0-1-1), MICH (1-1-0) and MSU (0-1-1)UAF vs. LAKE (1-0-0)