Feb. 1, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – Fans of high-scoring hockey should have enjoyed Friday night’s game at Notre Dame’s Joyce Center. Unless, of course, they were Notre Dame fans.
Alaska Fairbanks and Notre Dame combined for 12 goals on the night with the visiting Nanooks coming out on top of a 7-5 final verdict.
Aaron Voros and Cam Keith scored two goals each and team captain Bobby Andrews kicked in a four-point night (goal, three assists) to offset Irish offensive performaces by David Inman (goal, three assists), Connor Dunlop (goal, two assists) and a career-best three-point night (goal and two assists) for defenseman Evan Nielsen.
The loss drops the Irish to 9-13-5 overall, 7-10-4 in CCHA play while the Nanooks, ranked 14th in the nation, move six points ahead of Notre Dame in the standings with an 11-10-2 mark in league play and a 15-10-2 overall record.
“We really got killed on the rush tonight,” said Irish head coach Dave Poulin following the game.
“We were extremely careless with the puck. Our carelessness is baffling. The puck is so valuable and its not treated that way. They scored five times off the rush tonight.”
Nielsen, the Irish captain agreed with his coach.
“We worked on defensive zone coverage all week and I thought we did a pretty good job there. But we gave up five goals off the rush,” said Nielsen.
“When you score five goals in a game, that should be enough to win. We just aren’t getting it done defensively.”
Alaska Fairbanks came at the Irish hard right out of the gate. Cam Keith took a long lead pass off the glass from defenseman Daniel Carriere and beat Irish goaltender Morgan Cey on a breakaway just 31 seconds into the game for his first of two on the night.
Andrews, who was a thorn in Notre Dame’s side all evening flipped a rebound over Cey at 2:19 for his eighth goal of the season.
“They (Alaska Fairbanks) came out real hard to start the game. We made two poor reads and they put them in the net,” said Poulin.
“I thought we showed poise and came back to tie it. We got a big goal from Connor (Dunlop) and that seemed to get us going.”
Dunlop equalled his career-high by scoring his seventh goal of the season at 13:39. The junior center picked up the rebound of an Inman shot, skated in front of the goal and tucked a shot past Nanook goaltender Preston McKay to jump start the Irish offense.
Inman tied the game at two with his career-high 14th goal at 17:17. With the Irish on the power play, Inman blasted a shot from the right point that beat McKay for his career-best seventh power play goal of the season.
The Irish looked like they had stemmed the tide when Evan Nielsen scored just 15 seconds into the second period. Nielsen took a feed from Dunlop in the right wing circle and whipped a shot past McKay for his career-high fifth goal of the season.
“Evan Nielsen had a monster night for us,” said Poulin.
“He tried to carry this team on his back both offensively and defensively.”
But, that would be Notre Dame’s lone lead of the night as the Nanooks roared back with three second-period goals. Tom Herman scored on the power play at 4:05 to tie the game at 3-3.
Voros collected his two goals in a span of 4:03 getting his 12th at 7:42 and his 13th of the year at 11:45 to make it 5-3. His second goal of the night chased Cey – marking the second consecutive game the freshman has not finished. Junior Tony Zasowski played the final 28:15 of the game. Cey finished the night with 22 saves.
The Irish kept battling back. Yan Stastny scored for the second game in a row as he scored from the high slot just 45 seconds into the third period to cut the lead to 5-4.
But, with the Irish on a power play, Jared Sylvestre broke their backs as he combined on a two-on-one with Andrews and beat Zasowski from the right face-off dot for a shorthanded goal at 8:35.
Rob Globke scored on a breakaway goal at 13:42 for the Irish to cut the lead to 6-5, but Keith closed the scoring at 18:57 when he scored into an empty net for the 7-5 final score.
“They never quit tonight, they kept coming back,” said Poulin.
“I really thought we would score enough to win, but we just kept turning the puck over and giving them good scoring chances.”
On the night, the Nanooks outshot Notre Dame 39-36. McKay made 31 saves for Alaska Fairbanks, while Zasowski finished with ten on the night to go with Cey’s 22.
The two teams close out the two-game series on Saturday at the Joyce Center with face-off set for 7:05 p.m.
** Inman’s four-point game was the second of the season for the senior center. He had a two-goal, two assist night in November at Northern Michigan.
** The Irish have now given up seven goals in each of their last two games.
** Dunlop now has 10 multiple point games this season. In his last three games, the junior center has a goal and six assists for seven points.
Alaska Fairbanks (15-10-2/11-10-2) 2 3 2 – 7
Notre Dame (9-13-5/7-10-4) 2 1 2 – 5
First Period: UAF: Cam Keith 10 (Daniel Carriere), 00:31, UAF: Bobby Andrews 8 (Aaron Voros, Felipe Larranaga), PPG, 2:19, ND: Connor Dunlop 7 (David Inman, Evan Nielsen), 13:39, ND: Inman 14 (Nielsen, John Wroblewski), 17:17.
Penalties: UAF: 1 for 2 minutes, ND: 3 for 6 minutes.
Second Period: ND: Nielsen 5 (Dunlop, Inman), UAF: Tom Herman 8 (Cory Rask), PPG, 4:05, UAF: Voros 12 (F. Larranaga), 7:42, UAF: Voros 13 (F. Larranaga, Andrews), 11:45.
Penalties: UAF: 1 for 2 minutes, ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: ND: Yan Stastny 3 (Inman, Dunlop), 00:43, UAF: Jared Sylvestre 8 (Andrews), SHG, 8:35, ND: Rob Globke 8 (Neil Komadoski, Tony Zasowski), 13:42, UAF: Keith 11 (Andrews), ENG, 18:57.
Penalties: UAF: 1 for 2 minutes, ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Alaska Fairbanks 15 -13 – 11 – 39
Notre Dame 12 – 7 – 17 – 36
Alaska Fairbanks – Preston McKay (60:00) 10 – 6 – 15 – 31
Notre Dame – Morgan Cey (31:45) 13 – 9 – x – 22 Tony Zasowski (27:02) x – 1 – 9 – 10
Power Plays: UAF: 2 for 7, ND: 1 for 3