Feb. 17, 2008
Fairbanks, Alaska – Senior captain Mark Van Guilder third period power-play goal at 9:55 of the third period gave Notre Dame a 1-1 tie versus Alaska on Saturday night at the Carlson Center. The tie gave the Irish a three-point weekend versus the Nanooks and moved them closer to clinching one of the top four spots in the CCHA playoff race.
Landon Novotney scored the lone goal for Alaska with a first-period power-play goal. The story of the night though was the stellar play of Nanook goaltender Wylie Rogers who finished the night with 40 saves as Notre Dame peppered the senior puckstopper with 41 shots, including a season-high 20 in the first period.
The tie runs Notre Dame’s unbeaten streak to eight games against Alaska, as they are now 7-0-1 against the Nanooks over the last two seasons. The Irish are now 21-10-3 overall and 14-7-3 in the CCHA, good for 31 points. They can clinch a first-round bye and home ice in the second round next weekend with any combination of two points by Notre Dame ties or wins or Bowling Green or Ferris State ties or losses. Notre Dame is four points behind second-place Michigan State and Miami with four games left to play. Alaska is now 8-17-5 on the year and 8-14-4 in the conference.
While the Irish were throwing 20 shots at Rogers in the opening period, the Nanooks were busy getting on the scoreboard. They did it twice, but only one of the goals counted.
It looked like Alaska had the first goal of the night at 6:22 when left wing Adam Lee burst down the left wing and fired a shot that beat Irish goaltender Jordan Pearce high to his stick side. Referee Stephen McInchak immediately went to the replay and waved the goal off due to goaltender interference a Nanook forward who ran into Pearce in his goal crease.
The Irish wouldn’t get so lucky the next time Alaska scored as their top scorer – Landon Novotney – scored on the power play at 8:24 to give the Nanooks the 1-0 lead.
Defenseman Adam Naglich’s shot from the left point was blocked by Irish defenseman Ian Cole with the rebound bouncing to the right side where Tyler Eckford grabbed it. He found Novotney alone in the slot and the freshman forward fired a back-hander that beat Pearce between his pads for his 14th goal of the season.
There was no scoring in the second period as Rogers turned aside all seven Irish shots as they out shot Alaska by a 7-2 margin.
Notre Dame had three power-play chances in the middle period, while the Nanooks had two, including a 59-second, five-on-three chance early in the period. The Irish penalty killers held Alaska to just one shot with the two-man advantage.
Rogers continued to stymie the Notre Dame offense in the third period until the Irish finally connected on their seventh power-play chance. With a five-on-three of 1:25, Mark Van Guilder got the equalizer at 9:55, just seconds after the five-on-three expired.
Defenseman Dan VeNard moved the puck to partner Kyle Lawson on the left point and the sophomore defender moved it down the left boards to Van Guilder. He carried the puck into the left circle where he fired a shot that deflected off an Alaska defenseman past Rogers to tie the game at 1-1. The goal was the 10th of the year for Van Guilder.
Rogers would not get beat again as he and Pearce slammed the door. On the night, Notre Dame out shot Alaska by a whopping 41-14 margin. Pearce, an Anchorage, Alaska native, finished with 13 saves in the game and saw his record in his home state improve to 2-0-1. The junior goaltender is now 3-1-2 in his last six starts.
Notre Dame now makes the long trip home from Fairbanks and will play three of their final four games at the Joyce Center. Next weekend, Feb. 22-23, the Irish will play host to Ohio State for a two-game series. Friday’s game has a 7:35 p.m. starting time while Saturday’s game will start at 7:05 p.m.
** The tie gives Notre Dame a 0-0-3 mark in overtime games this season.
** Notre Dame is now 4-1-1 in its last six games at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
** Mark Van Guilder’s goal, his 10th of the season, makes him the third Notre Dame player this season to reach double figures in goals. He joins Ryan Thang (15) and Erik Condra (12). The Irish have 10 players with five or more goals this season.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 OT - F#9/#9 Notre Dame (21-10-3/14-7-3) 0 0 1 0 - 1Alaska (8-17-5/8-14-5) 1 0 0 0 - 1ScoringFirst Period: UAF: Landon Novotney 14 (Tyler Eckford, Adam Naglich), PPG, 8:24.Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; UAF: 2 for 4 minutes.
Second Period: No Scoring.Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; UAF: 3 for 6 minutes.
Third Period: ND: Mark Van Guilder 10 (Dan VeNard, Kyle Lawson), PPG, 9:55.Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UAF: 4 for 16 minutes.
Overtime: No Scoring.Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UAF: 2 for 4 minutes.Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 20 - 7 - 13 - 1 - 41Alaska 8 - 2 - 3 - 1 - 14Goaltender Saves:ND - Jordan Pearce (65:00) 7 - 2 - 3 - 1 - 13Alaska - Wylie Rogers (65:00) 20 - 7 - 12 - 1 - 40Power Plays:ND: 1 for 8Alaska: 1 for 6