Feb. 18, 2012
Oxford, Ohio – Notre Dame’s goal-scoring woes continued on Friday night at Oxford, Ohio as the Irish were blanked 3-0, by the Miami RedHawks at Steve Cady Arena. The Irish have now scored just one goal in the last 10 periods, going back to the third period of their 3-2 loss to Bowling Green on Feb. 4.
Blake Coleman, Reilly Smith and Tyler Biggs provided all the offense that Miami would need as the RedHawks scored once each period while senior goaltender Connor Knapp stopped all 31 shots he faced in the win. Irish junior Mike Johnson made 12 saves in the Notre Dame goal.
The Irish controlled the play throughout the game, out shooting the RedHawks, 31-16, including 15 in the second period.
The loss, the fourth in a row for Notre Dame drops the Irish to 16-14-3 overall and 11-11-3-0 in the CCHA, good for 36 points in the conference standings. Notre Dame is now tied for eighth place in the regular-season race with Northern Michigan. The win moves Miami into a tie for fifth place as the RedHawks are now 18-13-2 on the year and 12-11-2-1 in the CCHA, good for 39 points.
Miami got the only it would need just 2:08 into the first period as Coleman netted his ninth goal of the season. With the puck along the left wing boards, Coleman came away with the puck and whipped a wrist shot from the left circle that beat Johnson through his pads. Alden Hirschfeld picked up the lone assist on the play.
Notre Dame carried the play in the second period, out shooting the RedHawks, 15-8, but could not solve Knapp in the Miami goal.
The RedHawks added to their lead with the lone goal of the middle stanza as Smith scored his CCHA-best 22nd goal of the year at 4:19 to make it 2-0.
Defenseman Ben Paulides moved the puck up the left boards to Smith who carried the puck into the Notre Dame zone. At the blue line, Smith fed the puck to freshman right wing Tyler Biggs who fired a shot from the high slot. Johnson made the save with the rebound ending up just outside the crease on the left side. Smith was there to backhand the puck into a wide-open left side of the goal to light the lamp for the RedHawks.
The Irish continued their strong play in the third period as they would out shoot the RedHawks, 9-3 but Knapp had all the answers.
With under five minutes left in the game, Notre Dame got its last chance to get on the scoreboard as Cameron Schilling was called for hooking with 4:14 left. The Irish failed to get a shot off with the advantage and were 0-for-2 on the power play.
As the penalty expired, Notre Dame pulled Johnson in favor of a sixth attacker with just over two minutes left in the game. Biggs was able to come up with a loose puck along the left wing boards in the neutral zone and flipped the puck towards the empty goal for his eighth goal of the season with 2:09 remaining for the 3-0 final score.
Notre Dame’s scoring struggles have mounted in February as Notre Dame is now 1-4 during the month and have scored just five goals in the last five games. The last three goals that the Irish scored have come on the power play. The last time that Notre Dame scored a regulation goal came with 14:15 left in the third period of a 2-1 win over Bowling Green on Feb. 3.
Playing in Oxford, Ohio hasn’t been much fun for the Irish in recent years as they are now 2-10-1 at Miami since the 2003-04 season.
The two teams will close out the series on Saturday night at Steve Cady Arena with game time scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#13/#13 Notre Dame (16-14-3/11-11-3-0) 0 0 0 - 0rv/#19 Miami (18-13-2/12-11-2-1) 1 1 1 - 3
Scoring First Period: MU: Blake Coleman 9 (Alden Hirschfeld), 2:08.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; MU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Second Period: MU: Reilly Smith 22 (Tyler Biggs, Ben Paulides), 4:19.
Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; MU: 0 for 0 minutes.
Third Period: MU: Tyler Biggs 8 (unassisted), ENG, 2:09.
Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes; MU: 3 for 6 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 7 - 15 - 9 - 31Miami 5 - 8 - 3 - 16
Goaltender Saves:ND: Mike Johnson (59:23) 4 - 7 - 2 -12MU: Connor Knapp (60:00) 7 - 15 - 9 - 31
Power Plays:ND: 0 for 2MU: 0 for 2