Head coach Jeff Jackson and his Notre Dame hockey team will find out Sunday if they are in the NCAA Tournament.

Irish Drop 2-1 Decision To Northern Michigan In CCHA Third Place Game

March 22, 2008

Final Stats

Detroit, Mich. – The Northern Michigan Wildcats scored a pair of third-period goals to hand Notre Dame a 2-1 loss in the third-place game of the CCHA Tournament at Joe Louis Arena.

The loss keeps the Irish on the NCAA “bubble” until 11:30 a.m. on Sunday morning as the tournament announcements will be made on ESPN2. According to the NCAA Tournament Pairwise Comparison, Notre Dame is currently tied for 12th with Minnesota State and has the tiebreaker with Mavericks. That would put the Irish in the tournament for the second year in a row.

Tim Hartung and Matt Siddal scored 2:16 apart in the third stanza to wipe out a 1-0 Notre Dame lead. The Irish took that lead on a second period goal by Christian Hanson.

Notre Dame closes out the CCHA Tournament with a 24-15-4 overall record while Northern Michigan closes the year with a 20-20-4 mark.

For the second night in a row, the Irish and their opponent played a scoreless first period with the Notre Dame out shooting the Wildcats by a 13-6 margin. NMU starter Reid Ellingson stopped all 13 shots he faced to keep the Irish off the scoreboard.

In the second period it took the Irish over seven minutes to get their second shot of the middle 20 minutes but Hanson made it count. The junior center took a lead pass from Christiaan Minella at the Northern blue line and carried the puck down the left side. He cut in at the bottom of the left circle and tossed a backhander inside Ellingson’s pads and the left post for his 10th goal of the season at 7:32 and the Irish had the lead they were looking for.

Midway through the period, Wildcat coach Walt Kyle changed his goaltender, inserting Derek Janzen in the cage. He would hold the Irish at bay the rest of the way, making 25 saves over the final 29:48. Ellingson finished with 14 saves in the game.

The third period started with the Irish killing a penalty (they were 4-for-4 in the game). Just 12 seconds after the penalty to Ian Cole ended; the Wildcats would get on the board.

Hartung scored his third of the year off a pass from Siddall, beating Jordan Pearce from the left side at 1:15 to tie the game at 1-1.

Siddall would pick up the game winner at 3:31 when he whipped a shot past Pearce off a face off for his 18th goal of the season to give Northern Michigan the 2-1 lead.

From there it was Janzen keeping the Irish from tying the game. The sophomore from Abbotsford, B.C., made 19 saves in the final period to preserve the win. Notre Dame would play the final 2:11 of the game with Pearce pulled in favor of a sixth attacker but could not score.

On the night, the Irish out shot the Wildcats by a 40-21 margin. Pearce finished with 19 saves in the game while the two Northern Michigan goaltenders combined for 39 saves.

GAME SUMMARY                      1    2    3   -   FNorthern Michigan  (20-20-4)      0    0    2   -   2#11/#11 Notre Dame (24-15-4)      0    1    0   -   1
ScoringFirst Period: No Scoring.Penalties: NMU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Second Period: ND: Christian Hanson 10 (Christiaan Minella, Dan VeNard), 7:32..Penalties: NMU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: NMU: Tim Hartung 3 (Matt Siddall), 1:15; NMU: Siddall 18 (Jared Brown), 3:31.Penalties: NMU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Northern Michigan 6 - 5 - 10 - 21Notre Dame 13 - 8 - 19 - 40
Goaltender Saves:NMU - Reid Ellingson (30:12) 13 - 1 - x - 14 Derek Janzen (29:48) x - 6 - 19 - 25ND - Jordan Pearce (57:49) 6 - 5 - 8 - 19
Power Plays:NMU: 0 for 4ND: 0 for 5
Attendance: N/A