Nov. 8, 2009
Fairbanks, Alaska – For the first 40 minutes of Saturday night’s game at the Carlson Center, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish controlled play against Alaska, out shooting the Nanooks by a 20-13 edge. The final 20 minutes were another matter as Alaska scored three times to wipe out a 1-0 Notre Dame lead to give the Nanooks a 3-1 win over the Irish.
Two third-period goals by Derek Klassen and a game winner from Andy Taranto offset Notre Dame’s second-period goal by Ben Ryan to give the Nanooks a split on the weekend after dropping Friday’s game 3-2.
Sophomore goaltender Scott Greenham stopped 26-of-27 Irish shots in the game while Irish freshman Mike Johnson, making the first back-to-back starts of his career, had 21 saves in the loss.
The loss dropped ninth-ranked Notre Dame to 5-4-1 overall and 2-1-1-0 in the CCHA, good for seven points in the standings. Alaska, ranked 14th in the nation, improved to 6-1-1 on the year and 3-1-0-0 in conference play for nine points in the league standings. The loss also ends the 11-game Irish unbeaten streak (10-0-1) that started Dec. 2, 2006. The last time the Nanooks beat Notre Dame was on March 4, 2006, a 1-0 win in game two of the first-round of the CCHA playoffs.
There was no scoring in the first period as the teams fired 16 shots on goal with Greenham facing 10 by the Irish and Johnson six from Alaska shooters. Notre Dame had two power-play chances in the opening period but failed to score while the Nanooks had just one.
The Irish picked up their lone goal of the evening as their third power-play chance came to an end. Ryan would do the honors as he fired a wrist shot that beat Greenham at 3:20 of the period for his third goal of the year and a 1-0 Notre Dame lead.
As a penalty Alaska’s Justin Filzen was winding down, Kyle Lawson and Ian Cole started a rush up the ice with Cole getting the puck to Ryan in the neutral zone. The junior center carried it into the Alaska zone and as the Nanook defenders backed off, Ryan fired a wrist shot from the right wing face-off circle that went off Greenham’s blocker and under the cross bar for the opening goal of the night.
A stingy Irish defense held Alaska off the scoreboard for the entire period and off the shot clock until the 10:59 mark when they got their first shot on goal. Through the first two periods, Notre Dame held a 20-13 edge in the shots on goal.
The third period belonged to the Nanooks, as they would take over play, scoring twice on Johnson before adding an empty net goal with four seconds left for the 3-1 final score.
Klassen would get his first of the night just 2:33 into the final period when he swatted a rebound out of the air over Johnson’s glove hand for his second of the year to make it 1-1.
Defenseman Kaare Odegard was able to get the puck into the Notre Dame zone and Carlo Finucci threw a shot on goal that Johnson stopped only to see the rebound pop up in the slot. Klassen, following the play, took a baseball swing at the waist-high puck and the freshman goaltender had no chance to make the save.
The score would stay tied at 1-1 until the 12:53 mark with Taranto got the eventual game winner off a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Johnson to the blocker side for his third goal of the year that gave Alaska its first lead of the entire weekend at 2-1.
Sophomore defenseman Joe Sova stepped up at center ice to break up a pass and moved it ahead to Taranto who duplicated Ben Ryan’s play by getting past the Irish defenders before ripping a wrist shot that went under the cross bar to give the Nanooks the lead.
The score remained 2-1 as Greenham made a couple of key stops in the final moments in protecting the lead. Johnson was pulled in favor of a sixth attacker with 39 seconds left but the Alaska would get the insurance goal into an empty net at 19:56.
Dion Knelsen broke up a Notre Dame rush and went in on goal with Klassen, feeding it ahead to the junior forward who deposited it into the goal for his second of the game and third of the season for the final score of 3-1.
On the night, the Irish were 0-for-4 on the power play, marking just the second time in the first 10 games that the Irish failed to score with the man-advantage. Alaska was 0-for-2 on its power-play chances.
Following their long return trip from Fairbanks that will take the Irish through four time zones, Notre Dame will return to action on Sat., Nov. 14 when the Irish play host to Northern Michigan. That game at the Joyce Center has a 5:05 p.m. starting time. The Irish also will face the Wildcats on Sunday, Nov. 15 in a 4:05 p.m. game.
** IRISH NOTES **
* With his third goal of the season in the second period, junior center Ben Ryan extended his career-best, point-scoring streak to seven games. During the streak that started on Oct. 16, Ryan has three goals and six assists for nine points. He leads the Irish in scoring with three goals and seven assists for 10 points in the first 10 games.
* Freshman goaltender Mike Johnson saw his three-game, career-opening winning streak come to an end with the loss to Alaska on Nov. 7. Johnson is now 3-1-0 overall with a 1.25 goals-against average as he has stopped 112 of 117 shots on the year for a .958 save percentage and one shutout.
* Through the first 10 games of the 2009-10 season, Notre Dame has scored 23 goals for a 2.30 goals-per game average. Of those 23 goals, only 10 have come at even strength as the Irish have 12 power-play goals and one short-handed tally for their total of 23.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#9/#9 Notre Dame (5-4-1/2-1-1-0) 0 1 0 - 1#14/#13 Alaska (6-1-1/3-1-0-0) 0 0 3 - 3
Scoring First Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UAF: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; UAF: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: UAF: Derek Klassen 2 (Carlo Finucci, Kaare Odegard), 2:33; UAF: Andy Taranto 3 (Joe Sova), 12:53; UAF: Klassen 3 (Dion Knelsen, Justin Filzen), ENG, 19:56.
Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; UAF: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 10 - 10 - 7 - 27Alaska 6 - 7 - 11 - 24
Goaltender Saves:ND - Mike Johnson (59:21) 6 - 7 - 8 - 21UAF - Scott Greenham (60:00) 10 - 9 - 7 - 26
Power Plays:ND: 0 for 4UAF: 0 for 2
— ND —