Jan. 9, 2010
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish went into Saturday night’s game with Ferris State looking to continue the momentum they had started a week earlier in winning the 2010 Shillelagh Tournament in Chicago. The Bulldogs had other ideas as five players had two or more points and goaltender Pat Nagle turned aside 18-of-20 Irish shots in a 5-2 win at a sold out Joyce Center.
Ferris State got multiple-point games from defensemen Scott Wietecha (1g, 1a) and Zach Redmond (1g, 1a) and forwards Justin Menke (1g, 1a), Aaron Lewicki (1g, 1a) and Mike Embach (1g, 2a) on the way to the 5-2 victory. Kevin Deeth and Ian Cole scored Notre Dame’s two goals on the night.
The game and series versus the Bulldogs was an important one for the Irish as they entered Saturday’s contest, trailing the third-place Bulldogs by seven points in the standings. With the loss, Notre Dame is now 10 points behind Ferris State in the standings as the Irish fall to 9-9-5 overall and 5-6-4-2 in conference play. The No. 12/11 Bulldogs improve to 15-4-2 on the year and 9-2-2-2 in the CCHA, good for 31 points.
“Tonight was disappointing based on the way we played last weekend and the way we practiced this week,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
“Give Ferris State credit. They are a very talented team that plays a patient game through the neutral zone and causes turnovers, but we weren’t sharp with the puck again. Our puck possession and our passing were so good last week and tonight it looked like 2009 again.”
Ferris State got on the scoreboard first, getting the only goal of the first period via the power play. The goal came off a face off in the Irish end – one of three Bulldog goals off face offs – with Wietecha getting the goal at 13:52.
With Christiaan Minella and Kyle Lawson in the penalty box and Ferris State skating five-on-three, Blair Riley moved the puck from the right circle back to Redmond at the right point. Redmond passed across to Wietecha on the left point and the big defenseman ripped a shot past Irish goaltender Mike Johnson for his first goal of the season.
Notre Dame answered back with a power-play goal of its own just 49 seconds into the second period. Calle Ridderwall controlled the puck on the right boards and slid it to Brett Blatchford at the center point. Blatchford’s low shot was knocked down in front and Deeth jumped on the rebound, firing it past Nagle for his third goal of the season and a 1-1 tie.
Lewicki put the Bulldogs ahead to stay at 5:37 of the middle period when he beat Johnson from the slot for his sixth goal of the season. Menke started the play in motion with a shot that was wide of the net but bounced off the boards in front to Lewicki for fired it past Johnson for the 2-1 lead.
The Ferris State lead would go to 3-1 at 6:52 as Redmond got the eventual game winner off a shot from the right point. Center Cody Chupp won a faceoff back to Redmond and the junior defenseman flipped a shot on goal that seemed to flutter over Johnson’s right shoulder and into the goal for his fourth of the season.
“That’s three games in a row that we’ve given up face-off goals and tonight we gave up three of them,” said Jackson.
“They were just clean face-off losses and on one there wasn’t very good coverage on a face off that we had lost. Those are deflating goals. We need to do a better job of tying people up on defensive zone face offs instead of winning the puck clean. It’s not about winning the face off, it’s getting possession that’s important. It’s about five men outnumbering three in the defensive zone.”
The Irish appeared to get back into the game at 16:51 of the second period when Cole grabbed a Bulldog turnover inside the blue line and hammered a shot under the cross bar behind Nagle for his second goal of the season, making it a 3-2 game after two periods.
The third period was all Ferris State though as they Bulldogs out shot Notre Dame, 11-3, and outscored the Irish by a 2-0 margin.
Menke’s goal at 11:02 of the final stanza put the game away for Ferris as he tucked the rebound of a shot by Embach under Johnson for his fifth of the season to make it 4-2.
The final Bulldog goal came off a face off as Lewicki won a draw on the left circle and pulled it back to Embach in the slot. The junior left wing whipped a shot past Johnson for his fourth of the season and the 5-2 final.
“They had us in their grasp and they finished us off in the third period. They played with more urgency in the third period than we did. Little things are affecting our play and our success and we have to resolve them. It’s as simple as that,” said Jackson
On the night, Ferris State out shot Notre Dame by a 31-20 margin. Johnson finished with 26 saves in the game.
The two teams close out the two-game series on Sunday afternoon at the Joyce Center. The opening faceoff is set for 4:05 p.m.
** Saturday night’s loss to Ferris State snapped Notre Dame’s modest three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1). The loss also snapped a four-game Irish winning streak versus the Bulldogs, dating back to March of 2008.
** The sellout crowd of 2,857 on Saturday was the ninth sellout crowd in 13 home games this season. Since Dec. 13, 2008, Notre Dame has had 18 sellout crowds in their last 22 games.
** The five goals given up by Mike Johnson and the Irish were the most that both have given up in a game this season.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#12/#11 Ferris State (15-4-2/9-2-2-2) 1 2 2 - 5Notre Dame (9-9-5/5-6-4-2) 0 2 0 - 2
First Period: FSU: Scott Wietecha 1 (Zach Redmond, Blair Riley), PPG, 13;52..
Penalties: FSU: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Second Period: ND: Kevin Deeth 3 (Brett Blatchford, Calle Ridderwall), PPG, 00:49; FSU: Aaron Lewicki 6 (Justin Menke, Mike Embach), 5:37; FSU: Redmond 4 (Cody Chupp), 6:52; ND: Ian Cole 2 (unassisted), 16:51.
Penalties: FSU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: FSU: Menke 5 (Embach, Wietecha), 11:02; FSU: Embach 4 (Lewicki), 13:58.
Penalties: FSU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Ferris State 9 - 11 - 11 - 31Notre Dame 10 - 7 - 3 - 20
Goaltender Saves:FSU: Pat Nagle (59:58) 10 - 5 - 3 - 18ND: Mike Johnson (60:00) 8 - 9 - 9 - 26
Power Plays:FSU: 1 for 4ND: 1 for 4
Attendance: 2,857 (sellout)