Oct. 19, 2012
Notre Dame, Ind. – One year ago today – Oct. 18, 2011 – the Notre Dame hockey team carried its equipment from the Joyce Center to the brand new Compton Family Ice Arena, taking occupancy of their new home.
One year later on the anniversary of that move, the Irish didn’t get to celebrate the day as the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs handed Notre Dame a 3-1 loss, its first of the young 2012-13 season. Freshman goaltender Matt McNeely stopped 29-of-30 shots in the game in his first career start as Cal Decowski, Dan DeLisle and Justin Crandall provided the offense in the road win. Bryan Rust scored the lone goal for the Irish.
The loss snaps #10/#9 Notre Dame’s two-game, season-opening win streak and gives the Irish a 2-1-0 record. The Bulldogs, ranked 13th in both national polls, improved to 2-1-0 with their first road win of the season.
“That game was dictated by the first period when we took some foolish penalties,” said Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson.
“I don’t know if we were too emotional or whatever because I didn’t see that at all last weekend. We were pretty disciplined. The penalties really put us on our heels. We had guys sitting on the bench who weren’t out there because we were killing penalties. Five-on-five we were pretty good in that opening period.”
The two teams traded scoring bids for most of the period with Minnesota Duluth getting five power-play chances to three for the Irish. At 16:33 of the period, Notre Dame defenseman Kevin Lind rocked the Bulldogs Caleb Hebert with a high hit at the Irish blue line. Lind was assessed a major penalty for contact to the head and received a game disqualification penalty. The ensuing scrum near the UMD bench resulted in a penalty to Bulldog defenseman Chris Casto.
While the Irish were killing the three minutes on Lind’s major, Thomas DiPauli picked up a slashing penalty with 35 seconds left in the stanza. The Bulldogs capitalized with 2.1 seconds on the clock as Decowski redirected a centering pass from Mike Seidel past Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays to give Duluth the 1-0 lead going into the intermission.
“They (Minnesota Duluth) got that first goal of the game with a second left,” said Jackson.
“That’s a momentum goal and puts you on your heels going into the second period. And, we still had to kill a penalty to start the second.”
The Bulldogs would make it 2-0 at the 10-minute mark of the second period when Decowski fed a lead pass to DeLisle as he split the Irish defense at the Notre Dame blue line. DeLisle raced in and snapped a shot past Summerhays for his first goal of the season.
Minnesota Duluth made it 3-0 at 14:01 of the middle period when Crandall tucked a rebound past Summerhays for his second goal of the year. The junior goaltender stopped a shot from defenseman Wade Bergman (two assists in the game) and the rebound landed in the crease to the right of Summerhays where Crandall was waiting.
“Give Duluth credit; they are a good team,” said Jackson.
“They got pucks behind our defensemen and put pressure on our D, especially with Lind being out and playing with five. We lost a lot of puck battles on the walls and that’s something that I haven’t seen up to this point. We can’t beat teams like that if we turn the puck over on the walls and lose those one-on-one battles.”
Late in the period, the Irish offense took advantage of its fifth power-play chance of the game and broke through on McNeely at 15:07 with Rust scoring his first goal of the season.
Defenseman Stephen Johns took a pass from T.J. Tynan on the left side of the UMD goal. Johns’ shot missed to the right side of the goal and came out to Rust on the left side. The junior right wing bulled his way to the net tucking a shot past McNeely to cut the lead to 3-1, but that was as close as the Irish would get.
Notre Dame fired 24 shots on McNeely over the final two periods, but couldn’t dent the 6-3, 200-pound puckstopper.
“We never really got any flow until we got to the third period,” said Jackson.
“We started getting pucks to the net and started generating some scoring chances in the final period.”
For the night, the Irish outshot the Bulldogs, 30-20, with Summerhays making 17 saves for Notre Dame. Minnesota Duluth was 1-for-7 on the power play while the Irish were 1-for-16.
The two teams close out the series at 7:35 p.m. on Friday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena with Notre Dame honoring the parents of the 2012-13 team prior to the game.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#13/#13 Minnesota Duluth (2-1=0) 1 2 0 - 3#10/#9 Notre Dame (2-1-0) 0 1 0 - 1
Scoring First Period: UMD: Cal Decowski 1 (Mike Seidel, Wade Bergman), 19:57.
Penalties: UMD: 4 for 28 minutes; ND: 6 for 23 minutes.
Penalties: UMD: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: UMD: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Minnesota Duluth 8 - 7 - 5 - 20Notre Dame 6 - 13- 11 - 30
Goaltender Saves:UMD: Matt McNeely (60:00) 6 - 12 - 11 - 29ND: Steven Summerhays (58:48) 7 - 5 - 5 - 17
Power Plays:UMD: 1 for 7ND: 1 for 6