Riley Sheahan and the irish will battle Ohio State in the first round of the CCHA playoffs March 2-4 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

Irish Drop Third Straight With 2-1 Loss To Northeastern

Dec. 3, 2011

Notre Dame, Ind. – Senior left wing Steve Quailer scored a power-play goal at 5:19, snapping a 1-1 tie and junior goaltender Chris Rawlings made it stand up as the Northeastern Huskies held on for a 2-1 win on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 5,022 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

The win gave the Huskies a sweep of the second-ranked Irish and extended Notre Dame’s losing streak to three consecutive games. That comes on the heels of an 11-game Irish unbeaten streak that was snapped on Nov. 26 at Lake Superior State.

Riley Sheahan scored the lone Notre Dame goal of the night as he jammed a rebound past Rawlings on the power play early in the second period. The Irish goal was answered by Braden Pimm who got behind the Irish defense to beat Mike Johnson with less than seven minutes left in the period.

The three-game skid for Notre Dame drops the overall record to 10-5-3 while they remain 7-2-3 in the CCHA, good for second place behind Ohio State. The victory extended Northeastern’s current winning streak to five games, including three in a row versus CCHA teams after beating Michigan last night and the Irish on Friday night. The Huskies are now 6-7-2 for the year.

“Northeastern’s a good team. They are playing real well right now,” said Irish coach Jeff Jackson following the game. “I give (head coach) Jim (Madigan) some real credit. It took them some time to get their system in, a new philosophy. I’ll be real surprised if they don’t do some damage. From what I see, they are as good a team as we’ve played this year.”

After falling 9-2 on Friday night, the Irish played a solid first period with Johnson stopping all 10 shots he faced. Rawlings was equally strong for the Huskies as he turned aside all seven that Notre Dame threw at him.

In the second, the Irish used a five-on-three power play to finally break through on Rawlings. Defenseman Robbie Russo moved the puck to Sheahan at the top of the slot where he fired a quick shot through a screen. Rawlings made the save but the puck squirted into the slot. Sheahan drove in and as he was dragged down got his stick on it and directed it through Rawlings pads as Russo, T.J. Tynan and Austin Wuthrich converged on the goal.

The officials first waved the goal off, saying that the puck was kicked in. After reviewing the replay, they changed the ruling and awarded Sheahan the goal.

“We all just crashed the net,” said Sheahan. “I think I got the last touch as it just got through his pads and rolled into the goal.” The goal came at 3:05 of the second and was Sheahan’s fifth of the season.

Northeastern got the equalizer at 13:02 of the period as Pimm broke through the Notre Dame defense and slid a back-hander through Johnson’s pads to make it a 1-1 game. Defenseman Anthony Bitetto carried the puck from behind his goal through the neutral zone before putting Pimm in on the Notre Dame goal.

The Huskies would get the eventual winning goal at 5:19 of the third on the power play. With Kevin Lind off for a hooking call, the face off came in the right circle in the Notre Dame zone. Garrett Vermeersch won the draw back to Quailer at the top of the left circle. Quailer pulled the puck towards the slot and as Johnson moved across the crease to follow him he whipped a wrist shot past the Notre Dame goaltender for his fifth goal of the season and Northeastern’s first power-play goal of the weekend.

The Irish out shot the Huskies, 23-15, in the game, including 9-2 in the third period and had several chances, including Jeff Costello ringing one off the post with under five minutes left in the game but could not solve Rawlings.

“The nature of the way they (Northeastern) play makes it tough to get shots through,” said Jackson. We didn’t get a lot of chances and when we did, he (Rawlings) stood tall when he had to.

Despite the loss, the Irish put forth a better effort than they did in Friday’s loss.

“I thought we did a better job tonight playing with some grit. We were much better than last night,” said Jackson.

“You never see this coming (the current slump). We’ve been slowly sliding over the last couple of weeks as far as scoring goals. You start worrying about confidence. Everyone starts pressing. That’s why I always talk about secondary scoring. We can’t be relying on Anders (Lee) and T.J. (Tynan) for all of our scoring.”

With the season at the halfway point, Notre Dame will look to get back on track as they return to CCHA play next weekend. The Irish travel to Big Rapids, Mich., on Friday, Dec. 9 to face Ferris State in a 7:05 p.m. game and then return to Notre Dame to meet the Bulldogs in the final game before Christmas break on Dec. 10. Game time at the Compton Family Ice Arena is 7:05 p.m.

GAME SUMMARY                   1    2    3  -  FNortheastern (6-7-2)           0    1    1  -  2#2/#2 Notre Dame (10-5-3)      0    1    0  -  1

Scoring First Period: No Scoring.

Penalties: NU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 3 for 6 minutes.

Second Period: ND: Riley Sheahan 5 (Robbie Russo, T.J. Tynan), PPG, 3:05; NU: Braden Pimm 6 (Anthony Bitetto), 13:02.

Penalties: NU: 4 for 8 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.

Third Period: NU: Steve Quailer 5 (Garrett Vermeersch), PPG, 5:19.

Penalties: NU: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.

Shots On Goal:Northeastern       10 - 3 - 2 - 15Notre Dame          7 - 7 - 9 - 23
Goaltender Saves:NU: Chris Rawlings (60:00) 7 - 6 - 9 - 22ND: Mike Johnson (58:50) 10 - 2 - 1 - 13
Power Plays:NU: 1 for 5ND: 1 for 6
Attendance: 5,022 (sellout)