March 25, 2016
By Dan Colleran
CINCINNATI, Ohio – Notre Dame and Michigan played an exciting, back-and-forth hockey game on Friday night but Tyler Motte found the back of the net at 8:19 of overtime to lift the Wolverines to a 3-2 win in the second semifinal of the 2016 NCAA Midwest Regional at the U.S. Bank Arena (5,332).
“It was a great college hockey game,” Head Coach Jeff Jackson said. “Our guys played their hearts out, and I am just extremely proud of them. Our senior class has probably done a better job in leading than I have ever had, so I am very proud of them.”
After Justin Selman gave Michigan a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, a goal by Anders Bjork near the end of the first period and then another goal by Thomas DiPauli 24 seconds into the second period turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 Notre Dame lead.
Halfway through the second, Irish goaltender Cal Petersen made a big right pad save on an Alex Kile one-timer from the slot to preserve the one-goal lead. Petersen followed up with a breakaway stop on JT Compher at 5:20 of the third period.
“He [Petersen] has that ability to get into the zone, and he was in the zone tonight,” Jackson added. “He had some phenomenal games for us this year against Denver and against BU. When you get that kind of goaltending, you hope to get that one extra goal to win that game for him. He certainly did his part.”
As the end-to-end action continued in the third, Sam Herr dug the puck out of the corner in the Wolverines’ offensive zone and fed Jake Evans for a one-timer in the slot but Racine fought it off for one of his best saves of the night.
Then at 9:52 of the third, Michigan defenseman Zach Werenski snapped a shot from the high slot through traffic that tied the game at 2-2.
Both teams had several more chances down the stretch of the third, including a Steven Fogarty shot with under 30 seconds remaining in regulation that went just wide of Racine’s net.
Overtime opened with the same fast pace but at 8:19 Motte finished in front to give Michigan the win.
“I thought for the most part we played well,” Fogarty said after the game. “We wanted to get a good start, and I think we did that. We were sticking to our game plans when we were having success. Overall, I’m really proud of the guys and how they worked all game.”
Petersen totaled 32 saves on the night, including six in overtime, while Racine finished with 28.
The Irish defense also blocked 21 shots and held Michigan, who came into the game averaging 4.82 goals per game, to under four goals for just the third time in their last 21 games.
The Irish (19-11-7) finished 0-for-2 on the power play, while the Wolverines (25-7-5) did not have a power-play opportunity.
— Michigan took a 1-0 lead at 10:31 of the first period when Justin Selman a sent a shot low past Petersen following an offensive zone faceoff win by the Wolverines, netting his 13th goal of the season.
— Notre Dame got on the board at 15:46 of the first period when Anders Bjork, skating in on a 2-on-1 but electing to take the shot, finished high past Racine for his 12th goal of the season.
— Just 24 seconds into the second period, Thomas DiPauli gave the Irish a 2-1 lead when he sent a snapshot high Racine after a quick pass by Bjork allowed DiPauli to create enough space to score his 14th of the season.
— Zach Werenski sent a shot through traffic to tie the game at 2-2 at 9:52 of the third period, with Cristoval Nieves and Nicholas Boka earning the assists.
— Tyler Motte scored the overtime winner at 8:19 of overtime, finishing from the slot after a pass by JT Compher.
— Notre Dame made its eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its third in the last four seasons.
— It was the 135th all-time meeting between the Irish and Wolverines (UM leads 74-56-5) and the first since the 2012-13 season.
— Cal Petersen made his 37th-consecutive start in the Notre Dame goal this season and his 50th in a row dating back to the 2014-15 season.
— Thoams DiPauli scored his second career goal in NCAA play.
— With a goal and an assist, Anders Bjork posted his seventh multi-point game of the season and the 11th of his Irish career.
— ND —
Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and men’s golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College (’06 & ’08G).