Dec. 11, 2009
Ann Arbor, Mich. – Michigan’s Yost Arena is a tough enough place to play when you have a full roster. Try doing it without four defensemen, three of whom play regular shifts for Jeff Jackson’s Irish icers.
That’s what faced Notre Dame on Friday night when the Irish dropped a 4-1 decison in front of sell-out crowd of 6,831 at Yost Arena. Michigan got single goals from Carl Hagelin, Brian Lebler, Lee Moffie and Louie Caporusso in the victory with Caporusso adding a pair of assists for three points and Lebler and Moffie adding two-point games. Freshman Riley Sheahan scored the lone Irish goal via the power play in the second period.
The loss, the third straight for Notre Dame, dropped the Irish to 7-8-4 overall and 4-5-4-2 in the CCHA. Michigan improves to 9-8-0 on the year and 5-6-0-0 in conference play.
With defensemen Sam Calabrese, Ian Cole, Eric Ringel and Sean Lorenz out of the lineup, Jackson moved three forwards – Billy Maday, Sheahan and Ryan Guentzel – back on the blue line with regulars Brett Blatchford, Kyle Lawson and Teddy Ruth.
Notre Dame was out shot in the game, 35-24. Freshman Mike Johnson played 47:33 and made 25 saves in the game while giving up four goals. Senior Tom O’Brien played the final 12:27 and stopped all six shots he faced. Michigan’s Bryan Hogan stopped 23-of-24 shots in picking up the win for the Wolverines.
“We played with three defensemen and three forwards back and I give those kids a lot of credit,” said Jackson.
“Being forced to play in your own end with Michigan’s Rust line and Caporusso line being so challenging, its different playing with two forwards down low in the defensive zone when usually you have just one. I give our kids credit for battling, I just wish we could have generated a little more offense.”
Michigan would get the lone get the lone goal of the opening period when Hagelin pounced on a rebound in front of Johnson and flipped it home at the 8:38 mark.
Defenseman Tristin Llewellyn set the play in motion when his shot from the left point was stopped by Johnson. The rebound bounced to Johnson’s left where Hagelin was camped at the top of the crease. The junior left wing made it 1-0 with his Michigan team-high ninth goal of the season.
The Wolverines made it 2-0 just 3:05 into the second period when senior left wing Brian Lebler finished off a pretty passing play, tucking a pass from Moffie inside the right post for his third goal of the year.
Caporusso collected his first assist of the night as he carried the puck into the Notre Dame zone and moved it to Moffie on the left wing boards. Lebler got behind the Irish defense and redirected a cross-rink pass from Moffie behind Johnson to give Michigan the two-goal lead.
The Irish would break their goal-less drought at 7:27 of the period as Sheahan scored on the power play, getting his fourth goal of the year.
With defenseman Chad Langlais off for slashing, the Irish controlled the face off to the left of Hogan. Ben Ryan moved it from the left boards behind the net to Ryan Thang. The Notre Dame captain centered a pass to Sheahan who was camped at the top of the crease and the freshman one-timed it behind Hogan to cut the Michigan lead in half at 2-1.
Michigan took advantage of a power play of their own just 1:30 later as Moffie scored on a deflected shot from the center point at 8:57. Caporusso picked up his second assist of the night as his shot was blocked and came right back to him. He found Moffie in the high slot and the freshman fired a shot through a screen and was deflected over Johnson for his second goal of the season and the Wolverines led 3-1.
Home-standing Michigan built the lead to 4-1 just 1:03 into the final period with Caporusso notching the goal and his third point of the night. The junior center roared through the neutral zone and two strides into the Irish zone whipped a laser beam over Johnson’s glove and under the cross bar for his fifth goal of the season. Lebler and Langlais picked up assists on the goal.
“Right now we just aren’t getting any bounces,” said Jackson.
“Besides the fourth goal (Caporusso’s) all three of their (Michigan’s) goals came off bounces. Don’t get me wrong, they earned those goals, but they were all fluky, bouncing pucks that landed right for them and not for us.”
The Irish and Wolverines close out the first half of the season on Sunday afternoon at 4:05 p.m. at the Joyce Center at Notre Dame. The game will be televised live by Comcast and is available on South Bend Comcast Cable channel 3.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - FNotre Dame (7-8-4/4-5-4-2) 0 1 0 - 1Michigan (9-8-0/5-6-0-0) 1 2 1 - 4
First Period: UM: Carl Hagelin 9 (Tristin Llewellyn, Matt Rust), 8:38.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UM: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; UM: 4 for 16 minutes.
Third Period: UM: Caporusso 5 (Lebler, Chad Langlais), 1:03.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; UM: 2 for 4 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 7 - 5 - 12 - 24Michigan 11 - 12 - 12 - 35
Mike Johnson (47:33) 10 - 10 - 5 - 25 Tom O'Brien (12:27) x - x - 6 - 6UM: Bryan Hogan (60:00) 7 - 4 - 12 - 23
Power Plays:ND: 1 for 7UM: 1 for 6