Oct. 8, 2011
Duluth, Minn. – Senior center Travis Oleksuk beat Notre Dame goaltender Mike Johnson with a wrist shot from the left circle with 4:24 left in the game to snap a 3-3 tie and give Minnesota-Duluth a 4-3 win over the Irish on Friday night in front of a crowd of 6,296 at AMSOIL Arena.
The win came in the season opener for both teams and was a rematch of last year’s NCAA Frozen Four semifinal that the Bulldogs won by a 4-3 score. Minnesota-Duluth went on to win its first national championship. On Friday night, the Bulldogs raised their championship banner to a standing ovation from the crowd.
UMD got goals from Mike Seidel, Keegan Flaherty, J.T. Brown and Oleksuk in the win. Scoring for the Irish were Billy Maday, Anders Lee and Mike Voran. Maday had a two-point night with an assist and Jeff Costello assisted on a pair of goals in the loss.
The Bulldogs out shot Notre Dame, 31-17, for the game. Johnson made 27 saves while UMD’s Kenny Reiter had 14.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday night at 7:07 p.m. (CT).
The first period of action was played to a quick tempo and was quite entertaining with lots and up-and-down action for a season-opening game.
The Irish got on the scoreboard first, taking a 1-0 lead at 7:32 on Maday’s first goal of the season. Maday and Costello criss-crossed at the Minnesota-Duluth blueline with Costello flying down the right side. He fed a nice back-hand pass through the slot where Maday one-timed it from the bottom of the left circle past goaltender Reiter for his first of the year.
The Bulldogs would take advantage of Irish turnovers to score twice, taking a 2-1 lead. With UMD on the power-play, Jack Connolly stepped into a Notre Dame clearing attempt inside the blue line with the puck landing on the stick of Brown in the right circle. He moved it to the left post where Seidel one-timed it behind Johnson who had no chance on the play at 9:10 for a power-play goal.
The Bulldogs made it 2-1 at 11:15 when Cody Danberg forced a turnover on the left boards and directed the puck to Flaherty in the slot. Flaherty spun around and whipped a wrist shot past Johnson for his first collegiate goal at 11:15.
The Irish answered back at 12:46 with the trio of Lee, Bryan Rust and T.J. Tynan combining for Lee’s first of the year. Tynan chipped the puck to center where Rust picked up and carried into the UMD zone. He left the puck for Lee coming down the right wing and the sophomore sniper buried a shot past Reiter for his first goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2.
The Bulldogs capitalized with a second power-play goal to take the lead early in the second period as they dominated play in the middle stanza, out shooting the Irish by a 15-7 margin.
With Sean Lorenz off for tripping, Brown scored his first of the season at 5:35, converting a feed from Connolly as he hammered a shot from the left circle past Johnson for a 3-2 UMD lead.
Notre Dame would finally break through with its first power-play goal of the season, tying the game at 14:17 of the period when Voran whipped a wrist shot over Reiter’s glove from the right circle. Costello picked up his second assist of the game with a nice pass from the left boards to Voran who was driving to the goal.
The Bulldogs thought they had a goal with 16:09 left in the game when Connolly broke down the left side and ripped a wrist shot that Johnson stopped but lost momentarily as the puck ended behind him. The junior goaltender quickly fell on the loose puck before it crossed the goal line and the score remained tied at 3-3.
That set up Oleksuk’s game winner as he took a feed from defenseman Brady Lamb and cut across the slot moving right to left. He snapped a shot from the left circle that found its way through Johnson’s pads for the game-winning goal.
The Irish are 0-1-0 on the season while Minnesota-Duluth is now 1-0-0.
** The Irish are now 21-21-2 all-time in season openers. In season-opening road games, Notre Dame is 17-23-4 all-time.
** This was the 34th all-time meeting between Notre Dame and Minnesota-Duluth. The Irish lead the series with an 18-12-4 record. In Duluth, Notre Dame is 11-4-2 against the Bulldogs.
** Mike Voran’s goal was his first since January 15th of last season versus Alaska. The goal snapped a 16-game goal drought for the sophomore right wing.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#2/#1 Notre Dame (0-1-0) 2 1 0 - 3#10/#8 Minnesota-Duluth (1-0-0) 2 1 1 - 4
Scoring First Period: ND: Billy Maday 1 (Jeff Costello, Sean Lorenz), 7:32; UMD: Mike Seidel 1 (J.T. Brown, Jack Connolly), PPG, 9:10; UMD: Keegan Flaherty 1 (Cody Danberg), 11:15; ND: Anders Lee 1 (Bryan Rust, T.J. Tynan), 12:46.
Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes; UMD: 2 for 4 minutes.
Second Period: UMD: Brown 1 (Connolly, Kenny Reiter), PPG, 5:35; ND: Mike Voran 1 (Maday, Costello), PPG, 14:17.
Penalties: ND: 5 for 10 minutes; UMD: 3 for 6 minutes.
Third Period: UMD: Travis Oleksuk 1 (Brady Lamb); 15:36. Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UMD: 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 6 - 7 - 4 - 17Minnesota-Duluth 9 - 15 - 7 - 31
Goaltender Saves:ND: Mike Johnson (59:09) 7 - 14 - 6 - 27UMD: Kenny Reiter (60:00) 4 - 6 - 4 - 14
Power Plays:ND: 1 for 5UMD: 2 for 8