Nov. 2, 2001
Marquette, Mich. – It took the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team a little longer than they would have liked, but in their seventh game of the season, they rallied from a 3-1 first-period deficit to knock off the 10th-ranked Northern Michigan Wildcats 5-4 on Friday night at the Berry Events Center.
Senior right wing David Inman equalled a career high with four points on the night with two goals and two assists, junior center Connor Dunlop had a career-high four assist game and sophomore defenseman Brett Lebda scored twice to spark the Irish in the big road victory.
The win gives the Irish a 1-4-1 overall record and improves them to 1-1-1 in CCHA play. Northern Michigan suffered its first loss of the season and goes to 3-1-1 on the year and 3-1-1 in league play. The two teams meet again on Saturday, Nov. 3 with face-off set for 7:05 p.m.
For the fifth time in seven games, the Irish scored first. Defenseman Neil Komadoski carried the puck through center and found center Connor Dunlop as he crossed the Northern Michigan blue line. Dunlop got around the Wildcat defense and fed in front to David Inman who one-timed a shot past Craig Kowalski just 32 seconds into the game.
That lead would stand until the 5:06 mark when the Wildcats scored the first of three goals in a two-minute, 47-second span. Defenseman Sean Connolly found center Dave Bonk heading into the Irish zone. The redshirt freshman burst by the Irish defense and whipped a wrist shot past Morgan Cey to tie the game at 1-1.
Just 1:16 later Wildcat junior Terry Harrison picked up a clearing pass by Kowalski and carried the puck into the Irish zone where he whipped a shot past Cey from the high slot to give Northern the 2-1 lead at 6:20.
Dan Donnette capped the scoring spurt when he took a feed from center Alan Swanson from behind the Notre Dame net and beat Cey from in close at 7:53.
The Irish turned the tide in the second period as they peppered Kowalski with 15 shots on goal, scoring three times with defensemen accounting for all three goals.
Sophomore defenseman Brett Lebda, a CCHA all-rookie selection as a frosh, scored his first of two goals in the period on the power play at 8:47. Lebda took a pass from Dunlop high in the slot and drilled a shot past Kowalski for Notre Dame’s third power play goal of the period.
Freshman defenseman Derek Smith scored his first collegiate goal at 12:33 as he joined the play late flipping the rebound of a David Inman deflection over Kowalski to tie the game at 3-3.
Lebda put the Irish ahead at 18:23 as he one-timed a blast from the top of the left wing face-off circle past Kowalsk for the first two-goal game of his career off assists from John Wroblewski and Yan Stastny. That marked the first time in Lebda’s career that he scored two goals in a game.
Northern Michigan came back to tie the game at 6:01 of the third period as the Wildcats kept control in the Irish zone leading to Harrison’s second goal of the night and second of the season.
But, on a night that belonged to Inman and Dunlop, the duo combined one last time for the game-winning goal at 10:19. Dunlop outworked the Northern defense along the right wing boards and threw a centering pass to the far post where Inman was able to deflect it past Kowalski to cap the Irish victory.
Notre Dame outshot Northern Michigan on the night 30-23. Cey made 19 saves in picking up his first career win for the Irish. Kowalski stopped 25 of 30 shots for the Wildcats.
IRISH NOTES: With four assists on the night, Connor Dunlop extended his scoring streak to five-games (1-9-10). His four-point night was also a career-best as were the four assists.
David Inman equalled his career-high with four points in a game (2g-2a) which he set on Feb. 12, 2000 versus Nebraska-Omaha.
Game Summary: 1 2 3 F
Notre Dame (1-4-2/1-1-1) 1 3 1 5
Northeastern (3-1-1/3-1-1) 3 0 1 4
First Period: ND: David Inman 3 (Connor Dunlop, Neil Komadoski, :32, NMU: Dave Bonk 1 (Sean Connolly), 5:06, NMU: Terry Harrison 1 (Craig Kowalski), 6:20, NMU: Dan Donnette 1 (Alan Swanson, Justin Kinnunen), 7:53. ND: 1 for 2 minutes, NMU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Second Period: ND: Brett Lebda 1 (Dunlop, Inman), PPG, 8:47, ND: Derek Smith 1 (Inman, Dunlop), 12:33, ND: Lebda 2 (John Wroblewski, Yan Stastny), 18:23.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes, NMU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: NMU: Harrison 2 (Bonk, Peter Michelutti), 6:01, ND: Inman 4 (Dunlop, Evan Nielsen), 10:19
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes, NMU: 3 for 6 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 5 – 15 – 10 – 30
Northern Michigan 9 – 3 – 11 – 23
ND – Morgan Cey (60:00) 6 – 3 – 10 – 19
NU – Craig Kowalski (59:05) 4 – 12 – 9 – 25
ND: 1 for 4
NMU: 0 for 2