Feb. 20, 2009
Omaha, Neb. – Freshman right wing Billy Maday scored his second goal of the game with 1:21 left in overtime to give Notre Dame a 4-3 overtime win over Nebraska-Omaha at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.
Notre Dame saw the Mavericks rally from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game in the third period, sending the contest to overtime. Maday got the game winner when his shot from the low slot went off off Maverick goaltender Jeremie Dupont’s pads for the winning goal.
The win improves the Irish to 24-5-3 overall and 18-4-3-3 in the CCHA, good for 42 points and a six-point lead over second-place Miami who lost at home to Northern Michigan, 2-1, on Friday night. Notre Dame’s magic number is now one point to clinch the CCHA’s regular-season title. Nebraska-Omaha is now 13-14-7 on the season and 8-12-7-3 in conference play.
The Irish got on the scoreboard first just 3:03 into the game as Minella picked up his seventh goal of the season to give Notre Dame the 1-0 lead.
Nebraska-Omaha wasted little time in the second period, getting the tying goal as Agosto knotted the score at 1-1 just 39 seconds into the middle stanza.
Defenseman Mark Bernier carried the puck through the slot on goal only to see Jordan Pearce dive out to poke check the puck away. The puck found its way to Agosto who fired a wrist shot over Pearce for his fourth goal of the season.
The Irish answered back with a pair of goals to take a 3-1 lead. Hanson, playing in his first game after missing three with a slight concussion suffered on Feb. 6, made it 2-1 at 4:32 of the second when he whipped a low wrist shot past Dupont for his team-best 15th of the season.
Regan set the play in motion when his long pass from deep in the Irish zone found Hanson streaking through center ice.
Maday made it 3-1 at 15:33 with a beautiful back hand goal that he slipped past Dupont’s blocker for his 12th of the year.
Cole made the play as he carried the puck down the left wing boards into the Maverick zone. He moved the puck across the slot to Maday who was able to cut in from the right side and out wait Dupont before beating him with a shot past his blocker.
Nebraska-Omaha would cut the lead to 3-2 a little over a minute later on a power play. Bernier’s shot from the right point was deflected by Ambroz off the post and into the air. The big right wing swatted the puck out of the air past Pearce for his 10th goal of the season at 16:38.
The Mavericks scored the lone goal of the third period with Nick Fanto tying the game at 8:10 as he redirected a bouncing puck past Pearce to make it 3-3. JJ Koehler threw puck at a maze of players in front of Pearce with Fanto being the last one to get a stick on it for his third goal of the season.
In overtime the teams traded scoring chances with each goaltender making one save each before the Irish converted their second chance. Defenseman Teddy Ruth broke up a play at center ice and fed it ahead to Kevin Deeth. Deeth and Maday moved in on goal with Deeth sliding the puck to Maday who fired a shot from the bottom of the right circle, beating Dupont for the win.
The Irish are now 2-0-3 in overtime this season. They out shot the Mavericks, 33-24, in the game. Pearce finished the night with 21 saves while Dupont had 29 in the UNO goal.
The teams will close out the series on Saturday night. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. (CT).
** The game was played at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, the former home of the Mavericks who now play at the 15,000-seat Qwest Center. The series moved to the Auditorium as the Qwest Center was hosting the Nebraska state wrestling championships. The last time Notre Dame played in the Civic Auditorium was in January of 2003 when the teams split a pair of 5-3 decisions.
** In the 41-year history of the Notre Dame hockey program, the Irish have had seven seasons with 20 or more wins. Among those 20-win seasons are four with 24 or more wins. Three of those have come in the last three seasons under Jeff Jackson – 32 in 2006-07, 27 in 2008 and 24 this year. The other year with 24 or more wins was 1987-88 when they also had 27 victories.
**Should the Irish win on Saturday night or have Michigan or Miami lose or tie, they would clinch first place in the CCHA for the second time in the last three years and be the top-seeded team throughout the CCHA tournament.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 OT - F#2/#2 Notre Dame (24-5-3/18-4-3-3) 1 2 0 1 - 4Nebraska-Omaha (13-14-7/8-12-7-3) 0 2 1 0 - 3
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; UNO: 3 for 6 minutes.
Second Period: UNO: Jeric Agosto 4 (Mark Bernier, Nick Fanto), 00:39; ND: Hanson 15 (Regan, Ian Cole), 4:32; ND: Billy Maday 12 (Cole, Kyle Lawson), 15:33; UNO: Matt Ambroz 10 (Bernier, Joey Martin), PPG, 16:38.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 2 minutes; UNO: 1 for 2 minutes.
Third Period: UNO: Nick Fanto (JJ Koehler, Eddie DelGrosso), 8:10
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UNO: 3 for 6 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; UNO: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 12 - 8 - 11 - 2 - 33Nebraska-Omaha 10 - 6 - 7 - 1 - 24
Goaltender Saves:ND - Jordan Pearce (63:39) 10 - 4 - 6 - 1 - 21UNO - Jeremie Dupont (60:00) 11 - 6 - 11 - 1 - 29
Power Plays:ND: 0 for 4UNO: 1 for 4