Jan. 13, 2000
MARQUETTE, Mich. – Visiting Notre Dame and Northern Michigan matched each other with single goals in the first two periods before benefitting from some clutch saves the rest of the way, in a 2-2 Central Collegiate Hockey Association game Thursday night at the Berry Center.
The game was the first between the teams since last seasons hard-fought CCHA playoff series at the Joyce Center (the Irish won the opener 3-2 but NMU took the next two, 7-1 amd 3-2).
Notre Dame (8-12-5, 5-6-4 CCHA)–which has played to overtime in three of its last five games–failed to pick up its first victory on the opponents home ice this season (0-4-3) but continued to climb up the CCHA standings, moving into a three-way tie tie with Nebraska Omah (5-6-4) and idle Miami (6-4-2) for seventh in the conference, just one point behind Lake Superior (7-6-1) and two points out of fourth.
Irish freshman Tony Zasowski allowed just one even-strength goal while stopping 23 of NMUs 25 shots, including several from close range in the final 10 minutes of play.
Northern Michigan (15-6-2, 10-3-2 CCHA) forced a three-way tie atop the CCHA standings, with idle Michigan (11-4-0) and Michigan State (11-5-0), which lost a 4-3 home game in overtime to UNO on Thursday.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early 1-0 lead but needed a power-play goal late in the second period to forge the 2-2 tie. Junior Dan Ragusett-who amassed 87 saves and seven goals against in last seasons playoff series versus the Irish-came up with 23 saves in Thursdays action.
Notre Dame claimed a 2-1 lead early in the second period, behind the sixth goal of the season from junior left wing Dan Carlson. Senior center Ben Simon won a leftside faceoff and played the puck into the left corner. Senior right wing Joe Dusbabek then directed a perfect pass towards the far right side of the crease and Carlson was in position to lift the puck over Ragusetts left shoulder.
The hosts answered with a power-play goal of their own, cashing in a sucession of three penalties on Irish defenseman in a 45-second span. Senior center J.P. Vigier was credited with his ninth goal of the season, when his 5-on-4 shot from the left point deflected off the arm of an Irish defenseman–with the puck redirected past Zasowski (15:29).
The Irish forced an early tie at the 5:34 of the first period, on the second goal of the season from senior defenseman Sean Seyferth. An NMU giveaway set up Seyferths shot from between the circles, with freshman right wing John Wroblewski helping to screen Ragusett while Seyferth tucked a low forehand shot inside the left post.
The Wildcats had jumped ahead in the games third minute, with sophomore defenseman Sean Connolly assisting on the third goal of the season by senior left wing Lee Ruff. Connolly fed Ruff with a pass near the inside edge of the left circle and the NMU captain tipped an arcing shot past Zasowski and into the left side of the net (2:47).
NOTES: Notre Dame has not won an overtime game since a 5-4 win at Bowling Green on Jan. 24, 1998 (0-10-1 since then, including 0-0-5 this season) … the Irish are 4-for-20 on the power play during the past four games, with PPGs in each of the last four games and seven of the last nine … 23 of NDs 59 goals this season have come on the PP (39.0 percent) … Carlson has seven points in the last eight games (3G-4A) … Dusbabek has 13 points in his last 16 games (5G-8A).
NOTRE DAME (8-12-5, 5-6-4 CCHA) 1 1 0 - 2NORTHERN MICHIGAN (15-6-2, 10-3-2 CCHA) 1 1 0 - 2
1st: NMU 1. Ruff 3 (Connolly, Donnette) 2:47, ND 1. Seyferth 2 (unassisted) 5:34.
2nd: ND 2. Carlson 6 (Dusbabek, Simon), PP, 5:46, NMU 2. Vigier 9 (Phillips, Trudeau), PP, 15:29.
Shots: ND 7-8-8-2/25, NMU 7-7-7-4/25.
Saves: ND (Zasowski) 6-6-7-4/23, NMU (Ragusett) 6-7-8-2/23.
Power Play: ND 1-for-6, NMU 1-for-7.
Penalties: ND 7 for 14:00, NMU 6 for 12:00