Junior defenseman Brett Blatchford was named the CCHA defensive player of the week for the second week in a row after helping Notre Dame to a weekend sweep of Bowling Green.

Irish Snap Two-Game Losing Skid With 3-2 Road Win At Northern Michigan

Nov. 1, 2008

Final Stats

Marquette, Mich. – The Notre Dame hockey team traveled to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Friday night, looking to get back on the winning track. The Irish accomplished their goal on Friday night as they combined stellar special teams play and strong goaltending from Jordan Pearce to pull out a 3-2 win over the Northern Michigan Wildcats at the Berry Events Center.

The Irish scored three power-play goals on the night with Ryan Thang, Dan Kissel and Christian Hanson each netting one and killed all seven Wildcat power-play chances to pick up their third win of the season and snap a two-game losing streak. Tim Hartung and Nathan Sigmund scored for Northern Michigan as Notre Dame out shot the Wildcats, 27-26, on the night.

The win evened Notre Dame’s overall record at 3-3-0 on the year and gave the Irish their first CCHA victory of the year as they move to 1-2-0-0 in the conference. Northern Michigan falls to 2-4-1 on the season and 1-3-1-0 in the CCHA.

The Wildcats opened the scoring by getting on the board at 5:47 of the opening period. Right wing Gregor Hanson went tape-to-tape with a long pass to Hartung through the neutral zone and the speedy center split the Irish defense. He rolled in on Pearce and made a move that the Irish goaltender appeared to stop only to see it trickle through his pads and into the goal for Hartung’s first of the season.

Notre Dame tied the game less than seven minutes later at 12:20 as the Irish notched their first of three man-advantage goals on the night. The goal snapped an 0-for-17 power-play drought for the Irish as Thang rang up his third of the season.

Defenseman Ian Cole moved the puck from the right point to the high slot to center Ben Ryan who slid the puck to the top of the left circle where Thang drilled a one-timer past Northern Michigan goaltender Bill Stewart that clanged off the inside of the goal and came out faster than it went in to make it 1-1.

In the second period, the Irish would take their first lead since the Sacred Heart series (Oct. 17-18) with the power-play striking for the second time on the night with Kissel cashing in at the 4:34 mark for a 2-1 lead.

Freshman Billy Maday took a pass from the left wing corner and moved it across to the center point to defenseman Brett Blatchford who moved in and fired a low shot on goal that Stewart stopped but failed to control the rebound. The puck found its way to the bottom of the left circle where Kissel snapped off a quick wrist shot that found the back of the net. The goal was Kissel’s first of the season.

The Irish built the lead to 3-1 with their third power-play goal of the night at 7:29 of the third period. Blatchford, who had a two-assist game, would have a hand in this goal too as his shot from the left point was deflected in front by Hanson over the shoulder of Stewart for his third goal of the season.

Northern wasn’t done though as the Wildcats cut the lead to 3-2 with just under eight minutes remaining as the Wildcats scored just one second after the Irish killed off a 5-on-3 power-play. Sigmund batted the rebound of a point shot from Ben Lindenmulder past Pearce for his first goal of the year at the 12:32 mark.

From there it was up to Pearce and the Irish defense to close the door and they were able to do it over the final eight minutes. Northern would pull its goaltender with over a minute left in the game, but the Irish held on, drawing a penalty with 10 seconds left for the final score of 3-2.

On the night, Pearce and Stewart would each finish with 24 saves.

The two teams will meet again on Saturday night with game time at the Berry Events Center set for 7:35 p.m.


* Notre Dame’s three power-play goal night was the second of the year for the Irish. They also had three power-play goals in the 7-0 win over Sacred Heart on October 18.

* The Irish are 7-for-23 on the power play (30.4%) in their three wins this season and 0-for-24 with the man advantage in the three losses.

* Brett Blatchford’s two-assist game was his first multiple-point game since picking up a pair of assists on Jan. 5, 2006 in a 6-2 Notre Dame win at Robert Morris his freshman year, a streak of 65 games for the junior defenseman.

* Notre Dame’s penalty kill has been perfect in four of the team’s six games this season. It has give up two power-play goals in each of the other two games. On the year, the Irish have killed 33 of 37 opponent power-play chances for an 89.2% success rate.

GAME SUMMARY                           1    2    3 -  F#13/#13  Notre Dame (3-3-0/1-2-0-0)    1    1    1 -  3Northern Michigan (2-4-1/1-3-1-0)      1    0    1 -  2


First Period: NMU: Tim Hartung 1 (Gregor Hanson, Blake Cosgrove), 5:47; ND: Ryan Thang 3 (Ben Ryan, Ian Cole), PPG, 12:20.

Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; NMU: 2 for 4 minutes.

Second Period: ND: Dan Kissel 1 (Brett Blatchford, Billy Maday), PPG, 4:34.

Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes; NMU: 5 for 10 minutes.

Third Period: ND: Christian Hanson 3 (Blatchford, Kevin Deeth), PPG, 7:29; NMU: Nathan Sigmund 1 (Ben Lindenmulder, Erik Gustafsson), 12:32.

Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; NMU: 2 for 4 minutes.

Shots On Goal:Notre Dame             8 - 14 - 5  -  27Northern Michigan      9 -  7 - 10 -  26
Goaltender Saves:ND - Jordan Pearce (60:00) 8 - 7 - 9 - 24NMU - Bill Stewart (58:39) 7 - 13 - 4 - 24
Power Plays:
ND: 3 for 9NMU: 0 for 7
Attendance: 2,883