Feb. 8, 2014
Notre Dame, Ind. – When things go bad for the Irish, they go bad. Trailing Friday night, 2-0, in front of a sellout crowd of 5,022 at the Compton Family Ice Arena, the Irish pulled goaltender Steven Summerhays with less than 1:30 left in the game in favor of a sixth attacker.
Senior captain Jeff Costello scored with 1:23 left on the clock to cut the lead to 2-1. The Irish would get control of the puck and get Summerhays off for the sixth attacker and with 26 seconds left it looked like Costello was able to jam a loose puck under Maine goaltender Martin Ouellette to tie the game.
While the Irish celebrated, referees John Gravallese and Kevin Shea headed to the penalty box to review the goal. After a lengthy review, they would wave the goal off and from there, Maine held on for the 2-1 Hockey East victory.
“From my perspective, there was a shot on goal and the puck was loose. I came in and tried to whack it,” said Costello.
“It was chaos in that situation. I thought I got it under the goalie and it slid in. The ref explained to me that I pushed the goalie into the net with the puck under him.”
Ouellette made 36 saves in the victory and got all the offense he needed from Connor Leen and Brice O’Connor to take the victory. Costello would get the lone Notre Dame goal while Summerhays finished with 29 saves in the game.
The loss, the third straight for the Irish drops them to 15-12-1 overall and 4-9-1 in Hockey East play. Notre Dame has nine points in the league standings and falls into a tie with Boston University for ninth place as Massachusetts moved into sole possession of eighth with a 3-0 win over Northeastern. Maine improves to 13-9-3 on the year and is now 7-4-2 in conference play, good for 16 points and a tie for fourth with New Hampshire.
“They (the team) are getting discouraged,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
“Again, we had chances and didn’t finish. I thought Maine stressed us out at times defensively. We have to do a better job in our own end, especially breaking out. It hasn’t been a problem until they put pressure on us and we turned pucks over.”
Maine wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as the Black Bears took a 1-0 lead just 59 seconds into the game as Leen scored his fourth of the season, beating Summerhays with a shot from the slot.
Linemate Josh Henke carried the puck behind the Notre Dame net and fed it to Leen who was uncovered in the slot and he buried it behind the Irish goaltender. Cam Brown also assisted on the goal.
“I don’t think our guys were as prepared as they should have been for the speed of the game. They (Maine) are a fast team. They put a lot of pressure on you,” said Jackson.
“They are aggressive on the forecheck and they forced us to turn pucks over.”
The score would remain 1-0 until the third period, despite strong Irish pressure throughout the game.
O’Connor would score the eventual game winner at 13:21 of the third period as his shot deflected off an Irish defenseman and inside the right post for his first of the season to give the Black Bears an insurance goal at the time and the 2-0 lead.
In the wild final minute and a half, the Irish stormed the Maine net with Costello scoring while lying on the ice as he jammed a loose puck through Ouellette’s pads for his ninth of the season.
Vinny Hinostroza took a pass from Shayne Taker in the right face-off circle and fired a shot on net. Bryan Rust appeared to knock the shot down in the crease and Costello stuck his nose in the pile in front to cut the Maine lead to 2-1.
The Irish would repeat the scenario less than a minute later as they stormed the Maine goal again. This time T.J. Tynan carried the puck off the left boards and threw a shot in the crease. Sam Herr was parked in front and Costello moved in to jam at the puck and it crossed the goal line.
After deliberating and reviewing the goal, it was ruled no goal and the game would end in a 2-1 loss for Notre Dame.
Following the game, Hockey East director of officials, Dan Schachte through a pool reporter made this statement on the disallowed goal.
“The goal was disallowed under 83.6. There’s 19 bullet points. The 15th bullet point — 83.6 is disallowed goals — the 15th bullet point is any action by the attacking team that propels the goaltender into the goal with puck. They ruled that Notre Dame’s No. 11, with the puck underneath Ouellette, pushed Ouellette backwards over the line. (Referee) Kevin (Shea) did blow the whistle and then the puck squirted loose as Costello was pushing him over the line and Kevin then said on the puck in the net and pointed. Based on the replay showing Costello pushing Ouellette backwards over the goal line the play was disallowed.”
When asked if he thought the officials got the call right, Schachte said, “I support them. I do support them.”
Notre Dame out shot Maine by a 37-31 margin. The Irish were 0-for-3 on the power play while the Black Bears were 0-for-2.
Notre Dame now has six games left in the Hockey East regular season. The Irish need to get things turned around as they head down the final stretch.
“It’s February. We have to be able to respond,” said Jackson.
“We did it two weeks ago. This one is different though. We have to get our heads on straight and be ready for the next shift.
The two teams will meet in the second game of the series at 8:05 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - FMaine (13-9-3/7-4-2) 1 0 1 - 2#rv/#18 Notre Dame (15-12-1/4-9-1) 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period: UM: Connor Leen 4 (Josh Henke, Cam Brown), 00:59.
Penalties: UM: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
2nd Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: UM: 0 for 0 minutes; ND: 0 for 0 minutes.
Penalties: UM: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Maine 8 - 12 - 11 - 31Notre Dame 12 - 10 - 15 - 37
Goaltender Saves:UM: Martin Ouellette (60:00) 12 - 10 - 14 - 36ND: Steven Summerhays (58:22) 7 - 12 - 10 - 29
Power Plays:ME: 0 for 2ND: 0 for 3
Attendance: 5,022 (sellout)