March 12, 2011
Notre Dame, Ind. – Freshman left wing Jeff Costello scored at 4:52 of overtime to give Notre Dame a 3-2 win over Lake Superior State Friday night at a sold-out Joyce Center. The win gives the Fighting Irish a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series versus the Lakers. Game two is set for 7:05 p.m. on Saturday night.
Costello’s game winner came off a rush set up by defenseman Joe Lavin who picked up a loose puck at center ice and raced into the Lake Superior zone. The Notre Dame captain left the puck for Costello who carried it down the left boards to the outside of the left circle. With right wing Billy Maday driving on the far post, Costello fired the puck towards the net where it beat Lakers’ goaltender Kevin Kapalka over his right shoulder for the game-winning goal and his 10th of the season.
For Costello, the goal capped a career-best three-point night as he helped set up earlier goals by fellow freshmen T.J. Tynan and Anders Lee. The Lakers scored twice in the second period as Chad Nehring and Rick Schofield lit the lamp for Lake Superior State.
The win improved the Irish to 22-10-5 overall and 7-1-2 in their last 10 games since Jan. 22. The Lakers fell to 12-16-9 with the loss.
Costello, the freshman from Milwaukee, Wis., described his winning goal.
“It was a broken play off the rush and there’s no bad shot in overtime so I just thought I would throw it at the net,” explained Costello, who added with a laugh, “It was a hard throw it at the net. I was just trying to get it on the goal. I didn’t know that it went in. There was so much going on in front of the net, so many bodies. It took a couple seconds to realize that it went in.”
The Irish wouldn’t have been in overtime without some nice passes from the hard-nosed left wing. His first helper came in the opening period on the power play when he set up Tynan for his 20th of the season.
Defenseman Sam Calabrese moved the puck from the point to Costello on the left boards. He found Tynan in the slot and the freshman center whipped a wrister past Kapalka to give Notre Dame the first goal of the night at 6:48.
The score would stay that way until the 9:28 mark of the second when Lake Superior would convert on a power-play chance of its own.
Nehring got the goal when he tucked the rebound of a shot by Fred Cassiani inside the left post behind Mike Johnson for his seventh marker of the year and a 1-1 tie.
The Lakers would take the lead less than two minutes later at 11:14 when Schofield, Lake Superior’s leading scorer, carried the puck through the slot and lifted a backhander over Johnson’s glove for his 17th goal of the year. Will Acton and Dominic Monardo assisted on the play, as they were able to keep an Irish clearing bid in along the left wing boards.
The fact that Lake Superior was able to take the lead did not surprise Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
“They (Lake Superior) are a good team. They don’t give you a lot of chances,” said Jackson.
“They are good defensively, their goalie is outstanding and they transition well offensively. You have to be at your best when you play these guys. Any mistake you make can end up in your net.”
Notre Dame got the equalizer at 17:42, just five seconds after a power play ended with Lee notching his team best 22nd of the year to make it 2-2.
Tynan set the play in motion along the left boards, moving the puck to Costello in the high slot. Instead of shooting, Costello slid the puck to Lee on the right side of the goal at the top of the crease. Lee made a quick move on Kapalka and lifted a backhander past him to even the score.
The third period was scoreless as Kapalka stopped all 14 shots that the Irish threw at him and Johnson stopped seven Laker shots to send the game to the extra session.
There it was Costello who would score the first overtime goal in an Irish postseason since Calle Ridderwall, then a freshman, scored in overtime to defeat Michigan in the 2008 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal game.
“Jeff’s (Costello) really had a strong season. He’s played all year on one of our top lines and scored some timely goals for us,” said Jackson.
“He hasn’t gotten a lot of the recognition that the other freshmen have gotten, but he plays an important role for us. He works hard and isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty. That’s why he’s gotten those timely goals.”
The Irish will be looking for those timely goals to keep coming from their other freshman goal scorer.
** Notre Dame is now unbeaten in their last 20 overtime games (4-0-16) dating back to its last overtime loss on March 21, 2008, a 2-1 loss to Miami in the CCHA semifinals. The overtime win was the first for Notre Dame since Nov. 27, 2009 when the Irish defeated Bowling Green, 2-1.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 OT - FLake Superior State (12-16-9) 0 2 0 0 - 2#8/#8 Notre Dame (22-10-5) 1 1 0 1 - 3
Penalties: LSSU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Second Period: LSSU: Chad Nehring 7 (Fred Cassiani, Ben Power), PPG, 9:28; LSSU: Rick Schofield 17 (Will Acton, Domenic Monardo), 11:14; ND: Anders Lee 22 (Costello, Tynan), 17:42.
Penalties: LSSU: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 3 for 6 minutes.
Third Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: LSSU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Overtime: ND: Costello 10 (Joe Lavin), 4:52.
Penalties: LSSU: 0 for 0 minutes; ND: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Lake Superior State 10 - 7 - 7 - 2 - 26Notre Dame 8 - 11 - 14 - 4 - 37
Goaltender Saves:LSSU: Kevin Kapalka (64:52) 7 - 10 - 14 - 3 - 34ND: Mike Johnson (64:52) 10 - 5 - 7 - 2 - 24
Power Plays:LSSU: 1 for 5ND: 1 for 5
Attendance: 2,859 (sellout)