November 15, 1998

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame junior center Ben Simon came through with the key third-period goal for the second straight night as the #6-ranked Irish played to a 2-2 tie with defending NCAA champion Michigan, in Central Collegiate Hockey Association action Saturday at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse.

Notre Dame (8-1-2, 6-1-1 CCHA) played without injured senior left wing Aniket Dhadphale while remaining atop the CCHA standings. Michigan (6-2-1, 5-1-1)-ranked #7 by U.S. College Hockey Online and #9 in the USA Today poll-fell a point behind second-place Michigan State.

The game was the latest in an exciting series in which the last six games have featured one Irish win in regulation, two Michigan wins in regulation, two UM overtime wins (one in the 19th minute of playoff OT) and Saturday’s tie. In those six games, Michigan has scored 16 goals while the Irish have totaled 14.

Notre Dame enjoyed a 36-22 edge in shots but Michigan freshman Josh Blackburn came up with 34 saves while his teammates converted on 2-of-4 power-play chances.

The Irish missed a golden opportunity midway through the final period, when Michigan senior right wing Sean Ritchlin was whistled for a five-minute major and ensuing game misconduct disqualification for hitting from behind. Notre Dame managed just five shots on goal during the five-minute power-play chance, with few strong scoring chances.

Irish freshman center David Inman extended his scoring streak to four games midway through the first period, after crisp passes from junior right wing Joe Dusbabek and junior defenseman Tyson Fraser. Inman skated between the circles and calmly faked a shot before beating Blackburn for his fifth goal of the season and a 1-0 Irish lead. (10:05)

Michigan gained the equalizer a minute later, when sophomore defenseman Dave Huntzicker banged a shot from the center of the blue line off the left post for his first goal of the season.

The Wolverines took the lead midway through the second period, on a play that was set up by a shot from the top of the left circle by sophomore defenseman Mike Van Ryn. Irish senior goaltender Forrest Karr put his glove on the puck as it sailed through the crease area but sophomore left wing Mark Kosick was in position at the far right post for his third goal of the season (11:17).

Simon–who had the game-winner vs. Bowling Green on Friday (6-2)-provided the night’s final scoring on a power-play goal just 26 seconds into the third period. Senior right wing Brian Urick fired a shot from the left circle and Dusbabek kept the rebound alive in the slot before Simon scooped home his sixth goal of the season.

The Irish penalty-killing unit continued to struggle and has allowed six goals on 21 opponent power-play chances (.286) during the past four games.

Sophomore left wing Chad Chipchase skated on the first line alongside Simon and Urick in the absence of Dhadphale, who picked up a hat trick and an arm injury the night before versus Bowling Green. Senior Craig Hagkull took Chipchase’s spot on the fourth line while versatile junior Andy Jurkowski moved from defense to third-line left wing and his classmate Sean Molina re-entered the lineup in the Irish defense.

Dhadphale had played in 58 straight games prior to missing Saturday’s game with Michigan.

In other CCHA action Saturday, Michigan State (5-1-2) moved into sole possession of second place with a 5-0 victory at Miami (1-7-2) that dropped the RedHawks into a share of 10th. Northern Michigan (5-3-0) dropped to fourth place thanks to a 4-2 loss at Ohio State (3-3-2) that vaulted the Buckeyes into sixth. Lake Superior State (1-5-2) moved into a share of 10th following a 3-1 win at fifth-place Ferris State (4-3-1). Alaska Fairbanks (3-5-0) pulled out a 6-5 win at seventh-place Bowling Green (3-5-1), moving the Nanooks into a tie for eighth with idle Western Michigan (1-3-4).

#7 MICHIGAN (6-2-1, 5-1-1 CCHA)     1   1   0   -   2#6 NOTRE DAME (8-1-2, 6-1-1 CCHA)   1   0   1   -   2

1st: ND 1. Inman 5 (Dusbabek, Fraser) 10:05; UM 1. Huntzicker 1 (Kosick, Comrie), PP, 11:05
2nd: UM 2. Kosick (Van Ryn, Huntzicker), PP, 11:17.
3rd: ND 2. Simon 6 (Dusbabek, Urick) 0:26.

Shots: UM 7-5-8-2/22, ND 10-12-11-3/36.
Saves: UM (Blackburn) 9-12-10-3/34, ND (Karr) 6-4-8-2/20.
Power Play: UM 2-for-4, ND 1-for-5.
Penalties: UM 9 for 37:00, ND 6 for 12:00.