Feb. 16, 2018
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Top-ranked Notre Dame spotted No. 18 Michigan a two-goal first-period lead and the Wolverines held off the hard-charging Irish for a 4-2 victory Friday night at Compton Family Ice Arena (5,593).
Michigan used goals from Adam Winborg at 12:34 and Dexter Dancs at 15:40 to grab a 2-0 lead. The Wolverines out-shot Notre Dame, 17-6, in the opening 20 minutes.
The Irish (22-7-2, 16-4-1-1 B1G) opened the second period strong. Joe Wegwerth registered a power-play goal at 1:27 to cut the Michigan (15-13-3, 10-10-3-2 B1G) advantage in half, 2-1.
Unfortunately, the Wolverines answered just three minutes later. Tony Calderone pushed Michigan’s advantage back to two goals, 3-1, with his team-leading 16th tally of the year.
Notre Dame again answered with a power-play goal just before the end of the second period. Bobby Nardella fired a shot from the point to make the Irish deficit, 3-2. The goal was Nardella’s fifth of the season. Jordan Gross and Andrew Oglevie picked up assists, their 16th and 17th of the season, respectively.
Notre Dame peppered Michigan netminder Hayden Lavigne to the tune of 14 shots in the final period, but was unable to equalize before the Wolverines, once again, extended the lead. Michigan got a goal from Michael Pastujov at 8:08 to regain a two-goal lead, 4-2.
The Irish appeared to draw within a goal, 4-3, at 16:16 of the third, but the score from Jack Jenkins was disallowed following a review for high sticking. Notre Dame had a couple more quality chances but Lavigne was equal to the task.
Lavigne made 34 saves on the night, while Notre Dame goaltender Cale Morris registered 32.
COACH JACKSON’S THOUGHTS
On the team’s play in the final two periods…
“I thought we played much better after the first period. We just made some bad plays defensively. Our defense got trapped up the ice a few times and had a few bad turnovers, too, that led to goals. Just plays that you can’t make against a team like Michigan, especially against their top two lines.”
On Cale Morris‘ performance…
“He made some big saves for us. I think that one of my biggest concerns as we approach the playoffs is giving up odd-man situations, odd-man rushes. Over the last couple of games, we’ve given up more than our share. We have to clean that up. When we were playing real well there for a long stretch, we weren’t giving up that kind of odd-man situation. That way, he doesn’t have to be spectacular all the time. For a goaltender, when he’s on, if he’s not being forced to give up desperation-type goals, that helps, in other words, backdoor-type goals. We gave up a couple tonight. That forces him to play a little deeper. It affects his game if we’re not doing the job defensively. That’s what he’s done all season long.”
On the team’s confidence…
“Michigan puts a lot of pressure on you with their speed. They skate really well and you have less time to make a play. It’s like the one goal that Theisen had the puck on the stick. They’re on you right away. You gotta move the puck quickly and in order to do that, you have to have good puck support. It was no different than the Morrison turnover, too, on the wall, he threw it across ice under pressure. They came right back up the ice and scored. The speed of the game creates turnovers. We have to do a better job of making safe plays when we’re under duress. We have to be smart with the puck and our puck decisions.”
- Jordan Gross skated in the 150th consecutive game of his Irish career (dating back to the first game of his freshman season).
- Jake Evans skated in his 122nd consecutive game dating back to his freshman season.
- Bobby Nardella skated in the 100th game of his Irish career.
- Wegwerth scored his fourth goal of the season and 12th of his career.
- Nardella found the back of the net for the fifth time in his junior campaign and 16th time in his career.
- Jake Evans provided his team-high 24th assist on the season.
- With an assist, Andrew Oglevie extended his point streak to six games (2-7-9).
- It was just the sixth time this season Notre Dame trailed after two periods. The Irish are 1-5-0 when trailing entering the third.
- The Irish are 12-5-2 against ranked teams this season.
- This was the 137th meeting between Notre Dame and Michigan.
Notre Dame and Michigan close out their regular-season series on Sunday, Feb. 18, with a 5:30 p.m. puck drop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
— ND —
Dan Colleran, Director of Athletics Communications at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College (’06 & ’08G).