Sam Herr connected on his third goal of the year to lead Notre Dame past Western Michigan 3-1 on Saturday night.

No. 18 Irish Bounce Back to Defeat Western Michigan 3-1

Nov. 28, 2015

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By Dan Colleran

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Tied 1-1 with under five minutes to play in the third period, senior forward Sam Herr redirected a Luke Ripley drive from the point past Western Michigan goaltender Lukas Hafner to score what proved to be the game-winning goal for the Irish on Saturday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022).

Thomas DiPauli added an insurance tally at 19:01 of the third period for the final 3-1 margin of victory as Notre Dame placed third in the 2015 Shillelagh Tournament.

“Winning an ugly game, finding a way to comeback and outworking them in the third period was good,” Herr said. “Maybe not all the plays were pretty – my goal wasn’t pretty – but when you get to the net good things happen.”

Though Western Michigan’s Frederik Tiffels scored a power-play goal late in the second period to make it a 1-1 game after Dawson Cook put the Irish ahead 1-0 earlier in the second, the Notre Dame penalty kill unit had a bounce back game after giving up three power-play goals to Harvard in the opening round of the Shillelagh Tournament.

“We did a good job of killing tonight,” Notre Dame Head Coach Jeff Jackson said. “Especially considering Jake [Evans] is one of our better penalty killers and face-off guys. It seemed like every time we had a penalty, one of our killers were in the box.”

The Broncos started the third period with 2:48 left on five minute power play following a Jake Evans major, but the Irish were able to erase that chance and also killed off a Western Michigan power play with just under four minutes to play in the third period when it was still a one goal game.

“Even though we let up a goal early in that major, we were able to bounce back and that was what carried our momentum for the rest of game,” Herr added.

Cal Petersen also had a strong game in the Notre Dame net, stopping 31 of the 32 Western Michigan shots he faced.

“The only way we’re going anywhere is if we have good goaltending,” Jackson said after the game. “I challenged Cal last night, and I told him we needed him. Just like a baseball team, if you’re in a bit of slide, you need your number one starter to throw a no hitter. That’s the only way you turn things around.”

In the Western Michigan net, Hafner finished with 39 saves.

Though scoreless after the first period of play, the Irish enjoyed the majority of possession in the stanza and out shot the Broncos by a 15-9 margin, while Andy Ryan also rang a shot off the post at the 13:00 minute mark after he was setup nicely by Ben Ostlie.

Western Michigan (4-8-1, 2-4-0 NCHC) finished 1-for-6 on the power play, while Notre Dame was 0-for-3.

Earlier in the afternoon, Harvard won the 2015 Shillelagh Tournament Championship with a 4-0 victory over RPI. Harvard forwards Jimmy Vesey, Alexander Kerfoot and Kyle Criscuolo as well as defenseman Victor Newell were named to the All-Tournament Team, along with RPI defenseman Prapavessis.

Harvard goaltender Merrick Madsen stopped 60 of 61 shots he faced over the weekend to earn All-Tournament and Most Outstanding Player honors.

Notre Dame returns to Hockey East play next weekend when it plays host to UMass for a pair of games on Friday, Dec. 4 (7:35 p.m.) and Saturday, Dec. 5 (6:05 p.m.). Saturday’s game will be televised by the NBC Sports Network.

— The Irish took a 1-0 lead on Dawson Cook’s first goal of the season scored at 13:23 of the second period. Cook battled his way to just outside of Western Michigan’s goal crease and slotted home a feed from Joe Wegwerth after the freshman left winger curled around the back of the net with the puck. Skating in his 100th career game, senior defenseman Andy Ryan notched an assist on the play, while Wegwerth’s assist was the first of his career.

— Western Michigan tied it at 1-1 when Frederik Tiffels scored a power-play goal at 18:26 of the second period. Tiffels was positioned in front of the Notre Dame goal and a point shot from Corey Schueneman deflected off of Tiffels’ knee and over Petersen for his third goal of the season. Nolan LaPorte also had an assist on the play.

— Notre Dame took back the lead, 2-1, at 14:55 of the third on Sam Herr’s third of the season when he tipped in a Luke Ripley blast from the near point. Ryan notched his second assist of the game on the play as well.

— DiPauli iced the game for the Irish when he picked the puck up from Anders Bjork along the half boards, curled towards the slot and let a wrist shot fly high past Hafner’s glove for his sixth goal of the season at 19:01 of the third period.

— Senior defenseman Andy Ryan skated in his 100th-career game and notched two assists for his fifth career multi-point game.

— Notre Dame and Western Michigan will also play a weekend home-and-home series this season on Jan. 8-9.

Cal Petersen made his 14th-consecutive start in the Irish goal to open the 2015-16 season.

Dawson Cook scored his first goal of the year and the second of his career (his other goal came in Notre Dame’s 6-3 win over Niagara on Oct. 23, 2014).

Joe Wegwerth recorded the first assist of his Irish career.

Sam Herr became the first Notre Dame player with two game-winning goals this season and he now has seven game winners in his career.

— ND —

Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director 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 men’s golf programs. A native Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Prior to Providence, Colleran spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League. He is a 2006 graduate of Providence College, where he also earned an MBA in 2008.