Feb. 14, 1997
Top-Ranked Michigan Holds Off Notre Dame
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – With the season winding down and a playoff berthstill alive for the taking, Notre Dame didn’t exactly find itself in the idealsituation having to face top-ranked Michigan Friday night.
While the Irish were able to enter the final period in a scoreless deadlock with thenation’s top team, Michigan proved its worth by skating to a hard-fought 3-1victory over the Irish at the Yost Ice Arena.
The loss leaves the Irish (8-22-1 overall, 5-17-1 CCHA) four points behindFerris State with four games to go in the race for the eighth and final playoffberth in the CCHA Tournament. The Bulldogs also own the tie-breaker against theIrish.
The Wolverines got on the board 1:04 into the third period when Jason Botterillfound the back of the net on a Michigan power-play. Michigan’s Brendan Morrisonset the Michigan all-time assist record on the play, earning the 165 assist ofhis career.
Michigan (27-2-3, 18-2-2) grabbed a 2-0 lead a little over two minutes later when BubbaBerenzweig scored for the Wolverines.
Notre Dame came right back, however, climbing back into the game when AniketDhadphale took a pass from Ben Simon and skated into the left circle beforefiring a shot between the legs of Michigan goalie Marty Turco for the score. Itwas Dhadphale’s first goal in the last 14 games.
The assist, meanwhile, was Simon’s 14th of the year, giving him 18 points on the season,which ties him for fourth-best mark on the team.
Michigan would later seal the game when Harold Schock scored at the 13:44 markof the final period.
Michigan finished with 47 shots on goal, compared to just 15 for Notre Dame.However, the Irish still managed to create several legitimate scoring opportunities.
The game could have gotten away early for the Irish had it not be for theoutstanding play of junior goaltender Matt Eisler, who stopped the first 34Michigan shots on goal and helped the Irish hold off the first six power-playchances for the Wolverines.
Eisler’s played earned him the First Star Award, which is a rarity for a playeron the losing team. Over the last 10 games combined, Eisler has made 125 saves andallowed just five goals in the opening period.
Michigan finished the night 1-for-9 on the power-play after coming into the gamewith a 30 percent power-play conversion rate. Notre Dame, which came into thecontest with the fourth-best penalty-killing unit, was boosted by the return ofTyson Fraser who had missed the last five games due to injury.
The Irish were without their sixth-leading scorer, Terry Lorenz, whowasn’t able to make the trip after being injured in practice earlier this week.Lorenz had played in 68 straight and 139 out of the last 140 games.
Michigan 3, Notre Dame 1
Notre Dame 0 0 0 - 1Michigan 0 0 0 - 3SCORINGFirst period: noneSecond period: noneThird period: Mich - Botterill, 24 (Morrison, Legg), 1:04, PP; Mich -Berzenweig, 6 (Bourke) 3:07; ND - Dhadphale, 5 (Simon, Boerga), 4:13; Mich -Schock, 4 (unassisted),13:44.Shots on goalNotre Dame: 15Michigan: 47 Power-Play ConversionsNotre Dame: 0-3Michigan: 1-9PenaltiesNotre Dame: 13-26Michigan: 8-24SavesEisler (ND): 20-13-11-44Turco (Mich.): 4-4-6-14