November 1, 1996
No. 1 Michigan Races To Quick Lead, Defeats Notre Dame 6-3
Irish rally falls short in second period before capacity Joyce Center crowd
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Five different Michigan players scoredin the first period and the Wolverines staved off a second-period NotreDame rally as the No. 1-ranked University of Michigan hockey team defeatedthe University of Notre Dame 6-3 in Central Collegiate HockeyAssociation action Friday in front of a sellout crowd (2,267) at theJoyce Center Fieldhouse. The victory was the 15th straight win fordefending NCAA champion Michigan (6-0, 4-0 CCHA), equaling the schoolrecord set during the 1990-91 season.
Notre Dame (2-2-1, 1-2-1) watchedthe visitors claim a 5-0 lead before scoring three unanswered goals inthe first 12 minutes of the second period. But, Wolverines’ junior BillMuckalt netted his team-leading seventh goal of the season with sixminutes left in the second period, stopping the Irish momentum on whatwould be the final goal of the game.
The win gives the Wolverines sixpoints in the CCHA standings, allowing Michigan to keep pace withMichigan State for second place, behind Miami of Ohio (5-0-0). Michiganand Michigan State – an 8-2 winner Friday over the nation’s No. 3-rankedteam Bowling Green – will face off for sole possession of second place inthe league on Saturday night, when the Spartans host the Wolverines.
Michigan outshot Notre Dame by a sizable margin (24-6) in the firstperiod while stretching to the 5-0 lead, but the Irish stormed back inthe first 12 minutes of the second period, scoring three times on goalsby sophomore Benoit Cotnoir, freshman Joe Dusbabek and sophomore AniketDhadphale.
Notre Dame junior goaltender Matt Eisler bounced back fromthe frustrating first period to finish strong, stopping 24 of Michigan’s25 shots in the final two periods. Michigan junior Marty Turco totaled28 saves while stretching his career record to 67-14-2.
The veteranWolverines extended their domination of the series, as Michigan has won22 of its last 23 games vs. Notre Dame. Cotnoir converted from hisdefensive position early in the second period (2:52) on a two-manadvantage situation, launching a low blast from just inside the centerof the blueline, off assists from freshmen Simon Fraser and Ben Simon(their first points with the Irish).
A potential turning point in thegame followed moments later, when Michigan defenseman Harold Schock waswhistled for a five-minute major penalty after hitting Dhadphale frombehind. With the Wolverines forced to play a man down for the full fiveminutes (regardless of any Irish scoring), Notre Dame was able to scoreonce but could not convert on any other chances. Dusbabek scored histeam-leading third goal of the season midway through the Schock penalty,putting back a rebound on the right side of the crease after a shot fromDhadphale, with senior Ben Nelsen initiating the score with a passaround the perimeter.
Despite scoring just once during the five-minutepower-play, the Irish added a third consecutive goal at the 12:19 mark ofthe second period, as Dhadphale picked up a loose puck in the slot,veered to his right while avoiding a Michigan player, and slid the puckinside the right post (12:19). The play began when junior Lyle Andrusiakdug the puck out from the left sideboards before Dusbabek maneuvered thepuck towards the center of the ice.
Moments later, the Wolverines slowedthe Irish momentum on a patented goal from Muckalt at the 14:03 mark.Senior defenseman Blake Sloan skated up the middle and slanted to theright before leaving the puck for Muckalt, who quickly faked a shot inthe slot before backhanding a shot past Eisler at the let side of thecrease.
Michigan broke out to a quick lead in the first 70 seconds ofthe game when senior John Madden stole the puck in the Irish zone anddropped a centering pass to the trailing sophomore Bubba Berenzweig, whoblasted a slapshot that beat Eisler to the blocker side (1:19).
Thevisitors stretched to a 2-0 lead four minutes later, when senior MikeLegg took a pass from Sloan, streaked down the left side and beat Eislerwith a backhand shot after the Irish goaltender came out to challenge.
The Wolverines tacked on three more goals in a span of five minutes totake a 5-0 lead into the first intermission. Sophomore Sean Ritchlinpushed the margin to three at the 13:53 mark, after taking a feed fromjunior Matt Herr just inside the blue line and sending a wrist shot pastthe sprawling Eisler. Senior Jason Botterill padded the Michigan leadwith 1:34 remaining in the opening period, capitalizing on a 5-on-3opportunity after penalties to Irish freshman Ben Simon and Cotnoir.Madden and senior Warren Luhning provided the setup passes as theWolverines worked the puck around the Irish zone, with Botterill findingthe net on a low slapshot from the top of the zone.
Michigan continuedto capitalize in the waning moments of the first period (19:51), as Herrconverted on the power-play off assists from Sloan and Legg.
Michigansenior Brendan Morrison was shut out from the scoring, while Madden’s twoassists gave him 11 in his career vs. the Irish. Botterill’s goal washis 11th in the series vs. the Irish, while Legg recorded his seventhcareer goal and 10th assist in the series.
Michigan Coach Gordon Berenson:“We more vulnerable to taking penalties when we’re up 5-0. Don’t ask mewhy. It was a whole different game from the second period on. We wereon their heels, then we lost one of our best defensemen (Schock). Allthat happened in the second period … That was our best first period ofthe season. I thought we did good things. When we were five on five wewere very strong. Then we had two power play goals, and we really madethem pay.”
Michigan Defenseman Harold Shock: “I was upset that the penaltywas called. This year the five minute hitting from behind penalty is anautomatic game disqualification. At that point I was concerned aboutbeing able to play tomorrow night … I’ve seen (Notre Dame) play onegame and have heard some things about them. They’re an improved team. When you play Notre Dame you know they’re going to work hard, hit, andplay defensive hockey. Every year I play in the league they getbetter.”
Notre Dame Coach Dave Poulin: “We had a lot of standing around inthe first period and Michigan made us pay. We played pretty well earlierthis year as a result of what we have done. But there’s a differencebetween wanting to do it and doing it, particularly when you’re playingthe #1 team in the nation. After the first period, we did a nicer jobphysically and skated well. You can’t be physical without skating well.Eisler played well–you can’t fault him on any of the goals. The firstthree Michigan goals were just skilled players performing. You’re goingto give up some of those. Morrison obviously has skills … but he waspretty quiet tonight. We had a lot of chances in the third periodbecause we skated well. We have increased our team speed but you have todo something with it. We started three kids tonight who are right out ofhigh school and they’re just going to continue getting better. This(sellout) was a great atmosphere and a good show after the firstperiod.”
Notre Dame Forward Aniket Dhadphale: “I can’t explain the way weplayed in the first period. There’s no excuse to starting out like that.You’ve got to give yourself a chance to win but instead we dug a hole.”
Notre Dame Forward Joe Dusbabek: “Starting with the secondperiod, we began hitting more and they were bailing out. They don’t likebeing hit and we’re turning the puck over–that’s how we got two of ourthree goals. There definitely were positives. We saw that we can playwith Michigan–we just have to do it for 60 minutes. You’ve got to geton them from the beginning because they are a very talented offensiveteam. In the first period, we weren’t moving our feet and were caughtout of position. We needed a wakeup call in the second period. Ourfourth line of Craig Hagkull, John Dwyer and Neal Johnson was a greatinspiration for us. They showed in the first period that you have to bephysical with a team like Michigan.”
Michigan 6, Notre Dame 3CCHA Hockey - at Notre Dame's Joyce CenterMICHIGAN 5 1 0 - 6NOTRE DAME 0 3 0 - 3SCORING First: MICH 1. - Berenzweig (Madden) 1:19; MICH 2. -Legg (Sloan, Magnuson) 5:09; MICH 3. - Ritchlin (Herr); MICH 4. -Botterill (Luhning, Madden), PP 5-3, 18:26; MICH 5. Herr (Sloan, Legg),PP 5-4, 19:51.Second: ND 1. - Cotnoir (Fraser, Simon), PP 5-3, 2:52; ND 2. - Dusbabek (Dhadphale, Nelsen), PP 5-4, 6:32; ND 3. - Dhadphale(Dusbabek, Andrusiak) 12:19; MICH 6. - Muckalt (Sloan) 14:03. Third: No scoring.SHOTS ON GOAL: MICH 24-13-12/49; ND 6-20-5/31SAVES: Turco (MICH) 6-17-5/28; Eisler (ND) 19-12-12/43PENALTIES: MICH 11 for 25; ND 9 for 18POWERPLAY: MICH 2 for 3; ND 2-for-5