Dec. 10, 2006
Notre Dame, Ind. –
Game One ND Goal Highlights (from Friday, Dec. 8) –
Game Two ND Goal Highlights (from Sunday, Dec. 10)
Sophomore left wing Garrett Regan scored two goals, including the game winner as Notre Dame rallied from a 3-2 deficit with a pair of third-period goals to hand Michigan a 4-3 loss in front of a sellout crowd of 2,763 at the Joyce Center on Sunday afternoon.
The win, gave the fifth-ranked Irish a weekend sweep of the seventh-ranked Wolverines after winning on Friday night at Yost Arena by a 7-3 score. The win was also the fourth straight for Notre Dame against ranked teams after sweeping 14th-ranked Alaska last weekend.
Kyle Lawson and Ryan Thang also scored for the Irish as Notre Dame battled back from 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 deficits in the matinee. The Irish were 3-for-7 on the power play when they held Michigan scoreless in six power-play chances. Travis Turnbull, Kevin Porter and Mark Mitera scored for Michigan.
The Irish are now 14-3-1 overall and 9-2-1 in the CCHA while Michigan falls to 12-7-0 on the year and 8-5-0 in conference play. Notre Dame is now second in the CCHA with 19 points, just two points behind first-place Miami with two games in hand. The Irish end an impressive first half of the season with 14 wins, the most that any Notre Dame team has had going into finals week.
“If you had asked me at the beginning of the season I would have never thought that we would be where we are,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson following the game. “All the credit goes to the kids. The senior class has done a great job in making sure that the ghosts of the past disappear. I give them a lot of credit because they have incorporated the freshmen who have been tremendous. Some of our best players worked really hard to get ready for this season, so I am proud of those kids. We are only half way through and we have a long way to go in this season. It was a great first half, but that only makes half a great season.
Michigan looked to end Notre Dame’s first half on a down note early on as the Wolverines scored just 42 seconds into the game on a Travis Turnbull goal. Chad Kolarik knocked down an Irish clearing attempt on the right wing boards and flipped the puck on goal. Irish goaltender David Brown lost sight of the puck as it landed in the crease and Turnbull was there to tap it into the back of the net for his second of the season at the 42 second mark.
The Irish came back to tie the game at 13:25 of the first period with their first of three power-play goals in the game.
With Kevin Deeth and Erik Condra getting shots on goaltender Billy Sauer, a rebound bounced toward the left point. Lawson moved in an drilled a shot past Sauer for his second goal of the season to make it a 1-1 game.
The Wolverines were able to retake the lead at 16:08 when Porter took a long cross rink pass from Turnbull and beat Brown from the left wing circle for his 14th goal of the season and the Irish trailed for just the second time all season after one period, 2-1.
Regan got his first of two to tie the score at 7:45 of the second period on a five-on-three power play. The Hastings, Minn., native was parked in front of the Michigan net when Mark Van Guilder fired from the slot. Sauer made the first stop, but Regan controlled the rebound and lifted a backhander over the Michigan goaltender for his fifth of the year.
“I had just come out of the penalty box and I was screening in front of the net. (Mark) Van Guilder got a good shot on net. The puck was just sitting there and I toe-dragged it out and backhanded it into the net,” said Regan.
The Wolverines would take their final lead of the night at 19:37 of the second when Mark Mitera’s long shot from the left point went through a screen and beat Brown low to the ice to give Michigan the 3-2 lead. The goal was Mitera’s first of the season.
“This may have been David Brown’s weakest game of the season,” said Jackson. Right of the get-go, he lost sight of the puck and that had me a little nervous because we rely on him so much. I told them between periods, `Hey listen, this guy has won games for us all year. It’s time we step up for him. He knew he wasn’t having a great night. I challenged him too. I told him that if he didn’t give up anything else, we’ll win the game and he did that. I’m proud of the way they responded in the third period.
The Irish tied the game with their third power-play goal of the game at 7:13 off a pretty passing play between Condra, Deeth and Thang. Condra and Deeth moved the puck around the goal leaving Thang all alone below the left wing circle and the freshman left wing buried the puck for his ninth goal of the year.
The lead came just 30 seconds later at 7:43 with Regan getting his second of the night and the game winner. Van Guilder stepped in front of a loose puck in the neutral zone along the right wing boards and fed the puck ahead to Regan who beat Sauer for his sixth goal of the year to give Notre Dame a 4-3 lead.
“(Garrett) Regan is another guy that with confidence has gotten a lot better. We moved him up to one of our top lines because he has been playing with so much energy,” said Jackson. “He makes things happen with his speed and determination. I am really happy for that kid. He scored a couple of big goals tonight.”
From there, the Irish turned things over to Brown who stopped all nine shots he faced in the final period, including robbing Michigan captain Matt Hunwick who was set up all alone in front on a Michigan power play.
“David (Brown) won it for us in the third period,” said Jackson. “He may have tried to lose it in the first two, but he won it for us in the third.”
Brown finished the game stopping 25 of 28 Michigan shots in the game and recorded his 13th win of the season. Sauer had 25 saves in the Wolverine net.
Regan and his teammates are happy with where they stand as they now prepare for a week of final exams.
“We’re pretty happy right now,” said Regan. “We’ve put ourselves in a great position. We’ll take a break, go home and get some rest and come back for the second half. Coach always says, `You have to stay focused. There’s a long way to go and we’re only halfway done.'”
The Irish now break for finals and the Christmas holidays and will not play again until Dec. 30-31 when they play host to Northern Michigan. The Dec. 30 game will be played at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Ft. Wayne, Ind.
** After suffering through a 1-for-22 drought on the power play in the previous five games, Notre Dame was 5-for-14 (35.7%) with the man advantage in the two-game series.
** The last time Notre Dame swept Michigan was Feb. 27-28, 2004 when they took a two-game series at the Joyce Center with 4-1 and 5-2 wins.
** With the two wins over Michigan, the Irish are now 6-1 versus teams ranked in the top 15 this seasons. The wins have come against No. 1 Boston College, No. 4 Michigan State, two against No. 14 Alaska and two versus No. 7 Michigan. The lone loss came versus No. 4 Michigan State.
** Notre Dame is now 7-0-0 at home this season.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - FMichigan (12-7-0/8-5-0) 2 1 0 - 3Notre Dame (14-3-1/9-2-1) 1 1 2 - 4
Penalties: UM: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 3 for 6 minutes.
Penalties: UM: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 3 for 6 minutes.
Third Period: ND: Ryan Thang 9 (Deeth, Condra), PPG, 7:13; ND: Regan 6 (Van Guilder), 7:43.
Penalties: UM: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Michigan 7 - 12 - 9 - 28Notre Dame 6 - 14 - 9 - 29
Goaltender Saves:UM - Billy Sauer (58:59) 5 - 13 - 7 - 25ND - David Brown (59:55) 5 - 11 - 9 - 25
Power Plays:UM: 0 for 6ND: 3 for 7
Attendance: 2,763 (sellout)