March 10, 2007
Notre Dame, Ind. –
Sophomore left wing Garrett Regan recorded the first three-point game of his career, scoring two goals and adding an assist to help lead Notre Dame to a 7-1 win over Alaska in game one of the CCHA quarterfinals at a sold-out Joyce Center. The win was the fifth in a row this season by the Irish over Alaska.
Regan was backed up by single goals from defensemen Wes O’Neill, Brock Sheahan and Kyle Lawson while forwards Jason Paige and Mark Van Guilder rounded out the Irish scoring page. Erik Condra set up four goals and Justin White had three assists as the Irish scored five times in the first period to roll to the 7-1 win.
Nathan Fornataro had Alaska’s lone goal, snapping David Brown’s shutout bid at 4:41 of the third period.
The victory snapped a five-game Notre Dame losing streak in the CCHA playoffs that extended back to the 2004 Super Six. The number-one ranked Irish also set a school record by winning their 28th game of the season, making them 28-6-3 on the season. Alaska goes to 11-21-6 on the year. Game two of the best-of-three series will be played on Saturday with face off set for 7:05 p.m.
After having a first-round bye, the Irish showed little rust from the week off as they took the play to the Nanooks in the opening period, outshooting Alaska by a 15-6 margin.
O’Neill got Notre Dame’s offense going at the 3:06 mark of the first, scoring his first goal of the season when he was set up alone in front by Kevin Deeth. The senior defenseman snuck in from the left point and took Deeth’s pass from the left wing boards and beat goaltender Wylie Rogers to his stick side for a 1-0 lead.
Regan would get his big night started at 6:44 with his first goal of the night and 13th of the season when he took a drop pass from defenseman Noah Babin in the slot and rifled a shot past Rogers to give Notre Dame the 2-0 lead.
Sheahan would get into the act at 9:34 when he scored his second goal of the year to give the Irish a 3-0 lead. Condra picked up his second assist of the game as he cruised down the right side and found Sheahan driving to the goal. The junior defenseman took the pass and beat Rogers to give Notre Dame a 3-0 lead.
Regan scored his second of the game just two seconds after an Irish power play ended at 14:25, this time converting an O’Neill pass for his 14th of the season to make it 4-0 and chase starting goaltender Wylie Rogers in favor of back up Chad Johnson.
Paige closed out the five-goal first-period explosion with a power-play goal at 15:27. Condra and Thang teamed up to work the puck along the left wing boards with Condra finding Paige all alone at the top of the crease on the right post. The senior redirected the puck behind Johnson for his 10th goal of the season.
Notre Dame would get just one goal in the second period to build the lead to 6-0. Lawson scored his fourth goal of the season at 16:14 when he took a pass from Condra at the right point and worked his way to the bottom of the right wing circle before snapping a shot past Johnson for the goal.
The final goal of the night came early in the third period and was Notre Dame’s second power-play goal of the night as Van Guilder steered a Regan pass behind Johnson just 58 seconds into the final stanza for his team-high 18th goal of the year.
Brown’s bid for a sixth shutout came to an end at 4:41 when Jeff Lee found Fornataro on the left side of the goal where he fired a shot past Brown for his sixth goal of the season.
In the game, the Irish out shot Alaska by a 31-17 margin. Brown finished with 16 saves in picking up his 26th win of the season. Rogers made nine saves in the first 14:25 of the game while Johnson had 15 saves over the final 45:30.
Notre Dame was 2-for-10 on the power play while the Nanooks were 0-for-5.
** Notre Dame’s sellout crowd of 2,763 was the seventh in a row and the ninth in the last 10 games for the Irish. The Irish have recorded 10 sellouts this season in 15 home games.
** The five-goal first period marked the second time this season that Notre Dame has scored five goals in a period. The first time came on Dec. 3, in the second period of a 6-2 win over Alaska.
** The 7-1 win for Notre Dame was the largest margin of victory for the Irish in a playoff game in the program’s history. Notre Dame is now 14-25 all-time in postseason action.
** Erik Condra’s four-assist game was the third of his career and his second this season. He had a goal and four assists in the 6-2 win over Robert Morris on Jan. 5. Condra now has 13 goals and 30 assists for 43 points. His 43 points are the most by a Notre Dame player since Connor Dunlop had 45 in 2001-02. His 30 assists are the most since Dunlop had 36 in 2001-02.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - FAlaska (11-21-6) 0 0 1 - 1#1/#1 Notre Dame (28-6-3) 5 1 1 - 7
Scoring First Period: ND: Wes O’Neill 1 (Erik Condra, Kevin Deeth), 3:06; ND: Garrett Regan 13 (Noah Babin, Jason Paige), 9:34; ND: Brock Sheahan 2 (Condra, Deeth), 9:34; ND: Regan 14 (O’Neill, Justin White), 14:25; ND: Paige 10 (Ryan Thang, Condra), PPG, 16:14.
Penalties: Alaska: 4 for 8 minutes; ND: 3 for 6 minutes.
Second Period: ND: Kyle Lawson 4 (Condra, White), 16:14.
Penalties: Alaska: 6 for 12 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: ND: Mark Van Guilder 18 (Regan, White), PPG, 00:58; Alaska: Nathan Fornataro 6 (Jeff Lee, Ryan Muspratt), 4:41.
Penalties: Alaska: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Shots On Goal: Alaska 6 – 3 – 8 – 17 Notre Dame 15 – 11 – 5 – 31
Goaltender Saves: Alaska – Wylie Rogers (14:25) 9 – x – x – 9 Chad Johnson (45:30) 1 – 10 – 4 – 15
ND – David Brown (59:54) 6 – 3 – 7 – 16
Power Plays: Alaska: 0 for 5
ND: 2 for 10
Attendance: 2,763 (sellout)