Jan. 16, 2009
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – Just call him old reliable. That would be unflappable Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce.
The senior from Anchorage, Alaska withstood a third-period barrage from Lake Superior State, stopping all 14 shots in the stanza and 31 in the game to help the Irish to a 3-2 win at Taffy Abel Arena.
The victory was the ninth straight for the Irish since Nov. 29 and their ninth consecutive road win this season while extending their unbeaten streak to 19 games (17-0-2) since Oct. 25. Notre Dame is now 19-3-2 on the season and 13-2-2-2 in the CCHA, good for 30 points in the CCHA. The Lakers fall to 6-10-7 overall and 3-7-5-1 in conference play.
Lake Superior started the scoring at 9:56 of the opening period, getting on the board via the power play. Defenseman Simon Gysbers shot from the center point was deflected by Sim who was parked in front of Irish goaltender Jordan Pearce for his eighth goal of the season.
That goal snapped Pearce’s career-best shutout streak at 171:26, a streak that started on Jan. 3 and included back-to-back shutouts last week at home against Alaska.
The Irish answered back less than six minutes later with White getting his fifth of the season at 15:12. With Lake Superior pressuring in the Notre Dame zone, defenseman Ian Cole carried the puck up the right wing boards to Ryan Guentzel who continued into the Laker zone. Guentzel fired the puck at the net and White beat his man to the front and deflected past Brian Mahoney-Wilson to tie the game at 1-1.
Notre Dame would take the lead for good at 18:32 on the power play with Ridderwall finding the back of the net.
Billy Maday moved the puck to Kevin Deeth along the goal line to the left of Mahoney-Wilson. Deeth found Ridderwall cutting through the right circle and Ridderwall snapped a shot past Mahoney-Wilson for his 10th goal of the season to give the Irish the 2-1 lead.
Hard work and tenacious forechecking led to Notre Dame’s third goal at 12:34 of the second period. Christian Hanson and Garrett Regan worked the puck loose in the left wing corner with Hanson breaking free to feed the puck in front.
Minella picked up the puck on the left side of the net and was able to jam it past Mahoney-Wilson for his fifth of the year and a 3-1 Irish lead.
The Lakers cut the lead to 3-2 at 16:01 of the period when Will Acton ripped a shot from the top of the right circle that beat Pearce over his glove hand. The goal was Acton’s third of the year.
In the third period, the Lakers carried the play to the Irish, but Pearce held them off, making all 14 shots he faced in the game.
For the night, the Lakers out shot Notre Dame, 33-27. Mahoney-Wilson made 24 saves on the night.
The Irish were 1-for-5 on the power play and the Lakers were 1-for-7.
The Irish and Lakers will meet in game two of the series on Saturday night with opening faceoff set for 7:05 p.m.
NOTRE DAME NOTES:
** The Irish are now unbeaten in their last nine games against Lake Superior State, going 8-0-1 against the Lakers since the 2005-06 season.
** Notre Dame’s lone road loss this season came on Oct. 11 at Denver, a 5-2 loss. The Irish are now 9-1-0 on the road this season.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#1/#1 Notre Dame (19-3-2/13-2-2-2) 2 1 0 - 3Lake Superior (6-10-7/3-7-5-1) 1 1 0 - 2
Penalties: ND: 5 for 10 minutes; LSSU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; LSSU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; LSSU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 11 - 11 - 5 - 27Lake Superior 8 - 11 - 14 - 33
Goaltender Saves:ND - Jordan Pearce (60:00) 7 - 10 - 14 - 31LSSU - Brian Mahoney-Wilson (59:03) 9 - 10 - 5 - 24
Power Plays:ND: 1 for 5LSSU: 1 for 7