Irish move into tie for 1st with sweep
Justin Schuver | Tuesday, December 2, 2003
The Irish find themselves in an unfamiliar position going into December. It’s a good position to be in, though, as Notre Dame is currently tied for first in the CCHA after 5-1 and 4-2 victories over Northern Michigan last weekend.
This is the latest in the season that Notre Dame (8-3-2, 7-3-2 in the CCHA) has ever been ranked number one in the CCHA. The Irish are currently tied with Ohio State for 16 points.
Forward Rob Globke scored three goals on the weekend and goaltender David Brown continued his impressive season with both wins in the sweep of the Wildcats. Notre Dame is currently on a five game unbeaten streak (3-0-2).
The Irish had little difficulty dispatching the Wildcats Friday, jumping out to a 5-0 lead before Northern Michigan’s Nathan Oystrick scored with less than three minutes remaining to spoil what would have been Brown’s fourth shutout this year.
Globke opened the scoring a little more than halfway through the first period as he scored a goal off a feed from forward Noah Babin, taking the puck and depositing it behind Northern Michigan goaltender Craig Kowalski after a Wildcat turnover led to an Irish odd-man break.
Defenseman Chris Trick scored the first goal of his career a little more than 11 minutes into the second, scoring a shorthanded goal to put the Irish up 2-0.
With the Wildcats on a five-on-three power play, a centering feed went off the mark and Trick was able to leave the box and collect the errant pass to beat Kowalski with a backhand shot.
“I was standing in the box,” Trick said. “And all of a sudden the puck is coming toward me as I came out of the penalty box. I could see that the goalie was giving me the stick side, but for some reason I went to the backhand and it worked for the best.”
Forward Cory McLean scored about two minutes later after collecting his own rebound to give Notre Dame a 3-0 lead going into the second intermission.
Captain Aaron Gill scored a little over six minutes into the third period off a pass from forward Mike Walsh, and forward Jason Paige closed the Irish scoring about six minutes later on the power play.
The Irish dominated play, outshooting the Wildcats 34-20 for the game. Irish head coach Dave Poulin said he was happy with Notre Dame’s offensive output.
“We really did a lot of the little things that we always stress well tonight,” he said. “We got solid contributions from everyone. It was one of our better efforts of the season.”
That effort took a while to show up the following day, as Notre Dame fell behind the Wildcats 2-0 before surging back to win by two.
“This was another important building block for our team,” Poulin said. “Now they’ve experienced coming from behind. You can talk about things like this all you want, but until you experience it, it’s not the same.”
After a scoreless first period, the Wildcats took advantage of a five-on-three power play as Darin Oliver took a feed from Dirk Southern and fired a shot past Brown a little less than four minutes into the second.
Geoff Waugh would increase the Wildcats’ lead to two seven minutes later, but the Irish were able to start a comeback with a power play goal with about six minutes left in the second period.
Defenseman Neil Komadowski took a hard shot from the left point, which Kowalski stopped, but Globke was able to swoop in and poke the rebound between the goalie’s pads for his ninth goal of the year.
“I thought our power play goal was the key goal of the game,” Poulin said.
The floodgates opened soon after, as Notre Dame scored three unanswered goals in the third period to put the game away.
Walsh scored just a little less than two minutes into the period, and Globke scored his second of the game with a little more than five minutes left. Forward Matt Amado closed out the scoring a minute later with a hard slap shot past Kowalski.
Brown made 25 saves in the game as the Irish outshot the Wildcats 30-27. The freshman goaltender currently has a six game unbeaten streak (6-0-2).
The Irish have one more CCHA series remaining this season as they travel to Michigan this weekend for a pair of games. Notre Dame will not play at home again until Jan. 3 against Findlay.