Irish sweep terriers to close out home season
Alex Carson | Sunday, February 23, 2014
It was a weekend full of superlatives at Compton Family Ice Arena as No. 15 Notre Dame defeated Boston University 2-0, on consecutive nights to earn its first sweep as a member of Hockey East.The Irish (19-12-2, 8-9-2 Hockey East) have now recorded three straight shutouts (dating back to a 3-0 victory at Providence on Feb. 15) for the first time in program history and on Friday, senior goaltender Steven Summerhays set the program record with his 13th career shutout.
“[Setting the program record] is crazy,” Summerhays said. “I think I had two shutouts in juniors. I think it’s more of a team defensive stat but it’s nice to get zeroes.”
The weekend marked the first time the Terriers (8-20-4, 3-12-3) had been shutout in consecutive games since shutout losses to Yale and Princeton the week after the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Notre Dame got off to a quick start Friday night when junior winger Austin Wuthrich tallied his fifth goal of the season just before the midway point of the first period.
“[Wuthrich] has been playing pretty good over the last few weeks,” Irish coach Jeff Jackson said. “He’s been shifted around from line to line … but [the fourth line] was really important to our game.”
The Irish then doubled their lead just 19 seconds into the second period when senior defenseman Stephen Johns tallied his fifth goal of the season after carrying the puck into the zone and firing from the right faceoff circle.
“I just throw the puck on the net and sometimes it goes in,” Johns said. “Obviously we’ve kind of struggled in the second half scoring goals and I’m trying to do what I can to help.”
The Irish defensive unit was able to hold the Terriers to just 19 shots on goal Friday and Summerhays stopped them all to pick up his Division I-leading seventh shutout of the campaign.Notre Dame had to wait a little longer than expected to hit the ice for its penultimate regular-season game Saturday as a combination of Senior Night festivities and a light malfunction delayed the game’s start by more than 30 minutes.
Unlike the lights, the Irish started brightly but could not solve Terriers sophomore goaltender Sean Maguire until the start third period when senior forward Jeff Costello buried a one-timer for his 11th goal of the season to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead all of 19 seconds into the final frame.
“We’re having success now because we’re keeping things simple and getting back to our game,” Costello said.
It was an early trip to the showers for Johns on Senior Night as he took a five-minute major and game misconduct for hitting from behind 7:15 into the third period. However, the Irish penalty-kill unit buckled down and kept the Terriers from scoring a goal on what ultimately amounted to a 6:55-long power play.
Notre Dame was then able to put the game on ice when Wuthrich netted his second goal of the weekend, beating Maguire top-shelf and banking the puck in off the crossbar with 2:31 to play. Summerhays — who ran his shutout streak to more than 190 minutes Saturday — could have racked up a 14th career shutout but instead yielded the goal to senior third-string goaltender Joe Rogers for the final 51.1 seconds of Senior Night.
“Once we scored that second goal, I wanted to give [Rogers] a chance so I just kind of skated over to [Jackson] and said I wanted Joe to finish the game,” Summerhays said.
Notre Dame is now 4-0-1 in its last five games and currently sits in line for the final NCAA tournament berth before the regular season wraps up Saturday when it visits No. 1 Boston College at 4 p.m.
Contact Alex Carson at firstname.lastname@example.org