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HOCKEY: Irish snap road streak in victory

Kyle Cassily | Wednesday, December 7, 2005

It was Irish trickery at its finest.

After two blown leads, Chris Trick’s goal gave the team a 3-2 victory over Minnesota State Tuesday to end its road losing streak that dated back to last season.

Trick pocketed the lone Irish even-strength, and winning, goal with :09 left in the game to help Notre Dame match last season’s win total of five, boosting its overall record to 5-9-1. The last-second victory erased a 17-game road winless streak (0-15-2) for the Irish that dated to Nov. 26, 2004 when the Irish beat Alaska-Fairbanks by an identical 3-2 score.

“Maybe the only way to get over that hump is to get out of that kind of situation,” Irish coach Jeff Jackson said of taking the season’s first road game in the last seconds. “We played the way we needed to play on the road because the things that hurt us on the road in the past, the special teams, were there.”

The Irish scored two power play goals and limited the Mavericks to one man advantage goal on seven chances.

With well under a minute left in the game and the score knotted at 2-2, T.J. Jindra won the faceoff in the Mavericks’ zone and drew the puck back to Wes O’Neill on the point. O’Neill slid the puck over to Trick on the high left side and Trick let off a blast that was deflected into the net off of Minnesota State goalie Mike Zacharias’ pads.

The Irish took their second lead of the game 14:47 into the second period on a Josh Sciba goal, assisted by Erik Condra (goal and an assist) and O’Neill (three assists) to put the game at 2-1. The goal was the second successfully converted power play on the night when Sciba flipped the puck over a prone Zacharias off of a rebound.

The lead would not stand, however, as Minnesota State converted a power play of its own 5:57 into the third on a Mick Berge rebound to tie the game at 2-2.

“We held the fort, we had a couple of penalty kills to kill off,” Jackson said of the third period after MSU tied the game. “The PK made the difference, Jindra and [Mark] Van Guilder were outstanding on PK in the third. They gave us a chance to win it on the last faceoff.”

Condra got his second goal of the year and the Irish on the board first with a power play tally at 7:00 into the first period on a rebound assisted by O’Neill and Sciba. The Mavericks cancelled the Irish lead only four minutes later when Rob Rankin tucked the puck past Irish goaltender Dave Brown for the 1-1 tie.

Zacharias was solid in net for Minnesota State with 19 saves as he held off the potent Irish attack. Brown stopped 27 out of 29 Maverick shots on the game and secured his second straight win between the pipes, including last Saturday’s 3-0 shutout of Western Michigan. Rankin’s first period goal snapped a 91:20 shutout streak for Brown that dates back to the second period of the Nov. 26 loss to Ohio State.

“He was instrumental in the PK being as effective as it was,” Jackson said of Brown’s performance. “He made some key saves at important times. He was a big part of our success.”