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Hockey: Icers sweep Lake Superior

Kyle Cassily | Monday, November 5, 2007

Freshman goalie Brad Phillips made his first collegiate start Friday night during a 4-1 win over Lake Superior State, surrendering the lone goal on a five-on-three shorthanded situation as the No. 13 Irish swept the two-game series.

Phillips, who was selected in the seventh round by the Philadelphia Flyers in June’s NHL Entry Draft, and the Notre Dame penalty kill wiped out seven Lakers power plays for the first Irish (6-3, 4-1 CCHA) series sweep of the season. The 17-year-old goalie started the game after junior netminder Jordan Pearce, who leads the nation in minutes played, earned the Irish to a 7-3 win Thursday night.

“I wouldn’t say he was a freshman,” Notre Dame defenseman Kyle Lawson said of Phillips. “He looked great out there. He was real confident with the puck. He was in control of the game at all times. It took him awhile to get in there, but it was nice having him back there.”

The Irish penalty kill allowed the shorthanded goal at 16:24 of the second period when Lakers left wing Nathan Perkovich beat Phillips with a slap shot to the stick side. The goal cut Notre Dame’s lead to 2-1 and came after Irish center Christian Hanson and defenseman Brock Sheahan were hit with penalties 30 seconds apart.

Hanson received a five-minute major and game misconduct for hitting from behind.

“I had one hand on my stick and I was going in, slowed up but [the referee] maybe saw something different,” Hanson said. “Maybe from his angle it looked like I was going in full speed.”

Before Hanson was ejected from the game, he scored a short-handed goal, his first of the year, 19:19 into the first period when he busted into the Lakers zone and fired a shot from the right circle that beat goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson (32 saves) for the 1-0 lead. Irish coach Jeff Jackson said he had come close to removing Hanson from the lineup prior to this weekend.

“I want [Hanson] to be proactive and not tentative or reactive,” Jackson said. “He has to be more authoritative, and that’s what he was this weekend. And when he plays like that, he’s a heck of a hockey player.”

Lawson put Notre Dame up 2-0 on Lake Superior State (1-4-1, 0-2 CCHA) when his shot from the right point on the power play was deflected by a Lakers player over Mahoney-Wilson’s shoulder.

“Trust me, I’ll take my lucky bounces,” Lawson said. “I was just trying to get to the net. They isolate you off into the sides, so I was just trying to get to the net. A little luck never hurt anybody.”

Notre Dame scored two power-play goals in the game and was 5-for-10 on the man-advantage over the weekend. In the previous three games, the power play went a combined 1-for-24, with numerous players seeing time on the unit.

“It gets frustrating at times because power plays are a little fickle,” Jackson said.

The Irish got another power- play goal when right wing Evan Rankin stuffed home a rebound in front of the net to go up 4-1 at 12:22 of the third period. Notre Dame right wing Erik Condra padded the Irish lead three minutes before that goal when he sent the puck through Mahoney-Wilson’s five-hole.

Condra scored three goals and had three assists in the two-game series against the Lakers. He had five points (two goals, three assists) Thursday.

It was the first sweep of the season for the Irish, who are tied for second place in the CCHA and sit four points behind first-place, and undefeated, Miami. Notre Dame will travel Friday to play the No. 1 RedHawks, who have surrendered only 12 goals in eight games.