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Hockey: Team splits pair with Miami

Sam Werner | Monday, December 6, 2010

Notre Dame earned its first win against Miami (Ohio) since 2007 Friday night with a 5-4 victory, but fell to the RedHawks 5-2 in the second game of the weekend series Saturday.

Freshman Brian Rust scored notched two goals an assist Friday night to break Miami’s six game winning streak against Notre Dame.

The Irish fell behind early Friday, and Miami held a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. Rust got the Irish on the board 2:28 into the second stanza with his second goal of the season.

The RedHawks regained their two-goal lead when Carter Camper scored his NCAA-leading 13th goal of the season. Irish senior Ryan Guentzel cut the deficit back to one with his third goal of the year. Guentzel is second on the Irish with 18 points on the season.

Rust scored again 5:23 into the final period to tie the game 3-3.

“That’s probably Brian’s best game for us,” Irish coach Jeff Jackson said. “He was playing with a lot of energy and I thought he made some real nice passing plays as well.”

The team’s swapped goals to make the score 4-4, and Irish freshman T.J. Tynan put his team up for good with a goal at 17:24 of the third period. Rust tallied an assist on the goal.

“I thought Friday night we showed a lot of character coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the first period and getting a lead, then getting a goal late in the game to win,” Jackson said. “The kids never said die. They showed a lot of determination.”

The Irish played Miami tough early in the game Saturday night, trailing just 1-0 at the first intermission, but the RedHawks scored four goals in the second to take control of the game.

“I thought we had an opportunity early in that game to jump on them and we didn’t take advantage of it,” Jackson said.

Jackson attributed his team’s struggles to a sense of carelessness with the puck.

“That’s kind of uncharacteristic to us,” he said. “If we’re playing well, we’re not going to all of a sudden change, but it was kind of like night and day. In the second period there was a big drop-off in us valuing the puck.”

Freshman Steven Summerhays earned the start in net in the second game, but was pulled after the second period in favor of sophomore Mike Johnson.

“It was a tough night for [Summerhays],” Jackson said. “He played pretty well in the first, made some nice saves, then the second goal really I think deflated him and had an impact on our team psyche, too.”

Though there was no scoring in the third period, things started to get chippy when Miami’s Steve Mason and Will Weber were whistled for hitting from behind. Both received game misconducts, and a few Irish players were called for roughing after the whistle. Guentzel also received a ten-minute misconduct.

“Those were a direct result of Miami taking cheap shots at a few of our players,” Jackson said of the penalties against his team. “The misconducts were only a result of getting involved in fracases. We had three kids that were blatantly hit from behind and their teammates were just stepping up.”

This series wrapped up a brutal stretch of games for the Irish, with consecutive series against Michigan, Michigan State, North Dakota and Miami. Six of those eight games were played away from the Joyce Center.

“We’ve made improvements in some areas defensively, but our power play still needs to get going and we still need to become better in our own end and defensive transition,” Jackson said.

Notre Dame returns home this weekend with a pair of games against Northern Michigan.