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Hockey: Irish score 13 goals in sweep of Michigan

Isaac Lorton | Monday, February 11, 2013

With a 7-4 win Friday and a 6-4 win Saturday, the No. 12 Irish swept Michigan in the season series for the first time since 1972-73 and the second time in history.

“This was a big weekend for us,” Irish coach Jeff Jackson said. “We need to get every point we can, especially at home.”

The weekend’s scoring craze was fueled by the first line of juniors center Anders Lee, left wing Jeff Costello and right wing Bryan Rust. The trio combined to tally nine points Friday and six points Saturday.  

“The whole team played well this weekend,” Lee said. “Us three had the opportunity then to really put the puck in the net and really put pressure on their defense. Some weekends you get all those bounces and all those goals, it was a lot of fun.”

“I try not to save [points] all for Michigan,” Rust said. “I guess it just happened that way.”

On Friday, only 1:16 into the first period, the Irish (18-11-1, 14-7-1-1 CCHA) got to an early 1-0 lead, as Rust took the puck to the right side and passed it into traffic in front of the net, where Costello got a stick on the puck and popped it up. Lee then hit the puck out of mid-air past Wolverines freshman goaltender Jared Rutledge. 

Notre Dame jumped to a 2-0 over the Wolverines (10-18-2, 7-15-2-2) in the 16th minute of the first period. Senior left wing Nick Larson stopped a Michigan attack at center ice and then took the puck into its zone, where he fired a wrist shot at the net. Rutledge gave up a rebound and junior center David Gerths backhanded the puck over Rutledge’s right shoulder. 

The Irish had issues on special teams, giving up two short-handed goals and one power-play goal on Friday night. The power-play goal came with 1:28 left in the first, when Wolverine junior defender Jon Merrill fired a slap shot from the center point under Irish senior goaltender Mike Johnson’s pads. 

Michigan took this momentum into the second period, scoring 37 seconds in to tie the game at 2-2. Wolverine senior right-winger Kevin Lynch wrapped the puck around the goal and passed it across the face of the net to freshman center Cristoval “Boo” Nieves, who hit it into the wide-open right side.

The Irish got a power-play goal of their own at 4:55 in the second. Costello got the puck on the right side of the net and made a no-looked backhand pass to a streaking Rust, who flipped the puck past Rutledge for the 3-2 lead. 

The first Michigan short-handed goal came at 16:19, when Wolverine freshman left wing Andrew Copp stopped the puck in the neutral zone, took a shot and put in the rebound to tie the game at three.

40 seconds later, Costello fed Lee a perfect pass across the ice, and Lee had to simply put his stick on the puck and touch it in for his second goal of the night. 

It was a big night for the Johnson brothers. Sophomore defenseman Eric Johnson tallied his first-career goal, while older brother Mike got his second straight start. At 7:05 in the third period, Eric got the puck from junior right wing Mike Voran and fired a laser past Rutledge to make the game 5-3. 

Gerths got his second goal of the night on a breakaway at 8:26 to make it 6-3.
Michigan got its second short-handed goal at 11:51 to make the score 6-4, but Rust put the nail in the coffin with 15 seconds left in the game, when he scored an empty-netter. 

Saturday’s game looked similar to Friday’s game, with lots of scoring and special teams breakdowns. 

The Irish scored the only goal of the first period when Costello received a pass across the ice from Calabrese and took the puck into the zone with a Michigan defender on his right shoulder. Costello muscled past the defense and put it in the five-hole of Rutledge before crashing into the net.  

The second goal for Notre Dame was a power-play goal at 6:26 in the second period. It came when Lee won a face-off in the neutral zone, and the puck went to senior defenseman Sam Calabrese, who launched it off the boards. Costello passed the puck behind him to the right side of the net, and Lee trailing, hammered it home for the 2-0 lead. 

Michigan’s first power-play goal came at 8:50 when sophomore left wing Alex Guptill fired a shot from the slot past junior goaltender Steven Summerhays’ left shoulder to cut the lead down to one. 

Lee reestablished the two-goal lead at 14:29, when he stopped a puck in the neutral zone and created a two-on-one with Rust skating besides him. Lee passed the puck across to Rust, who tapped it in to make it 3-1. 

The fourth Irish goal came at 16:07, when freshman center Steven Fogarty was up against the boards and passed the puck behind him sophomore to sophomore right wing Peter Schneider, who hit it in the top right corner.

Michigan scored its second power-play goal with 34 seconds left in the second period when sophomore left wing Phil Di Guiseppe put a rebound between Summerhays’ legs to make the score 4-2. 

Notre Dame scored twice within the first 1:38 of the third period to seal the game. Sophomore right wing Austin Wuthrich got the first one on a slap shot, and Gerths got the second, hitting in a pass from Costello to make it 6-2.

“It was great to get some secondary scoring this weekend,” Jackson said. “David Gerths had a good weekend and then we got goals tonight from Wuthrich and Schneider. That makes a big difference when we don’t have to rely on one line to score.”

Michigan got its third power-play goal at 6:23 from Lynch to make it 6-3, and then junior defenseman Mac Bennett put in a wrister at 17:02 to make the game 6-4.  Moving forward, Jackson said the team will need to lock down special teams. 

“I didn’t like the two short-handed goals and the power play goal,” Jackson said. “Special teams are a concern for me. Tonight we responded when we gave up a goal. That was what we did in the first half of the season. The fact that we came back is what is important.”

“We’ll get our penalty kill back in order,” Jackson said. “We won’t go very far if we don’t improve that. I was happy with the way we responded this weekend any time we gave up a momentum type of goal.”

The Irish next take on CCHA leader Miami on Friday in Oxford, Ohio at 7:35 p.m. and then both teams travel to Chicago to play in the OfficeMax Hockey City Classic on Sunday at Soldier Field.