Minnesota, St. Cloud, Final Two Unbeaten Teams, Both Lose
Notre Dame, Miami Win Big Friday Night Battles
CHN Staff Report
Notre Dame shut out the high-octane Minnesota offense, taking the first of a two-game series in South Bend, 4-1. The Irish remained undefeated at home with a perfect 4-0 record.
With more non-conference opportunities on the schedule this year, now with Minnesota in the Big Ten, the Gophers traveled to Notre Dame for the first time since 1980, when they were both members of the WCHA. Notre Dame is Minnesota coach Don Lucia's alma mater, and his son Mario plays for the Irish.
“That game was everything that we expected. It was a high-paced, high-tempo game that was flying by,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
“The atmosphere was tremendous. With the band and the students, they were our sixth man tonight. We’re going to need them again tomorrow.”
Lucia was held without a shot or point, but his Notre Dame teammates picked up the slack. Sam Herr scored late in the second, and Garrett Peterson added one early in the third, as the Irish took a 3-1 lead.
“We need more guys like Sam who can power his way to the net. He’s playing with a lot of confidence, right now,” said Jackson.
Minnesota had a 17-11 shot edge after one period, but was held scoreless, and then Notre Dame tightened up from there.
“I thought we were a little bit tight in the early stages of the game,” Jackson said. "We had chances to make plays but we would make a bad pass or not get a shot off. We were nervous the first 10 minutes. There is no question we had to adjust to the speed and pace of the game.”
Minnesota dropped to 5-1-1, while Notre Dame improved to 7-2, including 7-1 with Steve Summerhays in net. The teams play again Saturday.
Minnesota freshman Gabe Guertler, who got into a judicial incident before the season and was suspended to start the year, played for the first time.
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St. Cloud State also lost for the first time, dropping a 2-0 decision to Miami. The Huskies are 5-1-1, while Miami is now 6-2-1. It was the first time the teams were playing each other as members of the same conference.
“The bottom line is their goalie was very strong and we had some chances to score to get a little momentum and get the crowd into it,” Huskies coach Bob Motzko told the St. Cloud Times. “We had some guys who had some real poor games tonight. ... And we went 0-for-5 on the power play and that is inexcusable to execute that poorly on the power play at home.”
Riley Barber scored his ninth goal of the season, and now is tied for the national scoring lead with 15 points, along with St. Lawrence's Greg Carey and linemate Austin Czarnik.
Ryan McKay stopped 31 shots for the RedHawks, and remained unbeaten at 4-0-1.
“It was a great team effort, our most complete game all season,” said McKay to the St. Cloud Times. “We blocked a ton of shots (17). We weren’t blocking a lot of shots at the beginning of the season. ... The (Olympic) size of the ice (at SCSU's Brooks Center) helps us. We’re similar teams in a lot of ways. I thought our ‘D’ kept their position on the (faceoff) dots and kept stuff to the outside."
Denver's Joey LaLeggia scored his sixth goal of the season, leading all defensemen nationally, late in regulation to force overtime against rival Colorado College. That's where it ended, with Denver winning the NCHC's first-ever shootout, taking the extra point.
"The intensity and the energy in the building was outstanding,” Denver coach Jim Montgomery said, getting a taste of the rivalry for the first time. “I can see why it’s such a great rivalry. I was really happy with our team’s final 35 minutes. I felt we took over the game, minus the three penalties that we took in the 5-on-3 part, but Sam Brittain came up big when he had to. We kept pressing the issue and we had a great effort I thought in the last 35 minutes. We finally penetrated with a great play by Quentin Shore to (Ty) Loney. Loney also with a great play backdoor to Joey LaLeggia.”
Alexander Krushelnyski scored the only goal for the Tigers, finally getting off the schneid with his first of the season.
Brittain stopped both CC shootout attempts.
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Ferris State's Jason Binkley scored at 1:28 of overtime to give the Bulldogs a come-from-behind 5-4 win over Bemidji State.
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Dan DeSalvo and Adam Berkle scored shorthanded goals as Bowling Green defeated Minnesota State, 4-3, to improve to 3-0 in WCHA play.