Roundup: Morris Shuts Down Penn State as Notre Dame Sweeps
Minnesota-Michigan Cap Wild Weekend With Shootout
CHN Staff Report
Sophomore Cale Morris — though he may as well have been a freshman given that he barely played last season — didn't get off to a great start this season. But Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson was left with nowhere else to turn after freshman Dennis St. Cyr — who did have a good start — faltered badly in two straight weekends at the end of October.
So it was back to Morris, and he's now run with it to earn the No. 1 goaltender job for now. The latest indication of that resurgence for the 6-foot-1 Colorado native as a 1-0 shutout against Penn State on Saturday night in South Bend to complete a weekend sweep.
Friday's game was more wide open, with Penn State getting 40 shots and Morris stopping all but three. Meanwhile, Notre Dame had five goals Friday, including some clunkers on PSU goalie Peyton Jones. Jones was much better Saturday, but so was Notre Dame's defense.
Bo Brauer scored the game's only goal and Morris stopped 33 shots for his first career shutout. Notre Dame has won all four Big Ten games it's played so far, in its first season in the league. Among the highlights for Morris, stopping a breakaway on Penn State’s Brandon Biro midway through the second.
“I could tell in training camp that he had a very serious approach," Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said of Morris. "He paid his dues last year. It’s not easy to do what he did last year, watching a great goaltender like Cal Petersen. I think he probably learned from Cal in a lot of areas but I think he’s got off to a good start. I still have confidence Dylan St. Cyr is going to play a role for us this year as well. What I admire most about what he’s [Cale’s] done in the last four games is shown the ability to close the game down and that is a very important quality in a goaltender. You have a 1-0 lead in the third period and have to make some good saves in the penalty kill, and six on five in the end. He was certainly the difference tonight.”
Brauer's goal was his second of the weekend, and first game winner.
“Bo is another guy that has really paid his dues to learn the game without the puck. He really had a problem with that early in his career," Jackson said. "Even at times now, every once in awhile he puck stares a little bit too much but he has made an effort and has gotten better. He’s always had the ability to be a power type forward and remember to play big and when he does he makes our cycle and our low game offensively really effective. He’s playing with two smart players which helps him.”
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After winning a 5-4 OT barnburner Friday night, Michigan nearly pulled off a similar comeback win Saturday. This time, however, Minnesota regrouped and won the game in a shootout, the first shootout win for the program. The game is a tie for NCAA purposes, but Minnesota gets the extra league point.
Michigan overcame a 3-0 deficit Friday, and won in OT on a power-play goal.
Saturday, Minnesota took a 4-0 lead, but couldn't hold that one either, allowing three goals in seven-minute span of the third period to lose the lead. And, again, Michigan had a power play in overtime, but couldn't convert.
Minnesota goalie Eric Schierhorn, whose hot start helped the Gophers start the season well during a transition time, saw his save percentage drop from .933 to .913 on the weekend.
"We didn't give up a lot of shots in the third," Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. "It didn't feel like we got hemmed in. Eric has played so well, he just had a bit of a rough weekend which will happen."
The Gophers played with just 11 forwards, yet scored its most goals of the season.
"We had good energy, and for the most part played pretty smart tonight," Lucia said.
Tony Calderone had the goal that started the comeback, at 5:59 of the second period, and the one that completed it, when he got his seventh of the season with 1:12 left in regulation.
"We're seeing more of that (comeback ability) from this team, but we have to understand we can't spot a team three or four goals and come back," Michigan coach Mel Pearson said. "That's not a winning formula. So we have work to do."
Will Lockwood's shorthanded goal in the second period, and Jake Slaker's sixth of the season, helped Michigan get back to 5-3 after two periods.
"We just wanted to win the period," Pearson said. "We tried to be better defensively, we tried to manage the puck better. It looked like they weren't trying to make as many plays with a 3-goal lead, they were content to flip it out and make us go back and attack again. But we did a good job, staying patient.
"There's a lot of things you can work on in practice — character, never giving up and things like that, it's hard to work on those things, and we have a ton of character in that room. We've gotta clean some things up, but we're going to score, get good goaltending — we've got to buy in to playing better defensively. We had giveaways and carelessness with the puck. We have to be better."
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Wisconsin ran into a hot goaltender and came away with just a split of the weekend at Michigan State, with a 2-0 loss Saturday.
Wisconsin (7-5-1, 2-2-0-0 Big Ten) outshot the Spartans, 38-17, but John Lethemon stepped up for the Spartans, who earned their first Big Ten win for first-year coach Danton Cole.
Despite the Badgers controlling play throughout the period, the Spartans struck with less than two minutes remaining in the opening period when Cody Milan capitalized on a Badger penalty, posting up at the back door to tap in a centering pass.