Hear It From a Student - Working for the Weekend

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In a marquee weekend for Notre Dame sports that included an upset of No. 1 Syracuse by the men's basketball team and a 76-43 drubbing of Villanova by the women's hoops squad, the hockey team faced CCHA rival Michigan in a two-game home series.

After a split series against the 10th-ranked Wolverines, the Irish had played their eighth straight game against a top-10 opponent, going 4-4 over that span.

"Every game we've played since break has been against a top-10 team in the nation, so that's made the guys in the locker room have to be ready for every game," sophomore goalie Steven Summerhays said. "That's kind of the mentality we've had: know that our opponents are just as good as us and we've got to out-create them and out-work them."

Goaltending was the story this weekend as Summerhays battled Michigan senior Shawn Hunwick. The Michigan goalie is 10th in the nation in save percentage and first in total saves. The Wolverines also entered the weekend on a nine-game unbeaten streak, presenting quite a challenge for the Irish.

Summerhays held his own in the series split, allowing three goals (all power-play) on 55 shots. Hunwick was phenomenal, giving up three scores on 73 shots.

On Friday night the Irish sealed the 3-1 victory with Billy Maday's empty net goal, and Summerhays and Hunwick were named the first and second stars of the game, respectively.

"It was one of those nights when you're seeing pucks. The defense was doing a great job of clearing guys out in front," Summerhays said after the game. "So just seeing pucks - watching them into my glove and blocker - was a big help."

The Irish surrendered two power-play goals in the first period of game two, but answered quickly in the second with a goal by Austin Wuthrich. However, Hunwick stopped everything after that, ending with 38 saves and only one goal.

"He saw the puck well this weekend," said sophomore forward Anders Lee, who earned an assist on Wuthrich's goal. "We tried to get it in his face, and we probably didn't do a good enough of job of that, but he's a good goaltender, and he was able to see around our screens and find it.

"I think the biggest thing is you've got to keep shooting because the more shots you get, one's bound to go in. Unfortunately, we didn't do that tonight. He's a great goaltender, and we've got to be able to put some behind him."

Although the Irish fell to 1-3 over their last four games with Saturday night's 2-1 loss, head coach Jeff Jackson was pleased with the team's caliber of play, despite missing suspended forward Riley Sheahan.

"I thought we played a really good hockey game," Jackson said after the game. "Our special teams could have been better, and that's where you miss a guy like Riley Sheahan.

"But the guys that played, I thought they played a really good hockey game. Give kudos to Hunwick. He played extremely well. I think we needed to get more traffic in front of him, but we did a lot of things really well. I was really pleased with our performance tonight."

With 10 games remaining in the regular season, the Irish will attempt to improve their stock in the CCHA standings. They currently sit sixth, despite being only five points out of first place.

"It will go to the last night, and you may have four teams competing for first place and four teams competing for fifth place," Jackson said. "That's the way our league is right now. You've got eight teams in the top 20 in the country. You know, things don't get easy around here."

- Craig Chval ('15)

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