January 7, 1997
Urick, Dusbabek Spark 3-2 Win At Mankato State As Irish End One-Goal Game Frustration
MANKATO, Minn. - Sophomore Brian Urick tied the game late in the second period and fellow Minnetonka (MN) native Joe Dusbabek scored the game-winning goal with seven minutes remaining, as the University of Notre Dame hockey team ended a frustrating slide in one-goal games, posting a 3-2 victory over Mankato State in non-conference action Tuesday at the Mankato Civic Center.
Notre Dame (6-13-1) - playing in Minnesota for the first time in four years - enjoyed a huge edge in shots (40-17) but had to overcome two deficits before Dubabek's score gave the Irish their first one-goal win since a 2-1 victory over Western Ontario in the season opener. Since that win on Oct. 11, the Irish had lost their last seven games that were decided by one goal.
Mankato State (7-12-2) - which posted a dramatic 4-3 overtime win at Notre Dame Nov. 17 - held second-period leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but the Mavericks offense did little to help a stellar 37-save effort by MSU sophomore goaltender Des Christopher.
Dusbabek scored the game-winning goal at the 12:30 mark after taking a mid-ice pass from fellow freshman Ben Simon, who was playing in his first game back with the Irish since returning from last week's World Junior Hockey Championships where he helped the U.S. to a silver medal - its top finish at the tournament. Dusbabek angled towards the left circle and slowed down to let Simon cross in front of him, freezing the MSU defense before the right-handed Dusbabek rocketed a shot through a MSU player's legs and into the right side of the net, above Christopher's glove hand.
The Irish dodged a bullet late in the second period, as penalties to Urick and freshman defenseman Nathan Borega provided Mankato State with a two-man advantage for one minute, 27 seconds. But Notre Dame junior goaltender Matt Eisler made two saves, freshman defenseman Tyson Fraser came up with several key clears and Urick poked the puck past the blueline, as the Irish fought off both penalties to keep the game tied headed into the second intermission.
MSU scored first on a power-play goal midway through the second period as freshman Aaron Fox alertly gathered the puck and sent a quick 15-foot shot from the slot into the right corner of the net (7:31).
Fifty-nine seconds later, the Irish scored their own power-play goal when senior Terry Lorenz tipped in a shot from the right point by Ben Nelsen, who had received a slide pass across the blueline from fellow senior defenseman Brian McCarthy (8:30).
But the Mavericks reclaimed the lead 17 seconds later as sophomore Tyler Deis took an outlet pass from linemate Ryan Rintoul and raced down the ice before sending a shot from the right side of the crease that tucked inside the left post to give Deis his team-leading 19th goal of the season.
The second-period scoring flurry continued at 16:31 when Urick scored his ninth goal of the season (tying him with Dusbabek for the team lead). Urick took a pass from classmate Aniket Dhadphale and skated down the left side before angling into the slot, drifting into the right circle and quickly wristing a shot past a stunned Christopher into the lower-left corner of the net.
Notre Dame outshot Mankato State, 11-6, in a scoreless first period and was unable to convert on the only power-play opportunity of the first 20 minutes.
The first 28 minutes of the game continued the latest offense frustrations for Notre Dame, which failed to score on its first 18 shots while being unable to convert on its first three power-play chances. For the game, the Irish, ironically, duplicated their shots and goal total from the earlier meeting against MSU (40 shots, three goals) while going just 1-for-7 on the power play on Tuesday after going 0-for-8 in the first game against the Mavericks.
MSU converted on its first power-play chance of the game but the Irish then killed off the Mavericks' final four power plays with Eisler making five of his 15 saves during those penalty-killing situations.
The game was Notre Dame's first in the state of Minnesota in four years - since a 6-3 win at Mankato State Jan. 3, 1993) - and served as a homecoming for eight Minnesota natives on the Irish roster, including Minnotanka Harberts - sophomore forwards Neal Johnson (Edina) and Craig Hagkull (Arden Hills) and freshman forwards Troy Bagne (Morehead) and Shance Slominski (Burnsville).
Edina native Tom Carroll, now in his 12th season as a Notre Dame assistant coach, also has ties to the Mankato program, as three of his five brothers played hockey for the Mavericks: Mike (1975-78), Steve (1977-81) and Pat (1981-85). Pat Carroll remains second in Mankato State record book for both career points (224), career goals (123) while holding Mavericks records for single season points (88), season assists (46), career power-play goals (37) and career game-winning goals (17) Steve Carroll holds Mankato State career records for minutes (6,896), wins (81) and saves (3,228)