Feb. 1, 1997

Irish Drop Fourth Straight Game

Lake Superior Ices Irish, 4-0.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.-- If the members of the Notre Dame hockey team ever wondered what the travel of a grueling NHL schedule was like, they've got a pretty good idea now.

Playing their fifth game in the last eight days, all against nationally ranked teams, the Fighting Irish lost their fourth consecutive game. The latest being a 4-0 shutout at the skates of the Lake Superior State Lakers.

The Lakers (18-9-4, 14-5-3 CCHA) got on the scoreboard with a shorthanded goal with :50 seconds remaining in the first period. Lake Superior forward Ben Keup led an odd-man rush down the right side but his centering pass wound up along the left boards. Bryan Fuss tracked it down and fired the puck into the slot where it looked as if Notre Dame defenseman Terry Lorenz would be able to get control. However, as he tried to send the puck out of the middle, he inadvertently swept it into the upper right corner of the net past stunned Irish goaltender Matt Eisler.

Fuss was credited with his 17th goal of the season.

The Lakers made it 2-0 early in the second period on Joc Blaznek's 20th goal. From a near impossible angle at the bottom of the right circle, he fired the puck past a screened Eisler into the upper left corner.

The Lakers weren't finished.

Darcy George and Mike Kucsulain scored :52 seconds apart late in the period to put the game on ice.

The Irish (18-9-1, 5-14-1 CCHA) were held scoreless for the second time in the last three games.

The win allowed Lake Superior to remain three points behind first place Michigan in the CCHA.

Notre Dame's hosts a crucial two-game series against Ohio State Feb. 7-8.

NOTRE DAME  (8-19-1, 5-14-1 CCHA)            0    0    0    -    0
LAKE SUPERIOR STATE (18-9-4, 14-5-3 CCHA)    1    3    0    -    4
1st - LS 1. Fuss 17 (Keup, Battaglia) SH 19:10
2nd - LS 2. Blaznek 20 (Sessa, Fuss) 3:34
      LS 3. George 4 (Fuss) 17:24
      LS 4. Kucsulain 4 (Pulente) 18:16
3rd - None
Shots on goal: ND 7-9-6/22, LS 18-13-14/35. Saves: ND (Eisler) 7-10-x/17,
ND (Karr) x-x-14/14; LS (Grahame) 7-9-6/22.  Power Play: ND 0-for-8, LS 0-for-4.  Penalties: ND
8 for 24:00, LS 12 for 32.

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