Feb. 14, 1997
Top-Ranked Michigan Holds Off Notre Dame
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - With the season winding down and a playoff berth still alive for the taking, Notre Dame didn't exactly find itself in the ideal situation having to face top-ranked Michigan Friday night.
While the Irish were able to enter the final period in a scoreless deadlock with the nation's top team, Michigan proved its worth by skating to a hard-fought 3-1 victory over the Irish at the Yost Ice Arena.
The loss leaves the Irish (8-22-1 overall, 5-17-1 CCHA) four points behind Ferris State with four games to go in the race for the eighth and final playoff berth in the CCHA Tournament. The Bulldogs also own the tie-breaker against the Irish.
The Wolverines got on the board 1:04 into the third period when Jason Botterill found the back of the net on a Michigan power-play. Michigan's Brendan Morrison set the Michigan all-time assist record on the play, earning the 165 assist of his career.
Michigan (27-2-3, 18-2-2) grabbed a 2-0 lead a little over two minutes later when Bubba Berenzweig scored for the Wolverines.
Notre Dame came right back, however, climbing back into the game when Aniket Dhadphale took a pass from Ben Simon and skated into the left circle before firing a shot between the legs of Michigan goalie Marty Turco for the score. It was Dhadphale's first goal in the last 14 games.
The assist, meanwhile, was Simon's 14th of the year, giving him 18 points on the season, which ties him for fourth-best mark on the team.
Michigan would later seal the game when Harold Schock scored at the 13:44 mark of the final period.
Michigan finished with 47 shots on goal, compared to just 15 for Notre Dame. However, the Irish still managed to create several legitimate scoring opportunities.
The game could have gotten away early for the Irish had it not be for the outstanding play of junior goaltender Matt Eisler, who stopped the first 34 Michigan shots on goal and helped the Irish hold off the first six power-play chances for the Wolverines.
Eisler's played earned him the First Star Award, which is a rarity for a player on the losing team. Over the last 10 games combined, Eisler has made 125 saves and allowed just five goals in the opening period.
Michigan finished the night 1-for-9 on the power-play after coming into the game with a 30 percent power-play conversion rate. Notre Dame, which came into the contest with the fourth-best penalty-killing unit, was boosted by the return of Tyson Fraser who had missed the last five games due to injury.
The Irish were without their sixth-leading scorer, Terry Lorenz, who wasn't able to make the trip after being injured in practice earlier this week. Lorenz had played in 68 straight and 139 out of the last 140 games.
Michigan 3, Notre Dame 1
Notre Dame 0 0 0 - 1 Michigan 0 0 0 - 3 SCORING First period: none Second period: none Third period: Mich - Botterill, 24 (Morrison, Legg), 1:04, PP; Mich - Berzenweig, 6 (Bourke) 3:07; ND - Dhadphale, 5 (Simon, Boerga), 4:13; Mich - Schock, 4 (unassisted),13:44. Shots on goal Notre Dame: 15 Michigan: 47 Power-Play Conversions Notre Dame: 0-3 Michigan: 1-9 Penalties Notre Dame: 13-26 Michigan: 8-24 Saves Eisler (ND): 20-13-11-44 Turco (Mich.): 4-4-6-14