Jan. 30, 2004
Notre Dame, Ind. - Notre Dame got single goals from Aaron Gill (ppg), Rob Globke (shg) and Mike Walsh (gwg) and freshman goaltender David Brown continued his strong play, equaling a career-high with 40 saves as the Irish defeated Alaska Fairbanks 3-2 at the Joyce Center.
The Irish win snapped a four-game losing streak over the past two seasons to Alaska Fairbanks and improved the Irish to 13-9-3 on the year and 9-8-2 in CCHA play. The Nanooks go to 12-13-0 on the year and 11-10-0 in conference action.
Ryan Lang and Cam Keith scored the Alaska Fairbanks goals on the night.
The win moves the Irish into a four-way tie for fifth place with Ohio State, Western Michigan and Northern Michigan as all four teams have 20 points after Friday's action. The Nanooks remain in fourth place with 22 points in the standings.
"This was an enormous win for us tonight," said Irish coach Dave Poulin following the game.
"There is no breathing room in this league and there is no breathing room in any of the games. We got solid goaltending, great special teams play with a power-play goal and a short-handed goal and we killed off eight power plays. And, the guys we count on came through with big goals when we needed them."
Over the past five games, Globke (five goals), Gill (four goals) and Walsh (two goals) have provided all 11 Notre Dame goals scored in that time.
Gill got the scoring started on Friday night when he banged home the rebound of a Globke shot at 9:30 of the first period. The goal was Gill's 10th of the season and seventh on the power play. He would assist on Notre Dame's other two goals.
Globke made it 2-0 for Notre Dame in the first period when he Gill sprung him for a short-handed goal at 11:42. For Globke, it was his team-best 16th goal of the season and second of his career.
"I was just carrying the puck and I saw C-Mac (Cory McLean) go to the bench. Rob (Globke) popped off the bench. I don't think they saw him and I just got him the puck. He did the rest," said Aaron Gill.
The Irish took the 2-0 lead into the intermission as Brown made 16 saves in the opening stanza, including 11 on four Nanook power-play chances.
Brown getting the start in the first game of the series was a switch that Poulin made over previous weeks. Since Morgan Cey returned to the lineup from his knee injury in late December, he had started the opening game of each weekend.
"I just decided to flip them this week," said Poulin.
"I talked to David and Morgan about it and they were okay with it. It worked out well tonight."
Brown said, "We weren't expecting it. I guess coach wanted to shake things up a little. There was no problem with it."
Alaska Fairbanks got back in the game at 1:16 of the second period when Ryan Lang took a long lead pass from Cory Rask and blasted a shot through Brown's pads for his seventh of the season and the lone goal of the second period.
In the third, the Irish got what proved to be the game winner at 4:51. Mike Walsh fired the puck into the right wing corner and Gill beat the UAF defense to the puck and carried it behind the net. Walsh moved into the slot and Gill fed him a centering pass that he wasted little time depositing behind Nanook goaltender Keith Bartusch for what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
The Nanooks made it interesting in the waning moments. With Bartusch pulled for a sixth attacker, Cam Keith was able to bang a rebound of a Ryan Campbell shot past Brown for his 11th of the season at 19:32.
On the night, the Nanooks outshot Notre Dame by a 42-29 margin. Bartusch made 26 saves on the night for the Nanooks.
UAF was 0-for-8 on the power play while the Irish were 1-for-4.
The two teams meet again on Saturday night at the Joyce Center to close out the weekend series. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
** David Brown also made 40 saves on October 18 at Bowling Green in a 3-0 shutout. In his last four starts for the Irish he has given up just four goals and is 3-1-0 in those games.
** Referee Dan Brown was forced to leave the game late in the second period after taking a stick in the face. Linesmen Chris Davis and Brent Gawlik handled the lines and officiating chores the remainder of the game.
** With a goal and two assists in the game, Aaron Gill now has 42 career goals and 57 assists for 99 career points. He needs just one more point to become the 41st player in Notre Dame history to score 100 points for his career. His 10 goals and 16 assists this season give him 26 points which equals his career-best set in his freshman season.
**Rob Globke's goal and assist move him past former teammate Connor Dunlop into 33rd on the all-time scoring list with 112 points (65 goals and 47 assists). The 65 goals tie him for 16th on Notre Dame's all-time goal list with Tim Kuehl who had 65 from 1986-90.