Notre Dame, Ind. -
Junior linemates Anders Lee and Jeff Costello each had a goal and two assists to lead Notre Dame to a 6-4 win over Michigan on Saturday night in front of a sell-out crowd of 5,022 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
Lee and Costello were joined in the goal-scoring column by Bryan Rust, Peter Schneider, Austin Wuthrich and David Gerths as the Irish swept a two-game series from the Wolverines for the second time this season and won all four games in one season against Michigan for just the second time ever, and the first time since the 1972-73 season.
Alex Guptill, Phil Di Giuseppe, Kevin Lynch and Mac Bennett scored for the Wolverines as they scored three times on six power-play chances in the contest.
The win gives Notre Dame a modest three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) and improves the Irish to 18-11-1 overall and 14-7-1-1 in the CCHA. They now have 44 points in conference play and are three points behind first-place Miami and two behind second-place Western Michigan with each team having six games remaining on the regular-season schedule. The loss drops Michigan to 10-18-2 on the year and 7-15-2-2 in conference play.
"This was a big weekend for us. We need to get every point we can, especially at home," said head coach Jeff Jackson.
"Our next four games are going to be extremely tough. We play two exceptional teams (Miami and Western Michigan) so we really needed to take care of business this weekend if we want to finish in the top four of the conference."
Notre Dame scored the lone goal of the first period with Costello and Lee picking up points. Off a face off in the neutral zone in front of the Irish bench, Lee won the draw back to defenseman Sam Calabrese in the Notre Dame zone. Calabrese fired a pass off the left boards that Costello was able to grab at the Michigan blue line and with a Wolverine defender hanging on him drove on goaltender Jared Rutledge stuffing the puck between the freshman goaltenders' pads for his seventh of the year to make it 1-0.
The Irish would build the lead to 2-0 with a Lee power-play goal at 6:26. Mario Lucia controlled the puck at the right point and fired the puck off the boards behind the net to the left of Rutledge. Costello played it off the boards with a little backhand pass to the right post where Lee, the junior captain, jammed the puck between Rutledge's pad and the right post for his CCHA-leading 17th goal of the season.
Michigan was able to stay in the game on the strength of its power play and cut the lead to 2-1 at 8:50 of the second when Guptill snapped a wrist shot from the slot past Irish netminder Steven Summerhays for his eighth goal of the season.
Rust would join his linemates on the scoreboard at 14:29 of the middle period as he gave the Irish their two-goal lead back. Lee forced a turnover at the Michigan blue line and broke into the Wolverine zone on a two-on-one with Rust. He centered a pass at the last moment that Rust was able to direct behind Rutledge for his 10th goal of the season and a 3-1 Notre Dame lead.
The lead would go to 4-1 at 16:07 when Schneider teamed with center Steven Fogarty on some great cycling in the left wing corner that tied up the Michigan defense. After Schneider dumped a puck from the left boards behind the goal line to Fogarty, he cut to the goal where the freshman center set him up for a wrister over Rutledge for his fourth goal of the season.
Just before the second intermission, the Wolverines got their second power-play goal of the night as Di Giuseppe ripped a shot from the slot past Summerhays with assists to Lynch and Jacob Trouba who had three on the night at 19:28 to make it 4-2. The goal was Di Giuseppe's sixth of the season.
The Irish would score twice in the first 1:38 of the third period to put the game away and send Rutledge to the bench in favor of Adam Janecyck.
"We gave up some power-play goals this weekend but we showed the ability to bounce back from adversity," said Jackson.
"We'll get our penalty kill back in order. We won't go very far if we don't improve that. I was happy with the way we responded this weekend any time we gave up a momentum type of goal."
Wuthrich blasted a slap shot from the top of the right circle past Rutledge just 47 seconds into the third for his third of the season to make it 5-2 and chase the Wolverine starter.
Gerths welcomed Janecyk to the game with his third goal of the weekend and seventh of the season when Costello stole a puck in the neutral zone and drove to the goal before feeding Gerths in the slot at 1:38 and the junior buried a shot behind Janecyk to make it 6-2.
"It was great to get some secondary scoring this weekend," said Jackson.
"David Gerths had a good weekend and then we got goals tonight from (Austin) Wuthrich and (Peter) Schneider. That makes a big difference when we don't have to rely on one line to score."
Michigan never gave up though as Lynch scored on the power play at 6:23 and Bennett closed the scoring at 17:02 with a shot from the high slot that went off Summerhays and carried into the goal.
Notre Dame out shot the Wolverines, 33-25, in the game with Summerhays making 24 saves for his 15th win of the year. Rutledge finished with 17 saves in just over 40 minutes and Janecyk had 10 in the final 17:48.
Notre Dame now takes to the road for a big weekend series versus the CCHA leaders - Miami. The two teams will meet in Oxford, Ohio at 7:35 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15 and then the two teams travel to Chicago on Sunday, Feb. 17 to meet in the OfficeMax Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field in a 12:05 p.m. game.
** IRISH NOTES **
** The Irish combined for 13 goals on the weekend series versus Michigan, winning 7-4 on Friday and 6-4 on Saturday. The last time the Irish combined for 13 or more goals in a weekend came on Feb. 13-14, 2009 when they won 9-5 and 5-2 at home against Northern Michigan.
** With three goals on the weekend, Anders Lee now has scored at least 17 goals in each of his three seasons at Notre Dame. He had 24 as a freshman in 2010-11 and 17 last season as a sophomore.
Penalties: UM: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Second Period: ND: Lee 17 (Costello, Mario Lucia), PPG, 6:26; UM: Alex Guptill 8 (Andrew Copp, AJ Treais), PPG, 8:50; ND: Rust 10 (Lee), 14:29; ND: Peter Schneider 4 (Steven Fogarty, Shayne Taker), 16:07; UM: Phil Di Giuseppe 6 (Kevin Lynch, Jacob Trouba), 19:26.
Penalties: UM: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 3 for 6 minutes.