Feb. 19, 2011
Big Rapids, Mich. - Notre Dame freshman goaltender Steven Summerhays had a career-high 29 saves and the Irish got goals from five different players on the way to a 5-2 win over Ferris State Saturday night at a sold-out Ewigleben Arena on Senior Night for the Bulldogs.
The win gives the Irish a four-game winning streak and a seven-game (5-0-2) unbeaten streak that started on Jan. 22 at Ohio State. The CCHA road sweep was the second of the season for Notre Dame (Northern Michigan, Jan. 7-8) and the second consecutive weekend that the Irish have won both games of a series (Bowling Green).
Notre Dame improves to 20-9-5 overall and is now 17-6-3-2 in the CCHA, good for 56 points. The win means that the worse that the Irish can finish in the CCHA is second place as it eliminates Miami from a shot at the top spot. The Redhawks have 49 points with two games left to play. The Irish go into the final week of the season with a one point lead on second place Michigan (55) as the Wolverines rallied from a 4-3 deficit, to tie the game with 20 seconds left and then win it with three seconds remaining in overtime for a 5-4 win over Western Michigan.
The loss dropped Ferris State to 16-14-4 on the season and 11-12-3-2 in the CCHA.
For the second night in a row, Notre Dame got on the scoreboard first with Ryan getting his sixth goal of the season at 10:55 of the first period.
The Irish won a draw in their own zone with Jeff Costello carrying the puck down the left wing boards. He moved the puck across to right wing Ryan Guentzel. While Guentzel carried the puck down the boards, Ryan drove down the middle to the Ferris State goal. Guentzel slid a pass across the middle and Ryan redirected it past goaltender Pat Nagle to give the Irish a 1-0 lead.
Notre Dame controlled the play in the opening period, out shooting the Bulldogs, 17-7.
Ferris State would get back in the game in the second period, scoring a pair of power-play goals. The first came at 7:24 of the middle stanza when Czernowczan snuck in from his spot at the right point to take a feed from left wing Mike Embach and redirect the puck behind freshman goaltender Steven Summerhays. The goal was Czernowczan's first career goal and it tied the score at 1-1.
The Irish answered back at 13:55 with Lavin putting them ahead 2-1 with his fifth goal of the season. Gerths carried the puck over the Ferris State blue line and dropped it off for Lavin at the left point. Lavin carried through the face-off circle and whipped a wrist shot through Nagle's pads to put Notre Dame back in front.
The Bulldogs evened the score at 2-2 at 17:07 with their second power-play goal of the night. This time Schmit scored from the slot as he banged the rebound of a Mike Fillinger shot past Summerhays for his fifth goal of the season. The Bulldogs came into the game with just 17 power-play goals on the year and were clicking at just a 13.3% rate.
Notre Dame snapped the 2-2 tie at 7:44 of the third period with Gerths getting his eighth goal of the season and second point of the night. Defenseman Kevin Lind took a drop pass for Anders Lee and fired a shot on goal that Nagle steered aside. The rebound ended up in the left face-off circle where Gerths flipped a backhander past Nagle for the eventual game-winning goal.
The Irish added an insurance goal at 10:15 of the third when Larson whipped a wrist shot from the blue line past Nagle for his ninth goal of the season. Defenseman Jared Beers put Larson in over the blue line and the sophomore left wing's shot appeared to fool Nagle as it beat him to his stick side.
Ferris State pulled its goaltender with two minutes left and Notre Dame closed the scoring with an empty net goal with 55 seconds left by Ridderwall for the final of 5-2.
Notre Dame out shot Ferris State, 33-31, in the game. Nagle finished with 28 saves. The Irish were 0-for-4 on the power play while the Bulldogs were 2-for-5.
The CCHA regular season comes to an end next weekend with Notre Dame playing a home-and-home series with Western Michigan. The two teams meet in Kalamazoo, Mich., at 7:35 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 25 and then battle at the Joyce Center at 7:05 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 26. The Irish will honor their seniors following the game on Saturday night.
** IRISH NOTES **
** Notre Dame picked up its 20th win of the season with the victory over Ferris State. That marks the 10th time in the program's 43-year history that the Irish have had 20 or more wins in a season. They have won 20 or more in four of the last five seasons.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F #10/#10 Notre Dame (20-9-5/17-6-3-2) 1 1 3 - 5 --/#20 Ferris State (16-14-4/11-12-3-2) 0 2 0 - 2Scoring First Period: ND: Ben Ryan 6 (Ryan Guentzel, Jeff Costello), 10:55.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; FSU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes; FSU: 3 for 6 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; FSU: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal: Notre Dame 17 - 7 - 9 - 33 Ferris State 7 - 14 - 10 - 31
Goaltender Saves: ND: Steven Summerhays (60:00) 7 - 12 - 10 - 29 FSU: Pat Nagle (58:59) 16 - 6 - 6 - 28
Power Plays: ND: 0 for 4 FSU: 2 for 5
Attendance: 2,493 (sellout)