March 7, 2004
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - Michael Bartlett and Jason Paige scored second-period goals and Morgan Cey stopped 13 of 14 shots he faced to lead Notre Dame to a 2-1 win over the Lake Superior State Lakers Saturday night.
The win clinches fifth place in the CCHA for the Irish as they finish the regular season with an 18-12-4 overall record and a 14-11-3 mark in league play, good for 31 points. The Irish will open the first round of the CCHA playoffs at home on Friday, March 12th versus the eighth-place Western Michigan Broncos. Western defeated the Irish twice this season at Kalamazoo in December.
The Lakers finish the regular season with a 9-18-7 record and are 11th in the league with a 7-16-5 record.
The Irish victory snapped Notre Dame's eight-game CCHA road-losing streak and ended a 10-game league winless streak (0-9-1).
After Friday's 3-0 loss to Lake Superior, the Irish came out with extra jump in their step on Saturday as they looked to break the tie for fifth place with Alaska Fairbanks.
The Irish had the territorial edge in the first period as they outshot the Lakers by a 12-4 margin. The first period also saw the first two penalties of the weekend called by referee Mark Wilkins. After a penalty free Friday night, Wilkins whistled each team for one penalty in the first period.
The Lakers took the first lead of the game just 34 seconds into the second period when right wing Chris Peterson cashed in on a two-on-one for his first goal of the season. Center Jeffrey Rainville got around an Irish defenseman and came down the left side. He found Peterson at the top of the crease with a centering pass and the senior tapped it in as Cey tried to slide across to make the stop.
The Irish got their first goal of the weekend at the 10:10 mark of the period as Michael Bartlett converted a pass by Matt Amado from the left side of the goal. Amado slid the puck to Bartlett at the bottom of the right wing circle. As Laker goaltender Jeff Jakaitis slid across, Bartlett tucked a wrist shot low to the ice just inside the left post for his sixth of the season.
Jason Paige gave the Irish their first and only lead of the weekend at 17:50 off strong forechecking in the right wing corner by Josh Sciba and Rob Globke. Globke was able to control the puck in the corner and found Sciba at the bottom of the right wing circle. Sciba slid the puck toward the goal where Paige redirected it inside the left post for his ninth tally of the season.
The third period saw the Irish defend their one-goal lead as the Notre Dame defense held the Lakers at bay. Cey faced just three shots in the period as the Irish prevailed in the 2-1 win.
For the game, Notre Dame outshot Lake Superior 31-14. Jakaitis made 29 saves in the game for the Lakers. With the victory, Cey extended his winning streak to six games versus Lake Superior. He has given up just seven goals in seven appearances versus the Lakers.
Notre Dame will next be in action on Friday, March 12th when the Irish play host to Western Michigan in game one of the best-of-three first round series. Game time is 7:35 p.m. Tickets for the first round of the playoffs will go on sale Monday, March 8 at the Joyce Center Box Office beginning at 9:00 a.m. They can also be purchased by phone at 574-631-7356.
**The 2003-04 season could be considered the Year of the Shutout for Notre Dame hockey. Following the 3-0 shutout on Friday night by Lake Superior, the Irish have now been shutout four times this season. The previous record was four during the 1998-99 season. On the other hand, the Irish have also collected six shutouts of their own this season (four by David Brown, two by Morgan Cey). The previous single-season mark for the Irish was three. On the year, Notre Dame has been involved in 10 shutouts this season.
** Notre Dame will host the first round of the CCHA playoffs for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. That year, the Irish defeated Ferris State, two games to one, and advanced to the CCHA semifinals at Joe Louis Arena. That marked the first time the Irish had advanced in CCHA play since returning to the league in 1992.
** CCHA First Round Playoff Pairings:
Nebraska-Omaha at Michigan
Lake Superior State at Miami
Ferris State at Michigan State
Bowling Green at Ohio State
Western Michigan at Notre Dame
Northern Michigan at Alaska Fairbanks
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 F
Notre Dame (17-12-4/13-11-3) 0 2 0 2
Lake Superior State (9-17-7/7-15-5) 0 1 0 1
First Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; LSSU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; LSSU: 3 for 6 minutes.
Third Period: No Scoring
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; LSSU: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 12 - 12 - 7 - 31
Lake Superior State 4 - 7 - 3 - 14
ND - Morgan Cey (60:00) 4 - 6 - 3 - 13
LSSU - Jeff Jakaitis (58:57) 12 - 10 - 7 - 29
ND: 0 for 3
LSSU: 0 for 3