March 21, 2009
Detroit, Mich. - As they've done all season long, the Notre Dame hockey team, with emphasis on the word "team," did it their way, rallying from a two-goal deficit with a four-goal third period to defeat the Michigan Wolverines, 5-2. The win gave the Irish their second CCHA playoff title in the last three seasons.
Both Notre Dame and Michigan will advance to the NCAA Tournament with sites and seedings to be announced on Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN2.
The Irish spread the scoring around, getting a pair of goals from Calle Ridderwall and single goals from Billy Maday, Ben Ryan and Christiaan Minella in the win. Michigan took a 2-0 lead in the second period on goals by Luke Glendening and David Wohlberg.
The victory improves the No. 2/No. 1 ranked Irish to 31-5-3 on the year and extends their current win streak to 10 games. They have not lost since a Feb. 8 loss at Ohio State. The No. 3/No. 3 ranked Wolverines, who finished second to the Irish in the regular season, fall to 29-11-0 overall.
Michigan got the lone goal of the opening period when Glendening fired the rebound of a Brandon Naurato shot at Pearce that glanced off a Notre Dame defenseman and fluttered over the Notre Dame goaltender's left shoulder at 14:32. The goal was Glendening's sixth of the season and gave the Wolverines the 1-0 lead.
The Irish almost evened the score with less than three minutes left in the stanza when Ryan Guentzel fired a shot from the slot that went off Michigan goaltender Bryan Hogan and then the left post and into the left wing corner.
The Wolverines' lead would go to 2-0 just 2:10 into the second period as Wohlberg snapped a wrist shot past Pearce with defenseman Ian Cole bearing down on him.
The play started in the Michigan zone when Tim Miller took control of a loose puck and banked it off the left wing boards. Wohlberg tracked it down inside the Irish blue line and raced in on Pearce, snapping a shot past the Irish goaltender for his 15th of the season.
Notre Dame finally broke through on Hogan at the 12:11 mark with the teams skating four aside.
Maday took a feed from Kevin Deeth, deked a Michigan defender to the ice and whipped a shot from the left faceoff circle past Hogan for his 16th goal of the season to cut the lead to 2-1 after two periods of play.
That set up a third period that might just be the team's defining moment all season as they would take the lead just 2:05 into the final period, scoring 50 seconds apart to take a 3-2 lead.
Ridderwall got his first of the game just 1:15 into the period when be deflected a Brett Blatchford shot past Hogan from the slot for his 16th goal of the season.
Ryan got the game winner, his second game winner of the weekend at 2:05. Kyle Lawson forced a turnover at the Notre Dame and fed a cross-rink pass to Ryan Thang. The junior left wing moved it down the boards to Ryan who found himself cutting across the left circle. He snapped a shot that went under Hogan's glove for his 12th goal of the season.
The Irish nursed the one-goal lead with Pearce making several stops, including a three-shot flurry midway through the period.
Ridderwall got the insurance goal at 11:11 when he combined with Maday for his team-high 17th goal of the season. Maday carried the puck into the Wolverines' zone and left it for the Stockholm, Sweden native as he burst down the right side. The sophomore got around Michigan's Louie Caporusso and got a back-hand shot on Hogan who couldn't control the rebound. Ridderwall continued driving to the goal and tucked the puck between Hogan's pads to make it 4-2.
The celebration began early for the Irish as Minella closed the scoring at the 16:53 mark when he snapped a wrist shot from between the circles that beat Hogan to his stick side. Christian Hanson carried the puck over the blue line and pulled the Michigan defense towards him before sliding the puck to Minella. Ian Cole picked up the second assist on the play.
Pearce took care of the rest, finishing the night with 28 saves. Hogan finished with 29 saves in the Michigan goal.
The Irish placed four players on the CCHA all-tournament team - defenseman Ian Cole, forwards Calle Ridderwall and Ben Ryan and goaltender Jordan Pearce. Defenseman Steve Kampfer and forward Louie Caporusso were selected from Michigan. Pearce finished as the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
Game Summary 1 2 3 F #3/#3 Michigan (29-11-0) 1 1 0 2 #2/#1 Notre Dame (31-5-3) 0 1 4 5First Period - ND: Luke Glendening 6 (Brandon Naurato, Steven Kampfer), PPG, 14:32.
Penalties: UM - 2 for 4 minutes; ND - 1 for 2 minutes.
Penalties: UM - 3 for 6 minutes; ND - 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: ND: Calle Ridderwall 16 (Blatchford, Deeth), 1:15; ND: Ben Ryan 12 (Ryan Thang, Kyle Lawson), 2:05; ND: Ridderwall 17 (Maday), 11:11; ND: Christiaan Minella 9 (Christian Hanson, Ian Cole), 16:53.
Penalties: UM - 1 for 2 minutes; ND - 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal: 1 2 3 F Michigan 9 13 8 30 Notre Dame 11 11 12 34