April 6, 2018
SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- The Notre Dame hockey team did it again.
This time it was senior captain Jake Evans playing the part of hero, scoring with 5.2 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Irish past Michigan, 4-3, in a national semifinal at the 2018 Frozen Four. It was the second of two goals for Evans, while Andrew Oglevie and Cal Burke recorded the other two scores for the Irish.
It marked the fifth time in as many postseason games the Irish won a one-goal game with a score late. The Irish scored in the closing minute of the Big Ten semifinals against Penn State, won the B1G title in overtime against Ohio State, needed overtime to get past Michigan Tech in the first round of the NCAA tournament and scored with 27 seconds remaining against Providence to advance to the Frozen Four.
Michigan controlled the early going, scoring at 8:19 of the first and taking a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The Wolverines quickly made it 2-0 in the second, as a shot by Dexter Dancs deflected off a Notre Dame defenseman and past Irish goaltender Cale Morris.
The game changed when Oglevie connected for a power play goal at 2:41 of the first. Less than four minutes later, Evans scored the equalizer and it was tied, 2-2, going to the second intermission.
Burke struck early in the third period and looked poised to be the hero until Michael Pastujov banged home a rebound to tie it for Michigan. With time winding down, Evans took a pass from Morrison and went five-hole on Michigan’s Hayden Lavigne to win the game.
The Notre Dame penalty kill came up huge for the Irish, as it has done against Michigan all season. The Irish killed four penalties, including one midway through the third. In five games between the rivals this season, the Irish held Michigan to an 0-for-11 mark on power play opportunities with a total of 17 shots on goal. Conversely, Notre Dame went 6-for-13 on the man advantage in the five games.
Notre Dame’s Cale Morris, a finalist for the Richter Award being handed out Friday evening, made 25 saves. Michigan’s Lavigne matched him with 25 saves on the evening.
NOTRE DAME GOAL DESCRIPTIONS
2-1 | The Irish went on their second power play of the game and cut the deficit in half. Oglevie won a draw to the right of Hayden Lavigne and worked it to the point. Gross’ shot from the left point rebounded to Evans on the left faceoff dot. He slid it to Oglevie, who was collapsing in from the left point to the top of the circle. Oglevie then beat Lavigne to the right post for his 14th of the year.
2-2 | The game-tying goal came less than four minutes later with Evans and Gross again in the mix, this time with the teams skating four-on-four. Gross kept a Michigan clearing attempt in the offensive zone on the right wall. He carried the puck in towards the circle before finding Evans in the high slot, who wristed it into the upper-left corner of the goal to tie things at two.
3-2 | Oglevie won the possession in the Irish end and passed it to Burke who skated through the neutral zone before passing to Malmquist on the near half wall. Burke worked around his defender, turning a two-on-two rush into a two-on-one break, then took the pass back from Malmquist and tucked it between Lavigne and the near post to give the Irish their first lead of the night.
4-3 | Evans took possession in the Irish zone and passed it across the neutral zone to Morrison, who carried the puck into the Michigan zone on the near side. Morrison skated in to the near post, pulling Lavigne to the post, before dumping it on the doorstep for Evans. Crashing between the circles, Evans slid the puck five-hole on Lagivne, who was sliding back across the crease, to send the Irish into the title game for the second time in program history.
- Jordan Gross skated in the 158th consecutive game of his Irish career (dating back to the first game of his freshman season).
- Jake Evans skated in his 130th consecutive game dating back to his freshman season (157th overall).
- Notre Dame is 7-7-0 this season when the opponent scores first and 7-5-0 when trailing at the first intermission.
- The Irish have conceded the first goal in all three NCAA Tournament games.
- Burke’s goal was his 14th of the season, but first since Feb. 3 at Penn State (2-2 tie).
- In seven career NCAA Tournament games, Andrew Oglevie has eight points (4-4-8).
- With two goals and an assist, Jake Evans now has 10 points in seven NCAA Tournament games (2-8-7).
- Notre Dame is outscoring opponents by 31 goals from the second period on this season (88-57),
- including a 4-1 edge on the Wolverines in the second two periods tonight.
- The attendance was 18,026 for both Frozen Four semifinal contests.
Notre Dame advances to the national title game on Saturday, April 6, where the Irish will take on Minnesota Duluth. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and WatchESPN.
-- ND --