Junior goaltender Steven Summerhays stopped all 22 shots he faced and junior center T.J. Tynan scored the only goal he would need as Notre Dame shutout the University of Maine, 1-0, in the opening game of the Ice Breaker Tournament played at the Sprint Center on Friday night.
The win gives the Irish a 1-0-0 record to start the season while the Black Bears fall to 0-2-0 in the 2012-13 campaign. Notre Dame will face Nebraska-Omaha in the championship game at 6:00 p.m. (CT) on Saturday. The Mavericks defeated Army, 5-1, in Friday night's second contest. NBC Sports Network will carry the action live.
For Summerhays, the shutout was the third of his career and his third in his last six starts dating back to the end of the 2011-12 season.
"I started seeing after Christmas last year Steven (Summerhays) really start to come on and take over the position in the final three months of the season," said head coach Jeff Jackson.
"I've seen it in the past here with Jordan Pearce and David Brown, where they come on late in the sophomore year and then take over as a junior. It's only one game and consistency is the key in any goalie but it was a nice start."
For the opening two periods, both goaltenders put on a clinic as Maine's Dan Sullivan stopped 22 shots over the first 40 minutes to 12 for Summerhays.
The Irish finally broke through in the final period when Tynan backhanded his own rebound through Sullivan's pads at 2:59 for the 1-0 lead.
Defenseman Robbie Russo set the play in motion moving the puck down the left wing to Bryan Rust in the left corner. Rust carried along the backboards and tried a wrap-around on Sullivan, tucking the puck inside the right post. Sullivan made the stop but Tynan was there to take one shot before backhanding the second chance home for his first of the season.
"I saw Bryan taking the wrap-around, so I just went to the front of the goal," said Tynan.
"I missed the first shot, but got a second chance and it went through. I guess you can call it desperation, I just kept hacking at it and it went in."
For the game, Rust led the Irish with seven shots on goal and had a couple of great scoring chances that Sullivan stopped.
The junior right wing's play did not escape his head coach.
I'm really excited about the way Bryan Rust is playing," said Jackson.
"Last year was a challenging year for him, but I like his energy. His skating has improved and he really came into camp in great shape. I really like where he is at right now.
Following Tynan's goal, it was all Summerhays for the Irish. He stopped 10 of the 22 shots he faced in the game in the third period and held Maine's power play to a 0-for-4 evening while Notre Dame enjoyed the 34-22 edge in shots for the night.
This is Notre Dame's third appearance in the Ice Breaker Tournament and they finished third in 1999 and second in 2010. The last time the Irish face the University of Maine was in the 2003-04 season and they won that game by a 1-0 margin with Morgan Cey `05 getting the shutout in that game.
** IRISH NOTES:
**With his goal, T.J. Tynan now has 37 goals and 59 assists for 96 career points, putting him just four away from 100 for his career.
** With the season-opening win, the Irish are now 22-21-2 all-time in regular-season lidlifters.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F
#13/#15 Notre Dame (1-0-0) 0 0 1 - 1
#rv/#20 Maine (0-2-0) 0 0 0 - 0
First Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; Maine: 0 for 0 minutes.
Second Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; Maine: 3 for 6 minutes.