Oct. 28, 2012
Marquette, Mich. - Senior goaltender Mike Johnson made his first start of the season and stopped 26 shots while getting two goals from freshman Steven Fogarty and one from senior Nick Larson as Notre Dame knocked off Northern Michigan, 3-2, in front of 3,059 at the Berry Events Center on Saturday night.
Northern Michigan got goals from Cohen Adair and Darren Nowick while goaltender Jared Coreau made 29 saves for the Wildcats.
The win was the third straight for Notre Dame and gives the Irish a nine-game unbeaten streak (7-0-2) in Marquette, Mich., dating back to the 2007-08 season.
With the sweep, the Irish are now 5-1-0 overall and 2-0-0-0 in the CCHA while Northern Michigan falls to 3-3-0 on the year and 0-2-0-0 in conference action.
Neither team could score in the opening period although the Irish had one score that was waved off following a review by the referees.
Defenseman Shayne Taker carried the puck down the left wing boards and swooped in front throwing a backhander towards the net. The puck appeared to go off an Irish forward in front and past Coreau in the Wildcat goal. Play stopped, but nothing was called at the 11:48 mark and the goal light did not go on. The officials reviewed the play and waved the goal off with one official motioning to the Notre Dame bench that the puck was directed in with a kicking motion.
After the scoreless first period, Notre Dame's offense came alive in the second, scoring three times on the way to a 3-1 lead. The Irish fired up the scoreboard first at 3:13 with Larson getting his first of the season following a strong drive to the net by the 6-2, 198-pound left wing.
With the puck in the Irish zone, right wing Kevin Nugent was able to clear it down the right boards where Larson picked it up and moved through center ice and into the Northern Michigan zone as he drove in on Coreau, firing a low wrist shot from the right wing circle. The shot beat the Wildcat goaltender through his pads to make it 1-0. Freshman defenseman Andy Ryan picked up his first collegiate point on the goal.
Northern evened the score at 7:56 turning some hard work behind the Notre Dame cage into a wrap-around goal by Adair, his third of the year with assists to linemates Matt Thurber and Ryan Aynsley. With the puck to the left of Johnson, Thurber worked it loose to Adair on the right side. He beat Johnson to the right post and wrapping the puck around the right post between Johnson's skate and the iron to even things at 1-1.
From there, Fogarty, the freshman center from Edina, Minn., took over the remainder of the period. He made it a 2-1 game at 9:02 of the middle stanza when he took a feed from Ryan (second assist) inside the Northern Michigan blue line and snapped off a quick wrist shot from the right face-off dot, beating Coreau between his legs for his first collegiate goal.
Late in the period, Notre Dame got its fourth power-play chance of the night and Fogarty capitalized at 18:33 for his second goal of the night and first career power-play marker.
Defenseman Sam Calabrese carried the puck through the Wildcat defense and flipped a backhander on goal that was kicked aside by Coreau with the rebound heading to the right wing corner. Fogarty cut it off and fired the rebound back at the NMU goaltender and it deflected off his pads and into the goal, giving the Irish the 3-1 lead after two periods of play. Fogarty's two-goal game was the first multiple goal game of the year for Notre Dame.
Northern Michigan made things interesting in the third period when the Wildcats cut the Irish lead to 3-2 at the 5:46 mark as Nowick notched his second of the season. With Northern controlling the play in the Notre Dame zone, left wing Reed Seckel found Nowick at the bottom of the right circle. The freshman from Long Beach, Calif., slid a shot low to the ice that found its way through Johnson's pads to make it a 3-2 game.
In the final moments, it was Johnson's turn to shine as the senior made a pair of big stops in the final 53 seconds while the Wildcats skated six-on-five with Coreau on the bench in favor of the sixth attacker.
Notre Dame finished the night with a 32-28 shots on goal advantage, making it the fifth time in the first six games that the Irish had 30 or more shots on goal.
With the win, Johnson now has 40 victories in his Notre Dame career, making him the seventh Irish goaltender to win 40 more in his career.
The win was the first road sweep and CCHA road sweep for the Irish since Oct. 28-29, 2011 when they won twice at Bowling Green.
Notre Dame returns to action at 7:35 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2 at the Compton Family Ice Arena when the Irish open a Friday-Sunday series with Western Michigan. The Sunday, Nov. 4 game has a 5:05 p.m. start time.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F #9/#9 Notre Dame (5-1-0/2-0-0) 0 3 0 - 3 #16/#15 Northern Michigan (3-3-0/0-2-0) 0 1 1 - 2Scoring First Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; NMU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; NMU: 3 for 6 minutes.
Third Period: NMU: Darren Nowick 2 (Reed Seckel, Kyle Follmer), 5:46.
Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; NMU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal: Notre Dame 9 - 12 - 11 - 32 Northern Michigan 7 - 11 - 10 - 28