Oct. 29, 2004
Notre Dame, Ind. - Sophomore defenseman Noah Babin scored the first goal of his collegiate career and Morgan Cey made 26 saves as Notre Dame battled 15th-ranked Northern Michigan to a 1-1 tie at the Joyce Center on Friday night. Freshman forward Mike Santorelli got the game-tying goal for the Wildcats and Bill Zaniboni made 29 saves to preserve the tie.
The tie gives the Irish a 1-3-2 overall record and an 0-2-1 mark in CCHA play while Northern Michigan goes to 3-1-1 on the season and 2-0-1 in league action.
Babin gave the Irish a 1-0 lead at 16:09 of the opening stanza following a flurry in front that saw Zaniboni make stops on defenseman Chris Trick and Tim Wallace in close. Wallace's rebound went to Michael Bartlett near the right wing circle, but rolled to the boards where Babin fired a shot that somehow snuck between Zaniboni and the right post. The goal was the first of Babin's Notre Dame career.
"I thought we did some things very well in the first period," said Irish coach Dave Poulin.
"We passed the puck well, moved it well and supported the puck. The first period was terrific hockey. The two teams took the game into their own hands and made a concerted effort to play that way."
In the second period, Northern Michigan got the equalizer at 5:59 when Mike Santorelli got his third goal of the season when he stuffed a Dirk Southern centering pass behind Cey to make it 1-1. That would be the last goal of the game.
"Between periods we talked to the players about being mentally tough with the ice conditions and try to find a way to win the game. The really showed that toughness in the third period. We didn't give up a lot of shots to a pretty good hockey team," said Poulin.
The two teams battled tough ice conditions throughout the game due to high humidity after a warm and humid day in South Bend.
"It was tough to handle the puck out there tonight. The puck wasn't moving very well due to the humidity, but that's what happens when you have a 70-degree day in late October," explained Poulin.
"The ice was a definitely a big factor in the 1-1 tie. The puck just wouldn't sit. You could see how hard it was to mover the puck on the power play. It was bouncing for both teams."
For the night, Notre Dame out shot Northern Michigan, 30-27, the first time this season that the Irish were not out shot in a game. The game also saw both teams go 0-for-5 on the power play, the first time this season that the Irish have been involved in a game that featured no power-play goals for either team.
The two teams will close out the weekend series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. The Irish will celebrate Parent's Night on Saturday, as the players will honor their parents in ceremonies prior to the start of the game.
Northern Michigan (3-1-1/2-0-1) 0 1 0 0 - 1 Notre Dame (1-3-2/0-2-1) 1 0 0 0 - 1