Nov. 7, 1998
BOSTON - Senior right wing Brian Urick netted his 11th career game-winning goal as the No. 7-ranked University of Notre Dame hockey team emerged with a 4-3 victory over Northeastern at Matthews Arena, completing a strong weekend performance for the Irish.
Notre Dame (7-1-1), coming off a wild and emotional 5-5 tie at No. 1 Boston College, was noticeably off its game-both physically and mentally-but made the clutch plays in a game that featured five straight power-play goals, four tip-in goals and four scores in the final period. Sophomore right wing Matt Van Arkel, senior left wing Aniket Dhadphale and freshman center David Inman each scored for the Irish before Urick's game-winner with 7:24 left to play.
Northeastern (2-3-0), which lost 5-4 to Merrimack on Friday, struck quickly in the third period to tie the game 2-2 before answering Inman's score with another quick goal for a 3-3 game. The Irish victory avenged a 4-2 loss to the Huskies at last season's University of Minnesota Mariucci Classic.
The Huskies enjoyed a 37-33 edge in shots but the potent Irish power play converted on three of seven chances for the second straight night, boosting the season power-play percentage to a Central Collegiate Hockey Association-leading .321 (17-for-53).
The Irish defense received a boost by the return of junior Nathan Borega, who had missed the first eight games due to injury, but his classmate and linemate Tyson Fraser did not suit up Saturday after being dinged up in the BC game. Fraser and Borega have not skated together for the team's last 21 games, stretching back to the Jan. 31 game at Michigan.
Senior defenseman Benoit Cotnoir equaled his career high with three assists while skating on both power-play units due to the absence of Fraser. Senior goaltender Forrest Karr-who has allowed just 10 even-strength goals in nine games-made 34 saves while increasing his dominating road record to 10-2-1 over the past two seasons.
Dhadphale initiated the game-winning goal with a pass from the bottom of the left circle to the left point. Cotnoir took the pass and fired a shot on net, with Urick tipping the puck past Huskies freshman goaltender Scott Sutton for his team-leading eighth goal of the season and 49th of his career (12:36). The score was Urick's 11th career game-winning goal, tying him with Paul Regan (1969-73) for third in Irish history behind Dave Bankoske (12, 1988-93) and fourth-year Irish head coach Dave Poulin (13, 1978-82).
Van Arkel opened the scoring at the 12:03 mark of the first period, when he tipped home a shot by freshman defenseman Sam Cornelius for his fourth goal of the season. Cotnoir set up the power-play goal by sliding a pass from the right to left circle for the waiting Cornelius.
Huskies freshman defenseman Jim Fahey tied the game less than three minutes later, on a power-play shot from the top of the right circle that appeared to be tipped in by one of his teammates (14:45).
Dhadphale was credited with his sixth goal of the season and 49th of his career midway through the second period, on an apparent tip of a Cotnoir power-play blast from the top of the left circle (13:33). Junior center Ben Simon passed the puck from the slot to Cotnoir, who unleashed a rising shot that flew past Sutton and tucked into the upper right corner of the net.
The hosts quickly tied the game in the final period (1:01), on a power-play goal from the left slot by sophomore defenseman John Peterman (his first of the season). But the Irish reclaimed the lead less than three minutes later, on a goal set up by junior right wing Joe Dusbabek's pass to Van Arkel. Inman was skating down the left on the odd-man rush and one-timed a pass from Van Arkel for his fourth goal of the season and a 3-2 lead (3:22).
The Huskies needed just 81 seconds to forge the third tie of the game, on Fahey's second goal of the game and of the young season. Junior right wing Billy Newson fed the puck into the slot, with Fahey redirecting the bouncing puck into the right side of the net (4:43).
Urick (49G-50A) is on the verge of 100 career points and needs one more goal to become the 27th Notre Dame player ever to total 50 goals and 50 assists.
#7 NOTRE DAME (7-1-1) 1 1 2 - 4 NORTHEASTERN (2-3-0) 1 0 2 - 3
1st - ND 1. Van Arkel 4 (Cornelius, Cotnoir), PP, 12:03; NU 1. Fahey 1 (Newson, Holeczy), PP, 14:45.
2nd - ND 2. Dhadphale 6 (Cotnoir, Simon), PP, 13:33. 3rd - NU 2. Peterman 1 (Barclay, Holeczy), PP, 1:01; ND 3. Inman 4 (Van Arkel, Dusbabek), PP, 3:22; NU 3. Fahey 3 (Newson, Holeczy) 4:43; ND 4. Urick 8 (Cotnoir, Dhadphale) 12:36.
SHOTS: ND 9-12-9-2/32, NU 9-9-10-0/28. SAVES: ND (Karr) 12-14-8/34, NU (Sutton) 13-5-11/29. POWER PLAY: ND 3-for-7, NU 2-for-5. PENALTIES: ND 8 for 16:00, NU 10 for 20:00.