Ann Arbor, Mich. -
November 16, 2012 Sophomore defenseman Robbie Russo scored a pair of goals and Notre Dame got single goals from Jeff Costello and Mario Lucia to lead Notre Dame to a 4-1 win over Michigan on Friday night in front of a sellout crowd of 5,800 at Yost Arena.
The series sweep was the first for the Irish at Yost since Feb. 3-4, 1978 and just the fourth in the program's history (1970-71, 1972-73, 1977-78 and 2012-13) in 22 all-time series in Ann Arbor.
Freshman defenseman Jacob Trouba scored the lone Michigan goal that tied the game at 1-1 in the second period. Irish goaltender Steven Summerhays stopped 27-of-28 Wolverine shots in the game as Notre Dame was out shot, 29-19 on the evening.
The win improves Notre Dame to 8-3-0 overall and 5-1-0-0 in the CCHA, good for 15 points and first place in the standings. Michigan falls to 4-6-1 on the year and 2-5-1-1 in conference play.
"This should be a confidence builder for our team. Yost Arena is a very difficult place to play and Michigan is a very talented hockey team," said Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson.
"For us to be able to come in here and win two games, its hats off to our kids. I thought we played six real good periods of hockey in the series."
Notre Dame scored the only goal of the first period and it came on the power play as Russo scored his first of the night from the right point at 11:41 to make it 1-0.
Off a face off in the left circle, the Irish won the draw to Costello who moved it back to the left point to Stephen Johns. Johns passed it to Russo who wasted little time in firing a low wrist shot at the Michigan goal. With a screen in front, the shot eluded goaltender Steve Racine, beating him inside the far post to give Russo his third goal of the season.
The power-play goal was the first for the Irish since Nov. 4 versus Western Michigan and snapped a streak of 10 straight chances without a goal with the man advantage. It was the sixth power-play goal of the season for Notre Dame.
The tight-checking game carried on in the second period with the Wolverines taking advantage of an Irish turnover and Trouba getting the equalizer at 13:12.
With Michigan forechecking behind the Notre Dame goal, an errant pass found its way to the top of the right circle where Trouba blasted a shot past Summerhays for his fourth goal of the season to make it 1-1.
The third period belonged to the Irish, as they would score three times with their aggressive forecheck forcing mistakes by the Wolverines.
Costello would get the eventual game winner when he took a feed from Bryan Rust who forced a turnover behind the net and found the junior left wing in front. Costello made a move on Racine and deposited the puck behind him.
For Rust, it was a big weekend as the he scored the game winner on Thursday and set up the game winner on Friday.
"I saw (defenseman Lee) Moffie try to do that before, throwing the puck d -to- d," said Rust.
"It was late in the game so I tried to read it and I was lucky that I did. I heard Jeff (Costello) calling so I threw a little behind the back pass to him and he finished."
The lead would go to 3-1 at 13:30 as Johns, who had two assists in the game and three on the weekend, was active again, carrying the puck deep into the Michigan zone before centering a pass that freshman Mario Lucia whipped from the slot past Racine for the first goal of his collegiate career. For Lucia, it was his second game back in the lineup after missing the first nine games of the year with a broken leg.
Russo closed out the scoring with 43 seconds left, scoring into an open net. Michigan had pulled Racine with over two minutes left in favor of a sixth attacker. Russo broke up a pass at the Irish blue line and fired it the length of the ice into the open goal for his fourth of the season and the Irish had a 4-1 win.
For the second night in a row, the Irish seemed to come on late to pull out the win, something that Jackson was happy to see.
"I think that might have something to do with having a more mature team than we've had the last couple years," said Jackson. He was quick to add, "It's also hats off to our strength and conditioning coach Tony Rolinski."
Notre Dame returns home next weekend to start a six-game homestand as they face the University of North Dakota on Nov. 23-24 at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Friday's game starts at 7:35 p.m. and Saturday's contest will drop the puck at 5:05 p.m.
** IRISH NOTES **
** Notre Dame killed all five Michigan power-play chances on the weekend and has now killed 16 straight, dating back to Nov. 2 versus Western Michigan.