Notre Dame, Ind. - Anders Lee and Jeff Costello scored twice, defenseman Kevin Lind scored short-handed and goaltender Steven Summerhays stopped 30 shots as Notre Dame rolled to a 5-2 win over the University of North Dakota in front of 4,733 at the Compton Family Ice Arena on Saturday evening.
The Irish bounced back from Friday night's tough one-goal loss by firing a season-high 41 shots at UND freshman goaltender Zane Gothberg while Summerhays held the potent North Dakota attack at bay for 60 minutes.
Mark MacMillan and Rocco Grimaldi scored North Dakota's two goals in the game.
The win improves sixth-ranked Notre Dame to 9-4-0 on the year while seventh-ranked North Dakota falls to 6-4-2 for the season. Saturday's game closed out a span of 11 consecutive games that started on Oct. 18 versus ranked teams. Notre Dame was 7-4-0 in that span.
"It's been a tough, tough stretch of games, with travel and against teams that will be in the top-10 when the season is over," said Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson.
"We came through it over .500., which is important. It helps us confidence-wise. That's why we played the tough games - some were conference games - early in the season. It doesn't get any easier, now we have five huge league games to finish the first half."
The Irish brushed off the frustration of Friday's game that saw a potential game-tying goal waved off by an official's quick whistle late in the game by scoring the first goal of the game at 7:23 of the first period with Lee getting his first of two in the game and three in the series.
"We started in the first period like we played on Friday night," said Jackson.
"Getting the first goal was important and made a big difference. It gave us confidence. Lind's goal and then killing off the five-on-three was a huge turning point."
Lind picked up his first assist of the night as he moved the puck from left point to Sam Calabrese on the right point. Calabrese, who had a pair of assists in the game, found Lee on the left post and slid a pass to the junior center who steered a backhander past Gothberg for his seventh goal of the season.
"Sammy (Calabrese) made a great play on the first goal," said Lee.
"He just found me alone in front of the net and I got a backhander on goal."
North Dakota got the equalizer at 5:07 of the second period as MacMillan capped off a two-on-one with Danny Kristo, beating Summerhays to his glove side for his sixth goal of the year. Center Corban Knight made the pass in the neutral zone that sprung the two-on-one chance.
The Irish would go ahead at 6:09 with a short-handed goal off the stick of Lind. Stephen Johns and Jeff Costello each picked up minors at 5:07, giving North Dakota a 5-on-3 power play. Just 19 seconds into that power play, UND's Knight received a cross-checking penalty to make it a 4-on-3.
Off a face off to the right of Gothberg, T.J. Tynan won the draw back to Robbie Russo on the right point. He passed across the blue line to Lind who had time and space and he drilled a slap shot that beat Gothberg to his stick side. The goal was Lind's first of the season and first since Oct. 8, 2011 versus Minnesota Duluth and it gave Notre Dame the lead for keeps.
Just moments after taking the lead, Summerhays came to the rescue as he stopped Knight on a breakaway, making a save on a shot low to his blocker side to preserve the one-goal lead.
"Steven (Summerhays) was really good for us tonight," said Jackson.
"He had to be, especially at the start of the third period when they threw everything at us. We were a little bit tired, especially on the blue line and he made some great saves throughout the game."
Lee got his second goal of the night, the eventual game winner, at 13:30 of the second when he whistled a wrist shot from the left circle past Gothberg for his eight of the year. Costello and Calabrese picked up assists on the play and the Irish led 3-1.
"Jeff (Costello) saw me before anyone else did and got the puck to me," said Lee.
"I got lucky with a blocked shot and was able to put the shot on goal.
Notre Dame finished the second period with 20 shots on the North Dakota goal, just one off the season-best of 21.
The score would remain 3-1 until late in the third period when Costello scored twice in a 1:07 span to lock up the win.
Lee set the junior left wing up at 18:34 when he intercepted a pass at the UND blue line and slid it to Costello racing up the left wing. Costello drilled a shot low to the ice that beat Gothberg for his fourth goal of the season and the Irish led 4-1.
Off the ensuing face off, North Dakota got that goal back as Brendan O'Donnell set Grimaldi up coming down the right side. The speedy center wristed a shot over Summerhays' glove at 19:47 for his fifth of the season.
Costello then closed out the scoring a 19:41 with his second goal of the game into an empty net. Lind picked up his second assist of the game and first three-point game of his career as he wrestled the puck away along the boards in the Notre Dame zone and moved it to Costello in the left circle. He skated it towards center and fired it the length of the ice into the open net for the 5-2 final score.
Both teams were 0-for-5 on the power play. Gothberg finished with 36 saves in the game.
The Irish return to CCHA action next weekend when they continue their six-game homestand versus Lake Superior State on Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Friday's game starts at 7:35 p.m. while Saturday has a 7:05 p.m. opening face off.
** IRISH NOTES **
** Anders Lee's two-goal game was his second multiple-goal game of the season and the 10th of his career. Jeff Costello picked up his first multiple-goal game of his Irish career.
** Scoring the first goal of the game is important for Notre Dame. The Irish are 8-0-0 with the first goal of the game. They are 1-4-0 when the opposition scores first.
** Notre Dame and North Dakota have met 37 times in the all-time series. The series is even at 17-17-3.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F
#7/#7 North Dakota (6-4-2) 0 1 1 - 2
#6/#6 Notre Dame (9-4-0) 1 2 2 - 5