Dec. 4, 2009
Oxford, Ohio -
Two of college hockey's top defensive teams - Notre Dame and Miami - met on Friday night at Steve Cady Arena and the reasons for their lofty rankings were on display as the RedHawks eked out the lone goal of the night in a 1-0 shutout win over the Irish.
Notre Dame came into the game ranked second in the nation in defense while Miami was fifth and over 60 minutes both teams showed why.
Strong goaltending, outstanding special teams and hard-nosed defensive hockey dominated the game with RedHawks' freshman defenseman Joe Hartman getting the lone goal of the game short-handed at 18:42 of the opening period.
That would be the only goal surrendered by Notre Dame netminder Mike Johnson who stopped 25-of-26 shots on the night while Miami's Cody Reichard was perfect, stopping all 24 shots he faced in the game.
The shutout loss drops the 15th-ranked Irish to 7-6-4 overall and 4-3-4-2 in CCHA play, good for 18 points in the league standings. The loss snapped a five-game unbeaten streak (2-0-3) for Notre Dame and dropped the Irish to 2-5 this season in one-goal games after being 11-2 a year ago.
For No. 1 ranked Miami, the win moves the RedHawks to 10-2-5 on the year and 7-1-3-1 in the league for 25 points. The win was also the fifth straight for the Miami over Notre Dame, dating back to the 2007-08 season.
"From our perspective it was the highest tempo that we faced since Boston College," said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
"When you go up against a team that plays at that tempo, it takes a little time to get adjusted and I don't think our power play ever got adjusted to the pressure and the tempo. That was probably the difference in the game, the power plays. Other than that I thought we did some things well. They shut out our power play down and our face offs were the two biggest weaknesses that showed up tonight."
Notre Dame started fast, taking the play to the RedHawks through the first six minutes as the Irish had a 5-0 edge in shots before Miami got their first shot with 6:38 elapsed on the clock. The RedHawks would finish with a 13-9 edge in the first period shots on goal.
Miami took advantage of a Notre Dame mistake late in the period, scoring a short-handed goal, the lone goal of the game at 18:42.
With the Irish on the power play, right wing Tommy Wingels forced a turnover behind the Notre Dame net and fed it to the high slot to Hartman. The freshman's shot beat Mike Johnson high to his stick side under the cross bar for a 1-0 Miami lead. The goal was Hartman's second short-handed goal and fourth of the season.
Just 17 seconds after the RedHawk goal at 18:59, the Irish were awarded a five-minute power-play chance when Wingels ran sophomore defenseman Eric Ringel behind the Notre Dame net and was given a major penalty for hitting from behind but the Irish would fail to capitalize on the major penalty.
Neither team would score in the second period, but the action picked up. Just 2:09 into the period Calle Ridderwall hauled Carter Camper down on a semi-breakaway with Camper being awarded a penalty shot.
The All-American center came in on Johnson and made a move to his backhand, but the Irish goaltender made the stop. The penalty shot was the first by a Notre Dame opponent since Feb. 28, 2003 when Morgan Cey stopped Western Michigan's Vince Bellisimo.
"Mike (Johnson) played well in goal. He made some great saves and kept us in the game," said Jackson.
"It's unfortunate that we get that kind of effort and we can't score for him. We had some chances and just didn't finish."
The Irish had an 8-5 edge in shots in the period but the score remained, 1-0.
The third period was more hard-nosed hockey as each team had three power-play chances but failed to convert. On the night Notre Dame was 0-for-8 with the man-advantage while Miami was 0-for-7. The Irish have now killed off 31 consecutive power plays over the last six games.
The last team to shut out Notre Dame was Miami, a 2-0 whitewashing on Oct. 24, 2008 at the Joyce Center.
Game two of the series will be played on Saturday night with the opening face off set for 7:05 p.m. The game can be viewed in the South Bend area on South Bend Comcast Channel 3.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F
#15/#14 Notre Dame (7-6-4/4-3-4-2) 0 0 0 - 0
#1/#1 Miami (10-2-5/7-1-3-1) 1 0 0 - 1
First Period: MU: Jeff Hartman 4 (Tommy Wingels), SHG, 18:42.
Penalties: ND: 4 for 8 minutes; MU: 6 for 23 minutes.
Second Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: ND: 4 for 8 minutes; MU: 5 for 18 minutes.
Third Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: ND: 4 for 8 minutes; MU: 3 for 6 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 9 - 8 - 7 - 24
Miami 13 - 5 - 8 - 26
ND: Mike Johnson (59:11) 12 - 5 - 8 - 25
MU: Cody Reichard (60:00) 9 - 8 - 7 - 24
ND: 0 for 8
MU: 0 for 7