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    Irish Move Back Into First In CCHA With A 5-2 Win Over Northern Michigan

    FIGHTING IRISH Freshman defenseman Stephen Johns scored his first collegiate goal in Notre Dame's 5-2 win over Northern Michigan.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Freshman defenseman Stephen Johns scored his first collegiate goal in Notre Dame's 5-2 win over Northern Michigan.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Dec. 12, 2010

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    Notre Dame, Ind. - For the second consecutive game, Notre Dame out shot Northern Michigan by a large margin (43-17) but this time the results were much better as the Irish found the back of the Wildcat net three times in the third period on the way to a 5-2 victory in front of 2,592 at the Joyce Center Sunday afternoon.

    The trio of Anders Lee, Nick Larson and T.J. Tynan paced the Notre Dame attack with a goal and an assist while Calle Ridderwall and Stephen Johns added single goals in the victory that moved the Irish back into first place in the 2010-11 CCHA race.

    Mike Maltese and Nicholas Kosinski each had a goal for Northern Michigan in the loss. Wildcat goaltender Reid Ellingson made 38 saves in the game as the Irish followed Saturday's 53-shot effort with 43 on Sunday.

    The win improved 11th-ranked Notre Dame to 11-6-2 overall and 9-4-1-1 in the CCHA, good for 29 points and a one-point lead over Michigan in the CCHA race. Northern Michigan is now 8-8-3 overall and 7-5-2-0 in conference play with 23 points and a tie for fourth in the league standings.

    "Northern Michigan is a frustrating team to play against," said Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson.

    "I have a great deal of respect for (Northern head coach) Walt (Kyle). He gets his guys to play real smart. That's why they are always in the hunt for Joe Louis and the national tournament. They play a patient style and wait for you to make a mistake. They have good special teams and strong goaltending. That's a good combination to make them one of the top teams in the conference."

    The Irish picked up where they left off on Saturday night when they fired a season-high 53 shots on goal as they peppered Ellingson with 13 shots in the opening stanza. On Sunday though they got on the scoreboard first with a power-play goal by Larson at 8:12.

    Lee got the play going, carrying the puck down the right-wing boards where he took a shot from the right circle that Ellingson stopped. The puck came loose in front where right wing Ryan Guentzel got a shot in the scramble around the goal before Larson was able to fire it past Ellingson for his sixth of the season and a 1-0 lead.

    Larson's goal set off a barrage of Teddy Bears from the stands as Notre Dame fans showered the ice with the gifts to benefit Toys For Tots. The stuffed animals will go to needy children in the Michiana area for the Christmas holidays.

    The score would stay that way until the 12:34 mark of the second period when Tynan would make it 2-0 as he finished off a two-on-one with Mike Voran.

    Defenseman Jared Beers made a great break out pass from the Irish goal line to Voran at the Northern Michigan blue line. The freshman right wing carried the puck towards the goal with Tynan trailing the play. Voran fed Tynan and Notre Dame's leading scorer wasted no time burying a shot behind Ellingson for his 11th of the season.

    The Wildcats answered back at 18:37 of the second period with a power-play goal of their own. Maltese picked up his first goal of the year when he redirected a CJ Ludwig slapshot from the right point over Irish goaltender Mike Johnson's left shoulder to cut the lead to 2-1 after two periods.

    Northern Michigan tied the game in the third period when Kosinski banged a rebound past Johnson at 6:23 to make it 2-2.

    Maltese moved the puck from the goal line to the right of Johnson to defenseman Andrew Fernandez cutting in from the point. Fernandez' shot hit the cross bar and Kosinski was the first to find the loose puck and he tucked it behind Johnson for his second goal of the season.

    The Irish continued to pressure and finally snapped the tie at 10:46 with Lee getting his 10th goal of the season and the eventual game winner with Larson and Tynan setting the play up.

    Tynan grabbed a puck in the Irish zone and put it on Larson's stick in the neutral zone. Larson carried it into the Northern Michigan zone where he fed Lee in the right circle and the freshman from Edina, Minn., drilled a shot past Ellingson to put Notre Dame ahead to stay.

    Ridderwall added insurance when he picked up his eighth of the year at 12:50, whistling a hard wrist shot past Ellingson inside the right post to make it 4-2.

    Johns picked up his first career goal to close out the scoring at 17:29. With Ellingson pulled in favor of a sixth attacker with under three minutes left in the game, Johns took a short pass from Billy Maday inside the Notre Dame zone and fired it the length of the ice into the open net for the final of 5-2.

    Jackson was pleased with his team's efforts as the Irish now break for finals and the Christmas holidays, taking a 17-day break before retuning to action on Dec. 29 versus Canisius at the Joyce Center.

    "We had to get a little gritty around the net because Ellingson played well tonight," said Jackson.

    "We have to find ways to bang them in tight and get pucks through. They (Northern Michigan) do a good job of blocking shots and we had to not only get the puck to the net, but create traffic, get rebounds, get deflections for scoring chances."

    Johnson finished with 15 saves in the game in picking up his ninth win of the year. The Irish were 1-for-3 on the power play while Northern Michigan was 1-for-4.

    
    GAME SUMMARY                               1     2     3  -  F
    Northern Michigan (8-8-3/7-5-2-0)          0     1     1  -  2
    #11/#11 Notre Dame (11-6-2/9-4-1-1)        1     1     3  -  5
    

    Scoring

    First Period: ND: Nick Larson 6 (Ryan Guentzel, Anders Lee), PPG, 8:12.

    Penalties: NMU: 4 for 19 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.

    Second Period: ND: T.J. Tynan 11 (Mike Voran, Jared Beers), 12:34; NMU: Mike Maltese 1 (CJ Ludwig, Greger Hanson), PPG, 18:37.

    Penalties: NMU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 3 for 6 minutes.

    Third Period: NMU: Nicholas Kosinski 2 (Andrew Fernandez, Maltese), 6:23; ND: Lee 10 (Larson, Tynan), 10:46; ND: Calle Ridderwall 8 (Billy Maday, Bryan Rust) 12:50; ND: Stephen Johns 1 (Maday, Joe Lavin), ENG, 17:29.

    Penalties: NMU: 0 for 0 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.

    
    Shots On Goal:
    Northern Michigan         5 -  8 -  4 - 17
    Notre Dame               13 - 12 - 18 - 43
    

    Goaltender Saves: NMU: Reid Ellingson (59:45) 12 - 11 - 15 - 38 ND: Mike Johnson (59:53) 5 - 7 - 3 - 15

    Power Plays: NMU: 1 for 4 ND: 1 for 3

    Attendance: 2,592


     

     

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