Oct. 17, 1997
Hockey Completes 4-3 Comeback at St. Cloud State
ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- The Notre Dame hockey team used three power-play to erase a 3-0 St. Cloud State lead and sophomore center Ben Simon (Shaker Heights, Ohio) completed the comeback with his second goal of the game as the Irish stunned the host Huskies, 4-3, in front of 5,556 fans Friday at the National Hockey Center.
Notre Dame (2-0), which was just 3-12 in one-goal games last season, received another stellar effort from senior goaltender Matt Eisler, whose 27 saves included several that foiled solid St. Cloud scoring chances.
St. Cloud State (0-1) was unsuccessful on its three power-play chances while Notre Dame converted on 3-of-9 man-up opportunities. The hosts owned a 30-24 shot advantage but were whistled for 10 penalties (to Notre Dame's four).
A trio of Minnesota natives combined for the primary assists on each of Notre Dame's four goals. Sophomore right wing Joe Dusbabek (Faribault) had two of those assists while freshman left wing Dan Carlson (Edina) set up Simon's goal that cut the lead to 3-2. Junior right wing Brian Urick (Minnetonka) set up the game-winning score.
Urick set up the game-winning play after emerging from a scramble with the puck behind the net. He send a pass into the crease for his linemate Simon, who one-timed a shot into the net to stun the near-capacity crowd.
The Huskies broke open a scoreless game with three goals over a span of 3:09 early in the second period. Notre Dame fought back midway through the second period, as freshman left wing Matt Van Arkel netted his second goal of the season (11:12). Dusbabek took a pass from classmate Tyson Fraser at the blueline and alertly slid a pass to Van Arkel, who scored to cut the lead to 3-1.
The Irish missed out on their next three power-play chances before capitalizing on a Sacha Molin elbowing penalty midway through the third period. Simon took the puck via feeds from Carlson and sophomore defenseman Sean Molina and skated in from the left side before sending a shot on net. Huskies goalie Brian Leitza made the save but Simon gathered in the rebound and slid a shot inside the right post (11:44).
Sophomore Aniket Dhadphale's second goal of the season tied the game with 5:32 left in regulation. Dusbabek again set up the goal with a timely pass from the blueline, after receiving the puck from Van Arkel.
St. Cloud had three shots on goal in overtime but Eisler came through with the clutch saves.
NOTRE DAME COACH DAVE POULIN: "This win was very encouraging for a young team like we had out there tonight. ... Ben Simon has so much speed that you have to respect him."
BEN SIMON: "Matt Eisler was 'the man'--he played very well. Sometimes it seems like we don't support him or help him out, but he came up big for us tonight."
NOTES: Simon's two goals represent half of his total from 1996-97 while Dhadphale has scored twice after lighting the lamp just five times last season ... Van Arkel has lived up to his early billing as an offensive spark, contributing on four of the nine Irish goals this season (2 G, 2 A) ... the Irish have converted on nearly 32% of their power plays this season (5-of-16), after owning the worst power-play percentage in the CCHA during 1996-97 (12.6%).
Notre Dame 0-1-2-1--4 4-8 3-9
St. Cloud State 0-3-0-0--3 10-20 0-3
2nd: 3:02 SCSU Torsson-1 (Awada, Lund); 6:37 SCSU M. Rucinski-1 (Lund); 10:01 SCSU Lund (Goulet); 11:12 ND Van Arkel-2 (Dusbabek, T. Fraser ppg. 3rd: 11:44 ND Simon-1 (Carlson, Molina) ppg; 14:28 ND Dhadphale-2 (Dusbabek, Van Arkel) ppg. OT: 1:22 ND Simon-2 (Urick)
Saves: ND - Matt Eisler 6-10-8-3--27 61:22; SCSU - Brian Leitza 8-6-6-0--20 61:22
Attendance: 5,532 (National Hockey Center)