Nov. 1, 1997
Notre Dame Hockey Erupts For 6-1 Win At #2 Michigan State
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The University of Notre Dame hockey team used a four-goal flurry in the third period to pull away for a 6-1 victory over #2-ranked Michigan State in Central Collegiate Hockey Association action Saturday in front of the 199th consecutive regular season sellout (6,451) at Munn Arena.
Notre Dame (4-2-0, 1-1-0 CCHA) bounced back from a 5-1 loss at home on Friday to the Spartans, thanks to a first-period goal by sophomore center Ben Simon and an unassisted second-period goal by junior right wing Brian Urick. The third-period flurry, covering a span of 4:23, included two goals by junior left wing Aniket Dhadphale, a score by freshman left wing Dan Carlson and the first collegiate goal for freshman left wing Chad Chipchase. Michigan State (6-1-2, 4-1-1 CCHA) was denied the best season-opening unbeaten streak in program history while seeing its unbeaten streak against Notre Dame end at 17 games (14-0-3), stretching back to the 1981-82 season.
The six goals are the most scored against Michigan State since the final game of the 1995-96 season, when UMass-Lowell posted a 6-2 victory over the Spartans.
The last time the Irish won by five or more goals came in the 1994-95 opener against St. Francis-Xavier (10-2). The five-goal victory margin is the biggest for the Irish in the last 35 games of the MSU series, stretching back to a 9-1 home win over the Spartans early in the 1978-79 season. Notre Dame senior goaltender Matt Eisler made 31 saves while helping the Irish stop all seven MSU power plays, including a 28-second two-man advantage for the Spartans midway through the second period. Notre Dame's season penalty-killing efficiency of 96.9 percent (31-for-32) includes a perfect 15-for-15 in the weekend's two games vs. MSU.
Urick capitalized on a MSU turnover to give the Irish a 2-0 lead at the 5:26 mark of the second. Urick intercepted a clearing attempt at the center of the blueline and skated near the top of the right circle before firing a shot over Chad Alban's blocker side into the upper left corner of the net.
The Spartans cut the lead to 2-1 just moments later, when Kevin O'Keefe sent a low shot from the top of the left circle that beat Eisler to the far glove side.
Dhadphale ignited the third-period fireworks with a low shot from the left circle that sailed between Alban's legs (12:59). Less than two minutes later, Carlson skated onto a loose puck between the circles and flicked a shot over Alban's shoulder into the right side of the net (14:51), prompting MSU to pull its veteran goaltender for Mike Gresl.
Exactly one minute after Carlson's goal, Dhadphale struck again for a 5-1 Irish lead, collecting a pass off the boards from junior right wing Brian Urick and depositing the breakaway shot past Gresl. Chipchase knocked in his goal at 17:22 to cap the scoring.
Simon opened the scoring at 6:57 of the first period with his fifth goal of the season and fourth power-play score of 1997-98. Freshman defenseman Mark Eaton registered the assist after sending a shot off the backboards that bounced back past the right side of the net. Simon was filling the slot and tapped the puck inside the right post for the 1-0 Irish lead.
Eisler's more noteworthy saves included a stop of a shot by Sean Berens seven minutes into the second period, with Eisler making the save off his right pad after Berens broke free between the circles. Then, just 30 seconds into the third period, MSU's Mike York was stationed at the top of the crease and slapped the puck out of the air towards the bottom of the net. But Eisler reacted quickly and batted the puck away with his stick.
NOTES: Urick had scored just once on his first 19 shots (an empty-netter in the opener vs. Western Ontario) before the timely score Saturday ... the Irish have scored at least one power-play goal in each of their six games this season, after managing just a three-game power-play goal streak in 1996-97 ... the Irish mixed up their lines for Saturday's game, with Dhadphale and sophomore RW Joe Dusbabek skating with Simon while senior center Lyle Andrusiak was paired with Urick and Carlson ... Steve Noble remained as the second-line center, with freshman Matt Van Arkel moving from left to right wing while Chipchase moved into the LW spot ... junior C Craig Hagkull returned to the third line, with sophomore RW Troy Bagne sliding back from the second to third line ... junior defenseman Scott Giuliani made his first appearance of the season, skating alongside sophomore Sean Molina ... Simon's five goals equals his total for all of 1996-97 while Dhadphale has surpassed his five-goal total from last season ... Simon has at least one point in all six Irish games this season.
NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH DAVE POULIN: "This was a huge win for our team and for our program. The biggest thing was how we were able to bounce back from last night--the players knew they had to play much better to beat a team like Michigan State. Simon's early power-play goal and the penalty kill were both very crucial. The special teams set the tone for the night. Our defensive effort was outstanding all night and Matt Eisler again had an awesome night and some more very memorable saves."
NOTRE DAME JUNIOR LEFT WING ANIKET DHADPHALE: "Alban is a 'butterfly goalie' and you always want to shoot high or through the 'five hole' on him, so that's what I did on that goal. It was a great sign to see us score so many goals in bunches. We don't have one big goal scorer but we have a lot of dangerous offensive players."
NOTRE DAME SOPHOMORE CENTER BEN SIMON: "It was a great sign that we responded like we did tonight because we showed that we truly are a good team that can compete with the top teams in the nation. People started to notice us after the two wins at St. Cloud State and a pretty good game with Boston College but this was another big step. We actually have been playing better on the road. All the shifts were important tonight and we had a lot of guys make big plays."
NOTRE DAME (4-2-0, 1-1-0 CCHA) 1 1 4 - 6 MICHIGAN STATE (6-1-2, 4-1-1 CCHA) 0 1 0 - 1
1ST: ND 1. Simon 5 (Eaton) PP 6:57.
Shots: ND 9-6-8/23, MSU 13-9-10/32 Saves: ND 13-8-10/31 (Eisler), MSU 8-5-4/17 (Alban 14, Gresl 3) Power Play: ND 1-for-6, MSU 0-for-6 Penalties: ND 6 for 12:00, MSU 4 for 8:00