Nov. 28, 1997
Notre Dame Hockey Falls to Lake Superior State
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame's hockey team dropped a 4-2 decision at home to the Lake Superior State on Friday night. The Irish are winless in their last three games despite jumping out a 2-0 lead against the Lakers and taking a lead into the third period in each of the last three games.
Nathan Borega scored his first goal of the season. (File Photo)
The Lakers game out aggressive in the first period with some strong forechecking, making it difficult for the Irish to get out of their own zone. Lake Superior outshot the Irish 10-5 in the first period, but were unable to get the puck past Notre Dame senior goaltender Matt Eisler. The Laker defense stifled the Notre Dame offense in the first period by keeping the Irish attackers against the boards and not allowing the Irish to break out of their zone with any speed.
Notre Dame responded early in the second and was able to put some pressure on the Lakers and freshman goaltender Rob Galatiuk. At the 6:07 mark of the period the Irish broke on top when sophomore defenseman Tyson Fraser tallied his first goal of the year on the power play. Fraser took a pass at the top of the right circle from a falling Aniket Dhadphale in the corner and wristed a shot through a Joe Dusbabek screen over the right shoulder of Galatiuk.
Just six minutes later, the Irish struck again. Irish sophomore Nathan Borega scored his first goal of the year on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle. Freshman Matt Van Arkel picked up a rebound from a Tyson Fraser shot, circled the net and found Borega who put it past the Laker goalie.
Lake Superior State responded quickly to the 2-0 deficit, by scoring just :44 seconds after the Irish. Senior Terry Marchant won a face-off clean in the Irish end of the ice, and the puck went directly to freshman Mike Vigilante who one-timed it through the legs of Eisler. The Irish then tightened up their defense and the period ended with the Irish clinging to a 2-1 lead.
The advantage quickly vanished in the third period as Laker captain Joe Blaznek beat Matt Eisler with a slapshot on the power play at the :32 second mark. The Lakers continued to pressure the Irish and scored again at 5:15, when Mike Vigilante returned the favor and assisted Terry Marchant on a deflection right in front of Eisler.
The Irish were unable to muster any offense against the Lakers, in a penalty filled game in which the two teams totaled 56 penalty minutes combined. The Lakers capped the win with a goal by junior left wing Tobin Praznik at 17:17 of the third period. The Irish had one more chance to pull closer with 1:38 left in the game, but sophomore Ben Simon rang the post with slapshot from the slot.
"As a coach I have to look at the positives from this game," said Irish head coach Dave Poulin. "We can go with anybody in the country for forty minutes. For us, the last twenty minutes is a mental thing. If they weren't capable it would be one thing, but they can play well when they want to. This will be the hardest thing in turning this season around."
Lake Superior St. outshot the Irish 27-22, and moved to 4-6-2 on the season, and 3-4-2 in the CCHA conference. The win put the Lakers in front of the Irish in the CCHA standings, as Notre Dame fell to 6-6-1 overall, and 3-5-1 in the conference. The two teams return to the Joyce Center ice tomorrow night to complete the weekend series.