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Northeastern Comes Back to Down Notre Dame Hockey

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.- Freshman defenseman Mike Jozefowicz was the unlikely offensive hero as Northeastern came back from a two-goal defecit to defeat an undermanned Notre Dame squad, 4-2, in first day action of the University of Minnesota Mariucci Classic, held Saturday at Mariucci Arena.

Notre Dame (9-8-2), playing without sophomore forwards Ben Simon and Joe Dusbabek, jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period, with junior defenseman Benoit Cotnoir scoring early in the first period before providing a second-period slapshot that was tipped home by classmate Aniket Dhadphale. The loss marks the first time this season that Notre dame has failed to win after owning a first-intermission lead (5-1-0) and prevented the Irish from eclipsing last season's victory total (9-25-1). Notre Dame lost despite a 34-32 shot advantage and despite committing just four penalties.

Simon and Dusbabek currently are competing with the United States team in the world junior championship (which is being held in Finland), with Dusbabek netting a goal in Friday's 8-2 win over Kazakhstan.

Notre Dame will play in Sunday's consolation game (4:00 p.m. central) vs. the loser of Saturday night's game between Brown and the host Golden Gophers. Northeastern (8-6-2), the current leader in the Hockey East Conference, closed the gap to 2-1 midway through the second period before using three goals in a five-minute span to surge ahead midway through the final period. The Huskies received stellar goaltending from sophomore Marc Robitaiile, who came up with 32 saves while helping to stop 4-of-5 Irish power players.

The Huskies first found the net on their 18th shot of the game, when Jozefowicz- who had just one goal in 14 previous games this season-whistled a low shot from the left sideboards that found its way through traffic before skipping past screened Irish senior goaltender Matt Eisler, at 13:10 of the second period.

Northeastern then surged ahead in the third. Todd Barclay was credited with the game-tying scramble goal, after the puck took an odd bounce past Eisler and settled into the left side of the net (5:00). Josefowicz put the Huskies ahead at 7:17, with a low one-timer in the slot. Graig Mischler capped the scoring, just as Notre dame's Dan Carlson was releasing from the penalty box. Mischler slapped a shot from the bottom of the right circle, with the puck glancing off Eisler's left leg and into the net (10:06).

Notre Dame had a 53-second, two-man advantage with seven minutes to play but was unable to close the gap.

Cotnoiris sixth goal of the season put the Irish on the board at the 5:49 mark fo the first period. Freshman left wing Chad Chipchase worked the puck to the left side for sophomore center Troy Bagne, who slid the puck into the slot. Cotnoir one-times a high shot from inside the right circle, beating Robitaille to the glove side. Cotnoir came through on an early second-period power play, after taking a pass from sophomore defenseman Tyson Fraser and blasting a shot from the right point. Dhadphale was filling the slot and deflected the puck past Robitaille for his 12th goal of the season and a 2-0 lead (2:38).

The weekend tournament serves as a homecoming for Irish assistant coach Tom Carrol (Edina) and eight Irish players, including Carlson (Edina) and junior right wing Brian Urick (Minnetonka). Dusbabek (Faribault) also hails from Minnesota but missed the chance to play in his home state due to the U.S. team action.

NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH DAVE POULIN: "We have to have the killer instinct in situations like tonight. The game wasnit lost when the score was 2-2, it was lost when we were ahead 2-0 and couldnit finish some chances that would have put the game away. We certainly missed Ben and Joe but other players have to take advantage of their chances and step up. We've experienced letdowns like this before and itis a trend we would like to see come to an end. Steve Noble did a great job sliding up to the first line, Benoit played a solid all-around game and Mark Eaton played a good game as well. We just have to get the goals at those crucial times and not let teams back in the game."

NOTRE DAME (9-8-2)         1    1   0   -   2
NORTHEASTERN (9-5-2)       0    1   3   -   4
1ST: ND 1. Cotnoir 6 (Bagne, Chipchase) 5:49.
2ND: ND 2. Dhadphale 12 (Coitnoir, Fraser5) 2:38; NEU 1, Jozefowicz 2 (unassisted) 13:10.
3RD: NEU 2. Barclay 9 (BacDonald) 5:00; NEU 3, Josefowicz 3 (Holeczy) 7:17; NEU 4, Mischler 4 (Campbell) 10:06.
Shots:ND 9-14-10/33, NEU 11-11-10/32     
Saves: ND (Eisler) 11-10-7-28, NEU (Robitaille) 8-13-10/31.
Power Play: ND 1-for-5, NEU 0-for-3.      
Penalties: ND 4 for 8:00, NEU 6 for 12:00

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