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    Feb. 20, 1998

    Fighting Irish Clinch Spot in CCHA Tournament

    MARQUETTE, Mich. - For the first time since 1995, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team has clinched a spot in the CCHA Tournament.

    With their 4-3 victory on Friday over Northern Michigan (NM), the Irish are now in seventh place in the CCHA, one point ahead of Ferris State and two points behind Lake Superior, both of whom won on Friday. Notre Dame will be at Lake Superior on Saturday.

    The victory over Northern Michigan was accomplished despite not getting any goals from the top seven goal scorers on the team.

    Northern Michigan started quickly, forcing the the Irish to take two penalties in the first half of the first period, both of which were killed off. The tables then turned as Notre Dame cashed in on their power play opportunity with a goal from freshman Mark Eaton. Just 2:55 later the Wildcats answered back when Tyson Holly wristed a low shot in the left hand corner of the net with just 1:36 left in the period. The Wildcats carried much of the play in the period, peppering Matt Eisler with 12 shots in the opening frame.

    NM took its first lead 5:24 into the second period on a rebound goal from Bryan Phillips. ND responded later in the period when Eaton picked up his second goal of the contest. Five minutes after that, ND retook the lead as left wing Chad Chipchase intercepted a pass and scored on a breakaway goal against NM goalie Duane Hoey.It was Chipchase's first goal since he had a hat trick on Nov. 22, and it gave ND a 3-2 lead.

    NM though tied the game just 52 seconds into the third period on a goal from Roger Trudeau. The game remained tied until the 10:37 mark of the period when sophomore John Dwyer scored his sixth goal of the season on a centering pass from Lyle Andrusiak.

    The win leaves Notre Dame with a mark of 15-15-4 (10-12-4 CCHA) on the season.

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