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    Fighting Irish

    March 13, 1998

    Men's Hockey Upsets Michigan, 4-2

    Irish advance to second round of CCHA tournament.

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Notre Dame hockey team received goals from several unlikely players while senior goaltender Matt Eisler made 30 saves -- including a third-period penalty shot by CCHA leading scorer Bull Muckalt -- as the Irish jumped out to a big lead and held on for a 4-2 victory over host Michigan in first-day action of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament quarterfinals at the Yost Ice Arena.

    Notre Dame (18-17-4) can advance to the CCHA semi-finals with a victory on Saturday night or Sunday, if necessary, in the best two-of-three format.

    The win held several levels of significance for Notre Dame and Michigan (28-10-4):

  • Notre Dame ended an eight-game losing streak in the CCHA quarterfinals while posting its first postseason victory since 1981-82.
  • The Irish ended a nine-game losing streak vs. Michigan and a 13-game losing streak vs. UM at Yost, stretching back to the 1982-83 season opener.
  • Michigan saw an end to its 16-game winning streak in the CCHA quarterfinals.
  • Notre Dame defeated Michigan just for the second time in the last 29 games.

    Eisler came up with 15 saves in the final period, including the pivotal stop of Muckalt's penalty shot at the 8:23 mark. The right handed Muckatt skated into the slot and faked to his backhand before sending a high shot towards the upper-right corner. However, Eisler was in perfect position for the glove save, preserving the 4-1 Irish lead.

    The penalty shot was called after Notre Dame's Mark Eaton covered the puck in the crease.

    Freshman defenseman Eaton's 11th goal of the season put the Irish on the broad at the 5:25 mark of the opening period. Freshman left wing Dan Carlson picked up the assist, sending a pass from behind the net, near the bottom of the right circle. Eaton was waiting between the circles and calmly sent a low shot through traffic that grazed the right post before setting into the net.

    The Irish added a goal early in the second period, when sophomore right wing John Dwyer flicked home his seventh goal of the season on a high shot from the slot, after taking a pass from senior center Lyle Andrusiak (1:44).

    Freshman right wing Ryan Dolder -- playing for the first time in five games -- pushed the Irish ahead, 3-0, on just his second goal of the season. Carlson took advantage of a UM turnover, skating between the circles and dropping a pass for Dolder, who beat UM senior goalie Marty Turco with a high shot to the right glove side (15:49).

    The Irish took a 4-0 lead into the second intermission, when sophomore defenseman Nathan Borega scored his second goal of the season on a power play shot from the top of the right circle. Borega -- returning from an arm injury that held him out for seven games -- took a pass from Andrusiak and avoided a sliding UM player before sending a low shot through traffic that tucked inside the far-left post (18:47).

    Michigan owned a 17-6 shot advantage in the third period, managing an odd-man-rush goal by Justin Clark (5:56) and a shorthanded scored by Andrew Merrick (18:42).

    
    Michigan (28-10-1)      0       0       2   -   2
    Notre Dame (18-17-4)    1       3       0   -   4
    1st: ND 1. Eaton 11 (Carlson) 5:25.  2nd: ND 2. Dwyer 7 (Andrusiak)
    1:44; ND 3. Dolder (Carlson) 15:49; ND 4. Borega (Andrusiak), PP, 18:47.  3rd:
    UM 1. Clark (Trainor) 5:56; UM 2. Merrick (Muckalt, Turco), SH, 18:42.
    Saves: ND (Eisler) 8-7-15/30. UM (Turco) 5-9-6/20.
    Penalties: ND 8 for 15:00. UM 8 for 16:00.

    POSTGAME NOTES

    * Notre Dame's win was preceded by a pair of one-goal losses to UM (5-4 in OT at Yost on Jan. 31, 1-0 at home March 7).

    * The Irish have stopped 11 straight Michigan power-play chances, including four in each of the last two games. Notre Dame's season power play now stands

    * Notre Dame has scored eight goals at Yost this season, with five coming from freshmen (Mark Eaton-2, Dan Carlson, Ryan Dolder and Matt Van Arkel), two from sophomores (Nathan Borega and John Dwyer) and junior Brian Urick.

    * Freshman Mark Eaton's 11 goals are tied for 8th-most ever by an Irish defensemen and most since Bob Thebeau's 15 in '85-'86. Other top-seven defenseman goal totals in ND history: Thebeau (19, '84-'85), Paul Clarke (15, '75-'76), Bill Green (14, '69-'70), Jeff Brownschidle (14, '79-'80), Jack Brownschidle (13, '76-77) and Jack Brownschidle (12, '75-'76).

    * Notre Dame has allowed just eight goals in the last five games and 23 in the last 10.

    * Senior G Matt Eisler has 224 saves and 18 goals allowed in his last nine games, for a .926 save pct. and 2.0 goals allowed per game. Eisler has totaled 87 saves and just eight goals against in three games vs. UM this season.

    * Notre Dame has totaled a 6-7-0 record this season vs. the CCHA's top-four teams (MSU, Michigan, OSU and NMU).

    * Notre Dame has played on consecutive days 16 times this season and posted a "better result" 11 times (including winning by a bigger margin in the second game).

    * Friday's win gives the Irish a win over every CCHA team during the three-year tenure of head coach Dave Poulin.

    * Michigan had converted on 14.4 percent of its shots vs. the Irish during the regular season (13-for-90) but scored on just 6.3 percent of its shots Friday (2-32). Notre Dame had scored on just 6.0 percent of its shots vs. UM during the regular season (6-100) but lit the amp on 16.7 percent of its shots on Friday (4-24).

    * Junior LW Aniket Dhadphale and junior D Benoit Cotnoir still are looking for their first point vs. UM this season.

    * Michigan senior G Marty Turco had 80 saves and three goals allowed vs. the Irish during the regular season but managed just 20 saves Friday while allowing the four goals.

    * Notre Dame's non-seniors have combined for 87 percent of the team's goals this season (107 of 123).

    * Eaton has 18 points in the last 15 games, including 10 goals. He has points in 11 of those 15 games.

    * Notre Dame has 73 goals in 21 road games this season (3.5/gm) while converting on 11.2 percent of its 654 road shots.

    * The Irish are 12-9-0 on the road this season, posting wins in 10 different buildings--including the National Hockey Center (St. Cloud State), Munn Ice Arena (MSU), Dane County Coliseum (Wisconsin) and UM's Yost Ice Arena.

    * Notre Dame's season penalty-killing pct. now stands at .860, just shy of the team record (.861, set in 1969-70).

    * Senior C Lyle Andrusiak's two assists were his first pts vs. UM this season and give him 10 pts in the last nine games.

    * The Irish are 11-2-1 when holding a 1st-intermission lead and own a 50-32 scoring advantage in the 2nd period.

    * Friday's win halted Notre Dame's 13-game losing streak at Yost Ice Arena, on Friday the 13th no less. Freshman LW Dan Carlson was just three years old when the Irish previously won at Yost, 9-5 on Oct. 22, 1982.

    * Senior C Steve Noble played his 73rd consecutive game and 146th (out of 147) in his career, 7th all-time at Notre Dame.

    * In other CCHA Tournament action Friday, the top-seeded home teams all posted wins. #1 Michigan State used a third-period goal and empty netter to top Ferris State, 3-1. #3 Ohio State downed Lake Superior on Ryan Root's goal with under four minutes to play. #4 Northern Michigan used two third-period goals to beat Miami, 3-1.

    * The Irish are attempting to become the first team seeded 7th or lower to advance to Joe Louis Arena for the CCHA semi-finals, since the tournament expanded from four to eight teams in 1982. Notre Dame became the 14th #6-#10 seed to win a CCHA Tournament game and the ninth #7-10 seed to win (including 10-team first-round action and play-in games). In 122 CCHA Tournament games involving #7-#10 seeds, Notre Dame's victory is tied for the fourth "biggest upset" based on the difference in seeding (five spots):

    BIGGEST UPSETS IN CCHA TOURNAMENT HISTORY (based on difference in seed)
    1994        #10 Illinois-Chicago 4      #3 Michigan State 3
    1984        #8 Lake Superior 7          #1 Bowling Green 6
    1987        #8 Ferris State 6           #1 Bowling Green 4
    1982        #7 Lake Superior 4          #2 Michigan State 3
    1983        #7 Ferris State 4           #2 Michigan State 2
    1998        #7 Notre Dame 4             #2 Michigan 2
    WINS BY #6-#10 SEEDS IN CCHA TOURNAMENT
    1982        #7 Lake Superior 4      #2 Michigan State 3
                #6 Ferris State 3       #3 Michigan Tech 3
    1983        #7 Ferris State 4       #2 Michigan State 2
                #6 Ohio State 6         #3 Miami 3
                (#3 Miami 6         #6 Ohio State 4)                #6 OSU advances to the Joe
    1984        #8 Lake Superior 7      #1 Bowling Green 6
    1985        #6 Ohio State 4         #3 Western Michigan 3
                (#3 Western Michigan 5  #6 Ohio State 4)            #6 OSU advances to the Joe
    1987        #8 Ferris State 6       #1 Bowling Green 4
    1993        #8 Bowling Green 5      #5 Western Michigan 4
                #8 Bowling Green 6      #5 Western Michigan 3       #8 BG advances to quarterfinals
                #6 Ferris State 3       #4 Michigan State 2         #6 FSU advances to the Joe
    1994        #10 Illinois Chicago 4  #3 Michigan State 3
                # 8 Alaska Fairbanks 6  #5 Miami
    1996        #6 Ferris State 5       #3 Michigan State 1     
    1998        #7 Notre Dame 4         #2 Michigan 2

    POSTGAME QUOTES - Notre Dame 4, Michigan 2

    NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH DAVE POULIN: "This was an enormous win for a young program. We have been building confidence over the last four weeks--losing in overtime at Lake Superior, sweeping Northern Michigan and competing strong with Michigan last week. ... We played very well in the neutral zone--that's where we got turnovers that led to a couple of our goals. ... The goals by Dwyer, Dolder and Borega were huge--but you have to have contributions from everybody. ... We're not satisfied. We still have a lot of work to do. ... How we responded to that stretch in the second period when there were all the penalties was pretty critical, especially considering the players we had in the box." [Brian Urick was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct at 7:55 of the 2nd period, after taking a shot after the whistle. Urick then was hit against the boards by UM's Bobby Hayes, leading to three coincidental penalties vs. Urick, Ben Simon and Benoit Cotnoir for Notre Dame and Hayes, Justin Clark and Dave Huntzicker for UM].

    SENIOR GOALTENDER MATT EISLER: "On the penalty shot, I went out to challenge Muckalt and he started on his backhand. It looked like he really was trying to go upstairs with his forehand. I just wanted to stay positioned and not give him an easy one. I was able to stay with him and made the save. ... We've had a lot of lopsided losses to Michigan here--some double-digit losses. I've even been pulled here, so this win was very gratifying. ... My mindset coming into the game was trying not to do too much. This year, I have a great team in front of me. The last time we played Michigan, we outshot out outworked them and controlled the play. I just wanted to let my team win the game, which they did. In the past, I felt I had to have an outstanding game to beat Michigan. This year, it's different because we have so many players that can make the clutch plays. ... Our second period tonight was huge. It was important that we didn't let up. That momentum won the game tonight. I'm not sure why we've dominated the second period this season. That's when you just go out and play hockey. You don't have the pressure of being in the third period and it's not like the first period when you might be nervous and shaking off 'bus legs. We showed how good we are in that second period."

    SOPHOMORE RIGHT WING JOHN DWYER: "We came up here to win the series and to win the first game is so big. ... I came off a line shift and it was a great play by Lyle to get me the puck. I yelled at him and he kept driving to the net before putting the puck on my stick. I shot high and beat Turco for the goal. ... It's big anytime you can jump ahead on a team like Michigan. We kept playing hard and there was no letup. ... We have a great chance if Matt Eisler's on top of his game. We know he can shut the door for us."

    FRESHMAN RIGHT WING RYAN DOLDER: "Michigan was trying to cleat the puck and Dan Carlson jumped on and kept the puck in at the blueline. He skated in and dropped the puck back for me. That left me alone with the goaltender and I put it in the upper corner. It happened so fast I had no time to think. I just wanted to keep playing hard tonight. I had confidence in myself. I've only scored two goals this season but I just want to do whatever I can to help the team win. The fact that tonight's goal came against Marty Turco in such a big game is just icing on the cake."

    SOPHOMORE DEFENSEMAN NATHAN BOREGA: "On my goal, the puck was in the corner and Lyle (Andrusiak) passed it to me. I was at the (right) point and a forward was coming to me, so I slid to the middle and shot. I kept it low but off the ice and it hit the corner. ... It was tough-I was a little rusty tonight. ... We have played great team defense the past few weeks. It's not just the defenseman and Matty (Eisler) but the forwards also have done a great job defensively. That's how good defense is played."

    JUNIOR RIGHT WING BRIAN URICK: "Our penalty killers did a great job when we had all the guys in the (penalty) box. Steve Noble, Dan Carlson and Mark Eaton have done a great job all season killing penalties and Andy Jurkowski also did well on the penalty kill tonight. If we limit a team to three penalty kills per game, we're tough to score on. Matt (Eisler) had a lot of confidence all game and really kept us in there." ... Our last two games with Michigan gave us a lot of confidence coming into tonight. We knew that we had to take it to them and that they would come out strong. We just wanted to weather the storm and go from there."

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