March 14, 1998
Men's Hockey Drops to Michigan 2-1 in OT
Decisive Third Game Tonight at 7PM
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Bobby Hayes' goal 19 minutes into overtime capped another wild game between Michigan and Notre Dame, as the Wolverines used a 2-1 victory Saturday at Yost Ice Arena to force their Central Collegiate Hockey Association quarterfinal series with the Irish to a decisive third game (Sunday at 7 PM).
Seventh-seeded Notre Dame (18-18-4)--looking to become the first #7 or #8 seed to advance to the CCHA semi-finals--jumped ahead midway through the first period on the third shorthanded goal of the season by freshman left wing Dan Carlson. But Michigan (29-10-1) tied the game with seven seconds left in the second period, on a power-play goal by CCHA leading scorer Bill Muckalt.
The Wolverines then dominated the play in the third period and overtime (a full 20-minute period), outshooting the Irish 19-8 before Hayes' shot from the bottom of the left circle.
The game was not without controversy, adding to a growing rivalry that gained earlier fuel on January 31, when the Irish stormed back with three third-period goals to tie the game (4-4) before seeing an apparent goal by senior center Steve Noble waved off with 23 seconds left in regulation (UM went on win 5-4 in overtime).
Saturday's first confusion occurred at the same goal where Noble had appeared to score his game-winner five weeks earlier. With the clock ticking under three minutes left in regulation, junior left wing Aniket Dhadphale found himself amidst a scramble at the top of the crease. Dhadphale fired an initial open-net shot that hit off the crossbar. Dhadphale then lifted the rebound towards the top of the net and an official appeared to be pointing to the net, possibly signaling a goal. The Irish began to celebrate but the officials concluded that the puck had not gone into the net on either shot.
Hayes' goal also brought plenty of argument from the Irish bench, after a UM cross-check on Ben Simon was not called--just seconds before the game ended. Defensemen Chris Fox and Dale Huntzicker set up the rebound shot by Hayes from the bottom of the left circle. Hayes flicked the puck past Eisler and it glanced off Irish junior defenseman Benoit Cotnoir. Amidst the confusion, Hayes raised his arms in celebration while the official, stationed just outside the right post, signaled that the puck had entered the upper right corner of the net before bouncing back out.
The Irish players then slumped to their knees, a scene reminiscent of the tough loss at Yost just a few weeks earlier.
Michigan had countless chances in the final 39 minutes of the game, launching 43 total shots (19 on goal) to Notre Dame's 15 (eight on goal) in the third period and overtime. Eisler's 11 stops in overtime included several tough kick saves.
Carlson took a pass from senior center Steve Noble and scored his 11th goal of the season at the 8:23 mark of the first, flicking a backhanded shot past UM senior goalie Marty Turco into the right side of the net. UM gained the equalizer after a tape-to-tape pass from Turco to John Langfeld, who was stationed at the far right point just outside the Irish blue line. With the Irish caught in a line change, Langfeld quickly worked the puck to Mark Kosick, whose pass set up Muckalt's goal in the slot over Eisler's left shoulder (19:53).
NOTES: Notre Dame will play four straight games vs. the same team for the first time since '79, when the Irish lost the final regular-season series at Wisconsin and dropped two playoff games at UW ... the Irish ironically played on three consecutive days earlier this season, at Alaska-Fairbanks, with similar results to this week after beating UAF 4-2 (an identical score to Friday's win over UM) and losing to UAF in OT (3-2) before posting a 5-1 win ... the Irish also played three straight games at UAF in 1995-96 (7-4, 4-6, 4-7) ... during '95-'96 and this season, UM arranged to play just two games at UAF while hosting the Nanooks once ... the last time UM played three consecutive days was at home in the 1991 NCAAs vs. Cornell (4-5, 6-4, 9-3) ... UM's last three wins over the Irish have come by one goal ... the Wolverines are 13-4 in one-goal games this season and 5-1-0 in OT while the Irish are 6-9 and 2-4-4 ... Eisler has 120 saves and just 10 goals allowed in four games vs. UM this season, for a 2.29 GAA and .923 save pct. (he has 81 saves, 5 goals allowed in the last three UM games) ... Eisler's last 10 games: 257 saves, 20 goals against (.928) ... Turco has 133 saves and eight goals allowed in five games vs. ND this season (1.60, .943) ... ND had stopped 14 straight UM power plays before Muckalt's goal ... there were no penalties in the final 37 minutes of Saturday's game ... ND's nine goals at Yost this season include six by freshmen ( two by both Carlson and Mark Eaton, one each by Matt Van Arkel and Ryan Dolder) ... the Irish have allowed just 10 goals in the last six games, 25 in the last 11 ... Saturday's 79-minute game was the 5th-longest in CCHA playoff history and longest in nine years, since Bowling Green won in 1989 at Michigan (3-2) in the 83rd minute ... Michigan is 2-5 in CCHA playoff OT games while the Irish are 0-1 ... Noble on Sunday could become just the 5th Irish player ever to appear in 148 career games (he has logged 74 straight) ... Dhadphale (24 shots) and Cotnoir (15) have yet to record a point vs. UM this season ... each of the other three home teams wrapped up their series Saturday and will advance to the CCHA semi-finals ... #1 seed Michigan State held off Ferris State, 2-1, while #3 Ohio State sent Lake Superior home with a 6-0 loss and #4 Northern Michigan ended Miami's disappointing season with a shocking 8-2 rout ... if Notre Dame wins Sunday, the Irish would face MSU in the semi-finals while OSU and NMU would meet to determine the other finalist ... if Michigan wins, MSU would face NMU and OSU would draw UM ... the preseason CCHA coaches poll had OSU picked 8th while NMU was projected for a last-place finish (11th) ... Western Michigan (5th) and Bowling Green (6th) were picked for high finishes but failed to make the eight-team postseason ... Notre Dame was #7 in the preseason coaches poll while MSU, Miami, UM and LSSU were projected as the top four ... this will mark the first season in the 27-year history of the CCHA that both BG and LSSU failed to advance to the CCHA semi's ... the last time the CCHA semi's did not include Michigan or LSSU was 1987 (BG, OSU, MSU, WMU).