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February 9, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Anders Lee centers a line so productive it almost delivered the Notre Dame hockey team a single-handed sweep.
Line mates Jeff Costello and Bryan Rust combined with Lee for 16 points as they took two games from Michigan this weekend, including seven Saturday night in a 6-4 victory at the Compton Family Ice Arena that sealed the first Irish season sweep of the Wolverines since 1972-73.
Lee led the way Saturday with one goal and two assists. Costello chipped in a goal and two assists while Rust scored a goal, his third of the series. Goalie Steven Summerhays made 24 saves.
“The whole team played well this weekend,” Lee said. “Us three had an opportunity to really put the puck in the net and really put some pressure on their defense. Sometimes, some weekends, you get all those bounces, you get all those goals. It was a lot of fun.”
Costello scored his seventh goal of the season at 12:10 of the first period on assists from defenseman Sam Calabrese and Lee. Notre Dame (18-11-1, 14-7-1-1 CCHA) carried that one-goal lead into the first intermission.
Not quite seven minutes into the second period Lee capped a power play with his 17th goal of the season, which puts him top five nationally in goals scored.
Lee scored twice Friday, a 7-4 victory. Rust did the same and added another goal at 14:29 of the second period after Michigan’s Alex Guptill had made it a 2-1 Irish lead. Peter Schneider scored his fourth of the season not even two minutes later to extend the advantage to 4-1.
Phil Di Giuseppe scored a power-play goal for the Wolverines (10-18-2, 7-15-2-2 CCHA) with 34 seconds remaining in the period to make it a 4-2 Notre Dame lead heading into the second intermission.
Both Michigan goals in the first two periods and three total came with the man advantage.
“We’ve got to clean it up,” head coach Jeff Jackson said. “We worked on it twice last week. We’ve got to look at maybe adding a few people to it. Some different personnel. I’m not sure. We have tried that but even when I use the different personnel I get burned. It’s frustrating because I know how good our (penalty kill) can be. We saw it in the first half of the year.”
Kevin Lynch scored the third power-play goal for Michigan at 6:23 of the third period. But that came after two more Notre Dame goals: Austin Wuthrich at 47 seconds and David Gerths, his third of the weekend, at 1:38.
Michigan defenseman Mac Bennett threw in the final score of the game at 17:02 for the 6-4 final.
“It’s awesome,” Costello said of the season sweep. “It was a great series. They never gave up in any of the games. I’m proud of the way we played. We still need to tighten up a few things but overall it feels great. Great wins this weekend.”
Taking six points solidifies Notre Dame at third place in the league, five points ahead of Ferris State. Miami split with Western Michigan, meaning the Red Hawks have a one-point lead in the conference.
The Irish face Miami next weekend, once in Oxford, Ohio and then at Soldier Field in Chicago.
“We need to get every point we can, especially at home,” Jackson said, “because the next four games are gonna be really, really tough. We’re playing two exception teams, so we needed to take care of business this weekend. It was really important for us if we wanna finish top four in the conference, which is one of our objectives.”
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