NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Irish hockey team turned seven minutes of the third period on Friday night into three points.
It took about that long for Notre Dame to score four goals, rallying from a 3-2 deficit midway through the final period for a 6-3 win over Lake Superior State in front of a capacity crowd at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
After scoring just twice in about 40 shots over the first 50 minutes, the flood gates opened starting with an equalizer from Austin Wuthrich at the 9:54 mark.
“I think we tied the game, then got some momentum,” head coach Jeff Jackson said. “Momentum is an awful lot. We started moving our feet a lot better.”
No. 15 Notre Dame is now 13-8-1 this season. Lake Superior State fell to 11-11-1.
Wuthrich scored the first of two goals at 9:31 of the first on a feed from Vince Hinostroza, capitalizing on a power play. That early 1-0 lead would be brief as Lake Superior State hit the score sheet less than seven minutes later when Colin Campbell scored his eighth of the season at 16:26 of the first. Then Ian Miller beat Irish goaltender Steven Summerhays at 4:23 of the second for a 2-1 Lakers lead.
Summerhays finished with 19 saves.
Jeff Costello scored another power-play goal for Notre Dame at 9:33 of the second, streaking down the right side to put home a rebound that squirted loose. Kevin Czuczman then scored at 18:01 to make it a 3-2 Lake Superior lead heading into the second intermission.
Lakers goaltender Kevin Murdock made 32 stops in the first 40 minutes en route to a 43-save performance.
“I thought he saw a lot of those shots,” Jackson said. “We weren’t taking away his eyes. We weren’t getting to the net. They do a good job. They’ve got a good core of defensemen and they do a good job out in front of their net. The rebounds, we couldn't get them when we had them. Plus I thought he saw a lot of the shots he was facing. We weren’t getting in his eyes at all.”
Wuthrich netted his second goal and fourth of the season not quite halfway into the period to make it 3-3.
Winger Sam Herr then added to the momentum by breaking the tie at 14:15. Two more goals would ensue over the next two minutes and 26 seconds: Mario Lucia at 15:34 and Herr again at 16:41 to seal the 6-3 final.
“It was just being patient,” Herr said. “They’re not a really overaggressive team. They like to sit back and wait for mistakes. We had to be really patient and capitalize on their mistakes this time. That’s what we did and we got a couple quick ones right back-to-back-to-back on that one, so it was nice.”
Herr finished with a team high 11 shots on goal. Hinostroza assisted on three goals while Wuthrich had two goals and an assist. Lucia added an assist with his goal.
Since returning from the semester break Notre Dame has scored no less than five goals in each of its three games.
“We try to build off each win,” Herr said. “You try to figure out what you did right in that win. But yeah, you just try to take the momentum with you step by step.”
Russo sits with academic issue
Defenseman Robbie Russo didn’t make the lineup Friday as he sorts through an academic situation. Jackson hopes it will be resolved in the next week.
“Robbie’s not certified academically right now for eligibility,” Jackson said.
It is “yet to be determined” whether Russo will miss the entire semester or be able to return for the Hockey East series against Northeastern next week.