NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Pucks dare not find their way behind Steven Summerhays these days.
Summerhays again proved impenetrable to a Notre Dame opponent Friday with 19 saves in a 2-0 win over Boston University, cementing his spot atop the all-time shutout list in program history and extending his national lead in that category this season.
Past goaltenders David Brown and Jordan Pearce each had 12 career shutouts. Summerhays now has 13 and seven this season. He also has clean sheets in consecutive outings and hasn’t been scored upon in the last 131 minutes and 11 seconds of game time.
“It’s crazy,” Summerhays said. “I think I only had two shutouts in juniors. Never really been known for shutouts. I think it’s definitely more of a team defensive stat. But it’s always nice to get zeroes I guess.”
Notre Dame (18-12-2, 7-9-2 Hockey East) scored once in each of the first two periods to run its unbeaten streak to four games and clinch home ice in the first round of Hockey East playoffs in two weeks against an opponent yet to be determined.
Austin Wuthrich staked the Irish to a 1-0 lead at 9:51 of the first period on a rush alongside Thomas DiPauli, who won a footrace to the puck and centered it.
Wuthrich punched it past Terriers goaltender Matt O’Connor, who made 18 saves total and eight in the first period. DiPauli and Ali Thomas picked up their first assists of the season. Wuthrich now has five goals.
DiPauli centered the line with Wuthrich and Thomas, who was in for an injured David Gerths.
“That was kind of a makeshift line with Gerths being injured,” head coach Jeff Jackson said. “But Tommy DiPauli did a great job at center and I thought Ali Thomas played a good game for us too. Austin’s been playing pretty good the last three weeks. He’s been shifted around from line to line. Some of that’s from us trying to elevate other lines and some of that is just based on the injury situation. That line was really important to our game tonight.”
Defenseman Stephen Johns made it a 2-0 game 19 seconds into the second period with his fifth goal of the season as he carried the puck into the offensive zone and beat O’Connor between the pads. Sam Herr and Kevin Lind picked up assists.
Johns has made it a point in recent weeks to jump into the play more and create scoring chances.
“Obviously we’ve kinda struggled in the second half scoring goals,” Johns said. “I’m just trying to do as much as I can to help that out and create a little energy for our guys. If I see an opportunity to go I feel like I have the green light from coach.
“I try not to do too much because I get a little tired sometimes. I feel like I’ve gotten better at picking my spots and choosing when to go.”
Boston University (8-19-4, 3-11-3 Hockey East) managed just three shots on Summerhays in the second period and 10 in the third as it tried to rally from a two-goal deficit.
Notre Dame contributed to that with 20 blocked shots. Defensemen Kevin Lind and Andy Ryan led the way with four a piece. The Irish also killed off all four Terriers power plays in running their unbeaten streak to four games.
Their final regular season home game and the series finale against Boston University is set for 7:05 p.m. tonight.
“We need points every night at this point in the season,” Jackson said. “We need as many wins as we can get the rest of the way here. We wanna put ourselves in the best possible position going into the playoffs.”