The Notre Dame Fighting Irish Men’s Hockey team has come home for the first time since November 25, 43 days since the Irish last appeared their home ice. In December, the Irish played road warriors and won all four games.
To start the second half of the season, the Fighting Irish continued their road trip with an away game at Michigan, winning that game as well. Coming into Sunday’s game, the Fighting Irish continued to build on their current win streak. The Fighting Irish overall record is 17-3-1 (11-0-0 B1G). Let’s take a quick look at Sunday’s action and see how the Irish fared against their “rival” Michigan.
The first period started with both teams defenses showing some offensive muscle. Both teams took their fair share of shots on goal, with the Irish taking 21 total shots (15 on goal) and Michigan with 14 total shots (8 on goal).
Fighting Irish Goalie, Cale Morris, was seeing the puck well and once again didn’t allow anything to get between the pipes. At 5:59 Michigan goaltending received an assist when a Bo Brauer goal was waved off, as the officials said there was a hand pass. The first period ended with the teams knotted at zero.
A different Michigan team came out the locker room in the second period, with a fiery attitude, hot tempers, and seemingly shooting at will. That reflected in the stat sheets. Michigan had 22 total shots (15 on goal) while the Irish had 17 total shots attempted (8 on goal).
The Wolverines, however, do not have Andrew Oglevie or Matt Hellickson. Oglevie put the biscuit between the pipes and lit the lamp at 6:10. The second goal came on the power play as Hellickson scored his second goal of his career at 13:51 from just outside the crease. The Irish took a 2-0 lead in to locker at the end of the second period.
With the third period left to play and down 2-0, Michigan needed to make something happen. The Wolverines went on a power play early in the period, but no goals resulted from it. The Irish offense took numerous shots, but the Wolverines Goalie, Hayden Lavigne, said no to each of the attempts. The Wolverines effort paid off as they finally got an attempt past the Irish. Quinn Hughes, put a scoring attempt on goal and his teammate, Josh Norris snuck the rebound by Morris to bring the Wolverines within one.
In a last ditch effort, the Wolverines put an extra attacker on the ice, pulling their goalie at 18:39. Though the attempt yielded some extra shots on goal, the Fighting Irish won their first home game of 2018 by a score of 2-1. The Irish improved their overall record to 18-3-1(12-0-0 B1G).
Your three stars of the game were:
3) Hayden Lavigne (Michigan)
2) Andrew Oglevie
1) Cale Morris
In Coach Jackson’s post-game press conference, he responded to a question about how pleased he was with the defensive effort, beyond Cale’s usual stellar effort in goal by saying “Our goalie and the defensemen are right now the foundation of our team. The positive thing is we are getting some timely scoring. Some key goals and we make it interesting every night. It always seems to be a tough game in the end. It’s not [like] we are winning these game going away. Every game is a battle and we are fighting through it. Going through these two games and tough experiences are probably good for us.”
When asked about the Irish’s current winning streak, Coach Jackson’s said that “We don’t discuss it all. All I keep talking about is we need to get better. We are far from a perfect hockey team.
I asked Coach Jackson about Hellickson’s recent scoring spree and what he thought and he responded that “he’s a truly talented player. He goes about this business, very positive kid, and has got a lot of ability. That’s why when Peeke was out for juniors, we moved him to the power play and he has done a good job there. He’s got good vision, very fluid skater, and he has a tendency to make the right play.”
The Irish return to the ice after a bye week on Friday January 19th at 7:35 PM vs Wisconsin Badgers. Congratulations to the Men’s Hockey team on their continued run of success and #GoIrish