Irish explode for six unanswered goals against RIT in Galajda’s first shutout

ND Insider staff

SOUTH BEND – Trevor Janicke and Max Ellis each scored two goals and goalie Matthew Galajda recorded his first shutout at Notre Dame as the No. 12/13 Fighting Irish scored a 6-0 victory Friday night over Rochester Institute of Technology before 3,779 fans at the Lefty Smith Rink in the Compton Family Ice Arena.

The victory by coach Jeff Jackson’s team (4-1-0) gave it a split of its series with RIT, a member of the Atlantic Hockey Association. The Tigers (3-2-1) beat the Irish 3-2 in overtime in Thursday’s opening game of the two-game series.

The Irish peppered RIT goalie Tommy Scarfone with 45 shots, while Galajda saw only 22 in recording his 20th career shutout. Galajda, a grad transfer from Cornell, had 19 shutouts for the Big Red in three seasons, two of which when he was named a finalist for the Mike Richter Goaltender of the Year Award.

Irish loss:Notre Dame rally comes up short as RIT skates to 3-2 overtime victory

Jackson was pleased with the way his team responded from Thursday’s defeat.

“That’s what you always wonder this time of the year after you face a little adversity – how you come back and play,” Jackson said. “That was a pretty strong statement. I thought everyone played pretty well. We did another good job on the penalty kill, we scored a power-play goal, Galajda played well in net, and we got quite a few contributions from guys upfront.”

Forwards Landon Slaggert and Hunter Strand also scored goals for Notre Dame and Solag Bakich had three assists as 12 of Notre Dame’s 18 skaters recorded points. Grad-transfer defensemen Chase Blackmun (UMass Lowell) and Adam Karashik (Connecticut) each had two assists. 

Meanwhile, the Irish penalty-kill unit went 4-for-4 on the night and is now 23-for-23 to open the season. The power-play unit went 1-for-5.

Notre Dame scored three times on two goals by Janicke and the first Ellis goal in a span of 7:20 of the first period to take control of the game. Bakich assisted on all three goals.

The Irish added a pair of goals from Ellis and Slaggert within 1:08 of each other in the second period, the latter coming on a power play. Strand concluded the scoring at 18:30 of the third period.

Notre Dame opens its Big Ten Conference season next Friday and Saturday in Minneapolis against the No. 4 Golden Gophers, who fell 5-3 to No. 5 Minnesota Duluth at home. The two teams conclude their series Saturday night in Duluth. Jackson is anxious to see how his team will perform.

 “We’re still growing,” he said. “We’ve still got areas that we got to get better at. I thought we made some improvements tonight. RIT is a hard team to play against. It will be a challenge next week – Minnesota is one of the top teams in the country. We’ll just have to play smart hockey and stay out of the penalty box.”

Faceoff Friday night in Minneapolis is at 9 p.m. Eastern and the game will be televised by the Big Ten Network. Saturday’s faceoff is at 6 p.m. Eastern and will be televised by Bally Sports North.

NOTRE DAME 6, RIT 0

At Lefty Smith Rink in Compton Family Ice Arena, South Bend

RIT | 0 | 0 | 0—0 

Notre Dame | 3 | 2 | 1—6   

First Period—Scoring: 1. Notre Dame, Trevor Janicke 3 (Chase Blackmun, Solag Bakich) EV 6:11. 2. Notre Dame, Max Ellis 2 (Adam Karashik, Solag Bakich) EV 10:35. 3. Notre Dame, Trevor Janicke 4 (Adam Karashik, Solag Bakich) EV 13:31. Penalties: RIT 2-4, Notre Dame 2-4.

Second Period—Scoring: 4. Notre Dame, Max Ellis 3 (Chase Blackmun, Graham Slaggert) EV 12:14. 5. Notre Dame, Landon Slaggert 3 (Jesse Lansdell, Cam Burke) PPG 13:22. Penalties (total): RIT 1-2 (3-6), Notre Dame 2-4 (4-8).

Third Period—Scoring: 6. Notre Dame, Hunter Strand 2 (Jack Adams, Jake Boltmann) EV 18:30. Penalties (total): RIT 4-8 (7-14), Notre Dame 2-4 (6-12).

Shots on goal: RIT 22 (5-12-5), Notre Dame 45 (13-17-15). Goalie saves: RIT, Tommy Scarfone 39 (10-15-14), Notre Dame, Matthew Galajda 22 (5-12-5). Power-play opportunities: RIT 0 of 4, Notre Dame 1 of 5. Faceoffs won: RIT 30 (11-8-11), Notre Dame 37 (10-16-11). Blocked shots: RIT 16, Notre Dame 13.

Referees: Sean Fernandez and Brett DesRosiers. Linesmen: Jonathan Sladek and Riley Bowles. Records: RIT 3-2-1, Notre Dame 4-1-0. Attendance: 3,779 (5,022).