Notre Dame hockey: Tynan saves less-than-sharp Irish

Steve Lowe
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND -- Notre Dame hockey coach Jeff Jackson talked mid-week about wanting to see more from his top line, led by the team's top player, T.J. Tynan.

The senior alternate captain delivered more Friday night.

Tynan scored the game-winning goal with 7:01 to play in the third period and also chipped in an assist in No. 4 Notre Dame's 3-2 win over visiting Michigan Tech at a sold-out Compton Family Ice Arena.

"He's been playing pretty well," Jackson said. "I was trying to get his linemates going a little bit because it takes three guys to generate a goal, which happened at the end of the game."

With the score tied 2-2 and the Irish pouring on the pressure, Mario Lucia drifted between the circles and dropped a pass back to Tynan, who collected himself before firing in the deciding score.

"It was kind of a broken play and Mario made a great pass to me," Tynan said. "I had more time than I thought, so I hesitated for a second and tried to get a shot off. I didn't really see it go in, but I heard the crowd and figured it went in."

Steven Fogarty and Robbie Russo also scored for the Irish (3-0-0). The Huskies (0-2-1) return Sunday afternoon to complete the series.

Notre Dame scored twice in the first period on a pair of sharp, low wrist shots that snuck in under Tech goalie Pheonix Copley's glove. Fogarty got the first from the left circle, 5:48 into the game, and Russo scored the second on the power play as he passed through the slot.

Irish goaltender Steven Summerhays came into the game with a shutout streak of 125:06, and nearly saw it end with 2:29 to play in the first period, but Blake Hietala's goal was waved off as the officials determined the whistle had blown before the puck crossed the line.

Summerhays' career-best shutout streak officially ended at 147:27 when C.J. Eick corralled an Irish turnover and scored a shorthanded breakaway goal early in the second period.

Notre Dame's special teams struggles continued in the period as Ryan Furne tied the game with two Irish players in the penalty box. Later in the second, a Huskies rush nearly resulted in another shorthanded goal, but the puck skipped up and over Summerhays.

The Irish outshot Michigan Tech, 16-7, in the second period but still found themselves tied after a strong start.

"I was worried this week," Jackson said. "It's mid-term exam week, so we shortened the practice week because guys had the exam loads. I don't know that we were all that sharp until the very end when we started getting on a roll."

Notre Dame turned up the pressure midway through the third period, with freshman Vinnie Hinostroza nearly giving the Irish the lead on a one-timer that clanged off the post.

But the Irish forced the action in the Tech zone until Lucia found Tynan for the game-winner.

"I think the guys worked hard, but I don't think they were as focused as far as execution," Jackson said. "Especially against a team like Tech.

"I think the guys just settled in because they knew the game was on the line. We have to be a good third period hockey team if we're going anywhere."

The Irish finished just 1-for-10 on the power play, but outshot the Huskies, 43-24. Copley finished with 40 saves for Michigan Tech.

At Compton Family Ice Arena

FIRST PERIOD

ND - Steven Fogarty (Vinnie Hinostroza, Austin Wuthrich) 5:48; Robbie Russo (Bryan Rust, T.J. Tynan) PP, 17:16. Shots on goal: ND 14, MTU 12; Penalties: MTU 4-8, ND 2-4.

SECOND PERIOD

MTU - C.J. Eick (unassisted) SH, 2:21; MTU - Ryan Furne (Riley Sweeney, Brent Baltus) PP, 10:25. Shots: ND 16, MTU 7; Penalties: MTU 5-10, ND 4-8.

THIRD PERIOD

ND - T.J. Tynan (Mario Lucia) 12:59. Shots: ND 13, MTU 5; Penalties: MTU 2-4, ND 0-0.

Michigan Tech020 -- 2
Notre Dame201 -- 3

Shots: ND 43, MTU 24; Saves: MTU 40 (Pheonix Copley), ND 22 (Steven Summerhays); Power plays: ND 1-10, MTU 1-5; Penalties: MTU 11-22, ND 6-12; Records: ND 3-0-0, MTU 0-2-1; Attendance: 5,022.