Notre Dame hockey: Summerhays, ND upset Minnesota

Steve Lowe
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND -- Steven Summerhays is used to seeing very little work in net early on in Notre Dame hockey games.

Friday night against the country's No. 1 team, Summerhays got all he could handle, early and often, from Minnesota.

But Notre Dame scored a pair of power play goals, and Summerhays made them stand up, stopping 31 of 32 shots for the fourth-ranked Irish in a 4-1 win, their 11th straight at home.

Sam Herr scored his team-leading sixth goal, a power play tally late in the second period that turned out to be the game-winner. Bryan Rust, Garrett Peterson and Jeff Costello also scored for Notre Dame, which played in front of a boisterous sellout crowd at Compton Family Ice Arena.

"They were our sixth man tonight," said Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson. "It was outstanding. We've had great atmospheres against some teams, but tonight was extremely good."

Ben Marshall picked up Minnesota's goal, and netminder Adam Wilcox collected 29 saves.

The win was Notre Dame's 13th all-time over a No. 1-ranked team, and first since taking down Boston College in 2010.

The Irish improved to 7-2-0, while the Gophers (5-1-1) suffered their first loss.

"It was everything we expected," Jackson said. "It was a high-tempo, high-paced game. It was flying by."

Minnesota, which suited up 13 players who have been drafted by NHL teams, came out fast and aggressive against the bigger Irish, but couldn't get one through in the first 20 minutes.

The Gophers had a first-period goal waved off at the 10:27 mark as Sam Warning knocked a flying puck in with a high stick. The first period ended scoreless thanks in large part to Summerhays, who stopped 17 shots.

"They were putting everything on net," Summerhays said. "I think that's the first time I've started a game that I've gotten more than 10 or 11 shots. It was nice to kind of feel the puck early on in a big game like that."

Notre Dame took advantage of its first power play opportunity, early in the second period. Just nine seconds into the man advantage, Rust stuffed a backhander under Wilcox for a 1-0 Irish lead.

Marshall tied the game for the Gophers five minutes later as Notre Dame failed three times to clear the puck from its zone. Marshall finally made the Irish pay when he ripped a shot past Summerhays from near the top of the left circle.

Herr broke the tie with the second power play goal of the night for the Irish. Vinnie Hinostroza sent a pass behind the net to Herr, who walked in on Wilcox and poked a shot through the goalie's pads.

"We need more guys that can power their way to the net," Jackson said of Herr, who has three goals in the past two games. "He's getting some confidence right now."

Peterson made it a two-goal lead when he scored on a breakaway 3:13 into the third period. Costello finished the scoring with an empty-net goal with 50 seconds to play.

The Gophers came in as the highest-scoring team in the country, averaging 4.83 goals, but this was the first real road test for a group that features six freshmen. Notre Dame's bigger, older lineup of nine seniors muscled and outlasted Minnesota on Friday.

"They're a veteran team, and I thought Summerhays was real good tonight, especially in that first period," said Minnesota coach and former Irish player Don Lucia. "I thought their game got better as the first period went on, and ours didn't."

The Irish had gone just 2-for-25 on the power play in their last four games coming in, but finished 2-for-5. Minnesota, which had been just 4-for-28 with the man advantage, failed to score on four chances against the Irish.

"I think the specialties were a big part of it," Lucia said. "They looked very cohesive on their power play and penalty kill, and we struggled on our specialties. That's been an issue for this group with all the young guys."

The two teams square off again Saturday night, with the puck dropping at 7:05.

At Compton Family Ice Arena

FIRST PERIOD

No scoring. Shots on goal: MINN 17, ND 11; Penalties: ND 1-2, MINN 0-0.

SECOND PERIOD

ND - Bryan Rust (unassisted) PP, 1:58; MINN - Ben Marshall (Hudson Fasching, Sam Warning) 6:48; ND - Sam Herr (Vinnie Hinostroza, Steven Fogarty) PP, 16:54. Shots: ND 12, MINN 9; Penalties: MINN 4-8, ND 2-4.

THIRD PERIOD

ND - Garrett Peterson (unassisted) 3:14; ND - Jeff Costello (Stephen Johns) EN, 19:09. Shots: ND 10, MINN 6; Penalties: ND 1-2, MINN 1-2.

Minnesota010 - 1
Notre Dame022 - 4

Shots: ND 33, MINN 32; Saves: ND 31 (Steven Summerhays), MINN 29 (Adam Wilcox); Power plays: ND 2-5, MINN 0-4; Penalties: MINN 5-10, ND 4-8; Records: ND 7-2-0, MINN 5-1-1; Attendance: 5,022.

Notre Dame goalie Steven Summerhays (1) shown in a photo in a game last March, stopped 31 of 32 shots in Notre Dame's win over Minnesota Friday night.