Notre Dame hockey: Schneider powers Irish
SOUTH BEND -- As he walked into an interview room late Friday night, Notre Dame's Peter Schneider looked at the mostly familiar faces in the room and jokingly delivered the following message.
"Hi, my name's Peter Schneider," the ND junior said. "Nice to meet you."
Earlier in the evening, in a little less formal manner but in a much more serious way, Schneider introduced himself to Merrimack College.
Schneider scored two goals to back the goaltending of Steven Summerhays as the third-ranked Irish won their first Hockey East game at home, 4-0 over the Warriors in front of 4,573 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
"If he gets scoring chances he's going to get goals," Irish coach Jeff Jackson said, "because he has a really good shot."
Coming off a fast-paced weekend split with top-ranked Minnesota, the Irish started slow, mustering just three shots on goal in the first period.
"It took us a period to get used to the change of pace," said Jackson, his team now 8-3-0 overall and 2-1-0 in conference play. "But give Merrimack credit. They slowed the game down. It was no question it was a change of pace."
The Irish changed that 3:21 into the second, when freshman Ali Thomas, playing in just his second career game, picked up a stray puck behind the Merrimack net. Thomas quickly moved in to the left of goalie Sam Marotta and tucked it inside the post to open the scoring.
"That was a nice effort on that goal," Jackson said. "That was a big goal for us and for him."
Twelve minutes later, Schneider made it 2-0. Senior center David Gerths won a face-off in the Merrimack end, and the puck ended up on the stick of Schneider, who rifled one past Marotta.
"He was confident that he was going to win the face-off, and he won it right it on my stick," said Schneider, who hammered the puck through the legs of Marotta and off the post for his second goal of the season.
From there it was on the shoulders of Summerhays, who registered 31 saves in posting his third shutout of the season. He also picked up an assist in the third, his second of the season and fourth of his career.
With ND on a power play, he passed to Shayne Taker, who skated up the right side and behind the net before finding Mario Lucia. Lucia deposited it past Marotta to make it 3-0 with 2:31 remaining.
Thirty-eight seconds later, Schneider scored an empty-netter to account for the final tally.
Notre Dame and Merrimack (3-6-0, 0-3-0) wrap up the two-game series Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
At Compton Family Ice Arena
No scoring. Shots: Merrimack 11, ND 3. Penalties: Merrimack 2-4, ND 1-2.
ND -- Ali Thomas 1 (unassisted), 3:21. ND -- Peter Schneider 2 (David Gerths), 15:05. Shots: Merrimack 8, ND 17. Penalties: Merrimack 2-4, ND 2-4.
ND -- Mario Lucia 5 (Shayne Taker, Steven Summerhays), PP 17:29. ND -- Schneider 3 (Jeff Costello, Kevin Lind), EN, 18:07. Shots: Merrimack 12, ND 10. Penalties: Merrimack 1-2, ND 2-4.
|Merrimack||0||0||0 -- 0|
|Notre Dame||0||2||2 -- 4|
Shots: Merrimack 31, Notre Dame 30. Saves: Merrimack (Sam Marotta) 26, Notre Dame (Steven Summerhays) 31. Power Plays: Merrimack 0-4, Notre Dame 1-4. Penalties: Merrimack 5-10, Notre Dame 5-10. Records: Merrimack 3-6-0 (0-3-0 Hockey East), Notre Dame 8-3-0 (2-1-0 Hockey East). Attendance: 4,573.
Referees: Tim Benedetto and Shaun Davis; Linesmen: Jeremy Lewis and Bob Bernard.