Notre Dame hockey: Easy night for Irish, Summerhays

STEVE LOWE
SBT Correspondent

SOUTH BEND -- After enjoying Friday night off to watch his teammates win, regular Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays didn’t have to do much work at all on Saturday, either, to earn another shutout.

Summerhays stopped all 13 shots he faced to beat Alabama Huntsville, 5-0, completing a weekend sweep of the Chargers.

It was his fourth shutout of the season, which is tied for most in the country with Quinnipiac’s Michael Garteig, and also the 10th shutout of Summerhays’ career, which is second in program history behind 12 each by David Brown and Jordan Pearce.

The senior from Anchorage, Alaska is reaching lofty status in the Irish program history, but he deferred the credit to those teammates in front of him Saturday night.

“I think shutouts is just kind of a team defensive stat as a core, instead of an individual goalie stat,” Summerhays said. “Whenever we’re getting shutouts like that, it means our defensemen are doing their jobs, and our forwards.”

Jeff Costello scored two goals, Bryan Rust had a goal and an assist, and T.J. Tynan and Mario Lucia each picked up two assists to lead No. 15 Notre Dame offensively.

Tynan now has a team-best 18 assists and 23 points on the season, moving him up to 17th on the Notre Dame all-time scoring list with 146 points.

The Irish (12-8-1) picked up their first series sweep since late October, and back-to-back wins for the first time since early November. The loss was the eighth in a row for the Chargers (1-23-0).

It was another dominating performance for the Irish, who outshot Huntsville 43-13 and had cruised to a five-goal lead halfway through the game.

“Anytime you win, I don’t care what the situation, it’s important for your team’s psyche and their confidence,” said Irish coach Jeff Jackson. “In that regard, it was a positive weekend.”

Notre Dame’s top scoring line picked up where it left off Friday night when Tynan shot a pass from behind the UAH net to Sam Herr in the slot, and Herr finished the chance for his 10th goal of the season, four minutes into the game.

Less than two minutes later, Vince Hinostroza collected a no-look, behind-the-back pass from Peter Schneider and made it 2-0. Huntsville coach Mike Corbett used his timeout at that point to try and rally his group, but Notre Dame kept pouring it on, with Costello scoring goal No. 3 at the 9:10 mark of the first period.

“I thought it was important that we got off to a good start tonight because (Friday) night, we weren’t real good in the first period,” Jackson said. “We played three periods tonight, which is what we need to do.”

The Irish outshot the Chargers 16-5 and basically had their way in the opening period. Summerhays was only challenged twice in the first 20 minutes, but made a sliding kick save to nullify a Charger odd-man rush with five minutes left, and helped kill a UAH power play two minutes later.

“That was a tough game for him to play and I thought he made some big saves,” Jackson said. “He didn’t have a ton of work, and that’s always been a weakness of his in the past, to be in a game like that and all of a sudden have to stop a breakaway or a two-on-one. Which he did, he made a couple big saves at key moments.”

Costello got his second goal of the night, 4:10 into the second period when he one-timed a David Gerths pass by Alabama goalie Carmine Guerriero.

Rust, who scored a hat trick in Friday’s victory, had the highlight goal of the night when he turned his back to the UAH net and lifted a backhander from a sharp angle into the top left corner to make it 5-0, halfway through the second period. It was the fifth goal for Rust in the three games since winter break ended, and he finished with six points (four goals, two assists) on the weekend.

“This was a good weekend for us, I thought it was a big step,” Summerhays said. “Usually, we’ve gotten up a couple goals and then let up, and I thought this weekend we only had one questionable period (Friday) and then today we had three good periods and 60 good minutes of hockey. That’s good momentum for us going forward.”

At Compton Family Ice Arena

FIRST PERIOD

ND - Sam Herr, 10 (T.J. Tynan, Bryan Rust) 3:59; ND - Vince Hinostroza, 5 (Peter Schneider, Mario Lucia) 5:56; ND - Jeff Costello, 6 (Lucia, Eric Johnson) 9:10. Shots on goal: ND 16, UAH 5; Penalties: ND 2-4, UAH 2-4.

SECOND PERIOD

ND - Costello, 7 (David Gerths) 4:10; ND - Rust, 8 (Tynan, Robbie Russo) PP, 9:33. Shots: ND 12, UAH 5; Penalties: UAH 1-2, ND 0-0.

THIRD PERIOD

No scoring. Shots: ND 15, UAH 3; Penalties: UAH 2-4, ND 1-2.

Alabama-Huntsville000 — 0
Notre Dame320 — 5

Shots: ND 43, UAH 13; Saves: UAH 38 (Carmine Guerriero), ND 13 (Steven Summerhays); Power plays: ND 1-4, UAH 0-2; Penalties: UAH 5-10, ND 3-6; Records: ND 12-8-1, UAH 1-23-0; Attendance: 4,891.