Notre Dame hockey: Irish rally late to sink Lake State

Steve Lowe
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND -- For Notre Dame forwards Sam Herr and Austin Wuthrich, Friday's hockey game boiled down to two things -- patience and confidence.

With the Irish trailing Lake Superior State 3-2 halfway through the third period in front of a standing-room-only crowd (5,022) at Compton Family Ice Arena, Wuthrich's confidence began to emerge, and Herr's patience paid off.

Wuthrich scored to tie the game and help set off an explosion of goals. Four minutes later, Herr netted the game-winner, part of a four-goal avalanche to give the Irish a 6-3 comeback win.

"It was just being patient," Herr said. "We had to be really patient and capitalize on their mistakes, and that's what we did.

"We just kept shooting the puck, and it kept finding its way into the back of the net."

Wuthrich and Herr scored two goals each and Vinnie Hinostroza had three assists for No. 15 Notre Dame (13-8-1), which won its third straight and fourth in the last five games.

Lakers goalie Kevin Murdock played well right up until the Irish onslaught in the third period and finished with 43 saves. Notre Dame outshot Lake State, 49-22, including 15-3 in the final period.

"It was the first time that we were actually skating, it seemed," said Irish coach Jeff Jackson of his team's scoring burst. "When we tied the game, we got some momentum. We started moving our feet a lot better."

Mario Lucia scored his 11th goal of the season with 4:26 to play, but Herr retook the team lead less than a minute later on a breakaway goal for his 12th of the season.

"It's a real positive to win a game like that," Jackson said. "You don't play your best hockey, and still you can turn it on and win a game."

Lake State's Matt Johnson was sent off with a game misconduct for kneeing Jeff Costello eight minutes into the first period. The Irish quickly took advantage when Hinostroza threaded a pass through traffic from behind the net to Wuthrich in the slot, and Wuthrich buried a shot over Murdock's left shoulder.

"The guy is so shifty," Wuthrich said of the playmaking freshman Hinostroza. "You get open, and that's about it.

"If you get open for him, he's going to find you."

That was the only goal the Irish got on that five-minute power play, which ended early when Costello went to the penalty box. Murdock had to make a handful of big saves amid heavy Irish pressure right in front of his crease.

The Lakers (11-11-1) then tied the game with 3:34 left in the first period, when Colin Campbell scooped up a rebound and tucked it behind Irish goalie Steven Summerhays. Despite dominating the period in shots on goal, 19-9, the Irish found themselves knotted up on the scoreboard.

Things didn't get a whole let better in the second period when Summerhays let in an Ian Miller shot from the top of the circles, 4:23 in. Costello managed to tie it with Notre Dame's second power-play goal of the game, but Lake State grabbed the lead back with a power-play marker of its own with 1:59 left in the period.

Notre Dame continued to fire shots with few results, but midway through the third period, the floodgates suddenly opened on Murdock, starting with Wuthrich's game-tying rebound goal of a Hinostroza shot. Wuthrich's two goals matched his entire season output up to this point.

"I was really glad for him," Jackson said. "He's got the capabilities to put the puck in the net. Confidence is such a huge thing for that kid. We're being patient with him, keeping him with Vinnie, and we need to get him going."

The Irish played without top-four defenseman Robbie Russo, who was ruled academically ineligible for the current semester, which began on Tuesday. How long Russo will be out is not yet determined, according to Jackson.

"He's trying to do some things to get a grade changed," Jackson said. Russo's status should be known before next weekend's home series with Northeastern.

Lake State freshman and leading scorer Alex Globke, the younger brother of former Irish player Rob Globke (2000-04) had an assist for the Lakers, who have lost four straight and five of their last six.

Notre Dame wore pink laces in their skates and used pink tape in support of Hockey East's Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer.

At Compton Family Ice Arena


ND - Austin Wuthrich, 3 (Vince Hinostroza, Shayne Taker) PP, 9:31; LSSU - Colin Campbell, 8 (Garret Clemment) 16:26. Shots on goal: ND 19, LSSU 9; Penalties: LSSU 3-17, ND 3-6.


LSSU - Ian Miller, 2 (Stephen Perfetto, Matt Bruneteau) 4:23; ND - Jeff Costello, 8 (Mario Lucia, Wuthrich) PP, 9:33; Kevin Czuczman, 8 (Alex Globke, Chris Ciotti) PP, 18:01. Shots: ND 15, LSSU 10; Penalties: ND 2-5, LSSU 1-2.


ND - Wuthrich, 4 (Hinostroza, Stephen Johns) 9:54; ND - Sam Herr, 11 (T.J. Tynan) 14:15; ND - Lucia, 11 (Hinostroza) 15:34; ND - Herr, 12 (Tynan) 16:41. Shots: ND 15, LSSU 3; Penalties: LSSU 2-4, ND 0-0.

Lake Superior State120 - 3
Notre Dame114 - 6

Shots: ND 49, LSSU 22; Saves: LSSU 43 (Kevin Murdock), ND 19 (Steven Summerhays); Power plays: ND 2-5, LSSU 1-4; Penalties: LSSU 6-23, ND 5-10; Attendance: 5,022.