No luck with puck for Notre Dame hockey

Irish get shots, but still come up empty

Steve Lowe
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND -- The numbers Friday night were a little hard to believe, and they left Notre Dame's hockey team shaking their collective heads and wondering what happened.

The Irish outshot No. 11 Northeastern, 30-14, but the Huskies scored four times on the first seven shots they took to stun No. 15 Notre Dame, 4-0, at Compton Family Ice Arena.

Adam Reid scored two goals in the first eight minutes of the game and Clay Witt stopped all 30 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season for Northeastern, which snapped Notre Dame's four-game winning streak.

"It might have been we were a little too comfortable," said Notre Dame captain Jeff Costello. "We didn't give our opponent enough respect that they demanded."

Reid also added an assist for three points and Mike McMurty had a goal and an assist for Northeastern (15-7-3, 8-4-1), which has won five of its last six and maintained its hold on second place in the Hockey East standings.

The Huskies also improved to 4-0 all-time at the Compton, where they've outscored Notre Dame 18-5.

Notre Dame goalie Steven Summerhays let in all four goals and finished with just three saves before he was pulled with 8:34 left in the second period.

"That's not good," Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said. "But it's not just the goaltender."

Summerhays was replaced in net by freshman Chad Katunar, who fared better, stopping all seven shots he faced.

Notre Dame came in averaging five goals per game over its last five games, but was shut out for the second time this season. The road doesn't get much easier for the Irish (14-9-1, 3-6-1), who play ranked teams in eight of their last 10 regular season games, including one more Saturday night against Northeastern.

Reid got the game's first goal when he blocked an Andy Ryan shot near the Northeastern blueline and broke loose for a 2-on-1 early in the first period. Reid kept the puck all the way and deposited it over Summerhays' right shoulder for the 1-0 lead.

Reid then made it 2-0 a little over two minutes later when the Irish couldn't clear their zone and Dalen Hedges found Reid drifting into the slot for a wide open shot, eight minutes into the game. At that point, the Huskies had just three shots on goal, but two found their way into the Irish net.

"You give up a breakaway goal and a two-on-one in the first 10 minutes and we're down 2-0," Jackson said. "That dictates everything."

Things went further south for Notre Dame in the second period. Mike Szmatula scored a power play goal on just the fifth Huskies' shot of the game, and Costello was sent off for a 10-minute misconduct after he shot the puck in frustration following Szmatula's goal.

"I was upset because my guy scored the goal," Costello said. "I think the ref thought I was shooting at him. I think I would have hit him if I was actually trying to shoot at him. I have to give myself a little more credit than that."

Northeastern then made it 4-0 at 11:26 of the second period on a McMurtry goal right in front of Summerhays, who gave way to Katunar at that point.

"That was to shake up the team," Jackson said of his decision to pull Summerhays. "I didn't want them to start thinking the game was over."

Witt played well, making a diving stop on Shayne Taker to stymie a Notre Dame 2-on-1 shorthanded breakaway in the third period. But the Irish rarely looked in sync, despite outshooting Northeastern by such a wide margin.

"We have to have a response," Jackson said. "We have to be better (today)."

Notre Dame wore special jerseys with camouflage numbers and leprechaun. They are being auctioned off on the ND website to benefit the "Hockey Saves" program based in Fort Benning, Ga.

At Compton Family Ice Arena

FIRST PERIOD

NU - Adam Reid, 4 (unassisted) 5:46; NU - Reid, 5 (Dalen Hedges, Mike McMurtry) 7:59 Shots on goal: ND 13, NU 4; Penalties: ND 3-6, NU 2-4.

SECOND PERIOD

NU - Mike Szmatula, 10 (John Stevens, Matt Benning) PP, 1:44; NU - McMurtry, 5 (Hedges, Reid) 11:26. Shots: ND 7, NU 7; Penalties: ND 3-14, NU 0-0.

THIRD PERIOD

No scoring. Shots: ND 10, NU 3; Penalties: ND 4-8, NU 4-8.

NU 2 2 0 - 4; ND 0 0 0 - 0

Shots: ND 30, NU 14; Saves: NU 30 (Clay Witt), NU 10 (Summerhays 3, Katunar7); Power plays: NU 1-6, ND 0-3; Penalties: ND 10-28, NU 6-12; Attendance: 4,862.

Notre Dame's David Gerths, right, competes with Northeastern's Matt Benning during the Notre Dame-Northeastern hockey game on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, inside the Compton Family Ice Arena at Notre Dame in South Bend. (SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)
Notre Dame's Bryan Rust, right, competes with Northeastern's Josh Manson during the Notre Dame-Northeastern hockey game on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, inside the Compton Family Ice Arena at Notre Dame in South Bend. (SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)
Officials break up a fight following the 4-0 Notre Dame loss to Northeastern during the NCAA college hockey game on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, inside the Compton Family Ice Arena at Notre Dame in South Bend. (SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)
Notre Dame's Austin Wuthrich falls after colliding with Northeastern's Matt Benning during the Notre Dame-Northeastern hockey game on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, inside the Compton Family Ice Arena at Notre Dame in South Bend. (SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)