Summerhays impenetrable in net for Notre Dame hockey

SBT Correspondent

SOUTH BEND -- Following a forgettable Friday night performance, Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson challenged his senior goaltender, Steven Summerhays, to come back and do better.

After being pulled in the second period the night before and finishing with just three saves and four goals against, Summerhays was much better in game two Saturday against No. 11 Northeastern, stopping all 36 shots he saw in a 3-0 Irish win for his national-best fifth shutout of the season.

Summerhays stopped 14 of those shots in the first period alone, getting into a groove early that helped rebuild his shaken confidence.

“That was a complete opposite of (Friday) night, so that was a nice turnaround,” Summerhays said. “I was able to get some shots early and feel the puck a little bit, and that definitely helped my confidence.”

Summerhays moved into a tie for fourth all-time with his 49th career win and recorded his 11th career shutout, one away from tying Jordan Pearce and David Brown for most in Irish history.

“The way he played tonight is the way we know he can play,” said Jackson, who earned his 200th victory at Notre Dame. “I challenged him, because I know he’s a much better goaltender than what he showed (Friday) night.”

The line of Vince Hinostroza, Mario Lucia and Peter Schneider each had a goal and an assist to help the No. 15 Irish (15-9-1, 4-6-1 Hockey East) win their fifth game in the last six and pick up their first league victory since Dec. 6.

After Friday’s ugly 4-0 loss to the Huskies (14-8-3, 8-5-1), Jackson shuffled his lineup, adding freshman Ali Thomas to the fourth line and Jared Beers on defense. Beers, a senior from Mishawaka, made his season debut after serving a year-long suspension for an off-ice incident.

Jackson also moved Schneider up to the third line, and he clicked right away with his new mates. Early in the first period, the Austrian native grabbed a loose puck in the neutral zone and moved it to Lucia along the left wing boards. Lucia then tossed a perfect cross-ice pass to Hinostroza, who ripped one past Clay Witt from the right circle for Notre Dame’s first goal of the weekend.

“Getting the quick goal at the beginning, I felt like we just fed off that,” Lucia said. “It got the weight off our shoulders, especially at home.”

Lucia then made it 2-0 midway through the first with a power play goal, his team-leading, and also career-high, 13th of the season.

Schneider made it 3-0 when he scored a shorthanded breakaway goal 4:45 into the second period.

Summerhays made that lead stand up by gloving a Dalen Hedges rocket from the right circle on a Northeastern power play.

“(Coach Jackson) was showing the confidence he had in me to play me again tonight,” Summerhays said. “I said that I was ready to go (Saturday) and that it would be a different game.”

Jeff Costello nearly scored another Irish shorthanded goal late in the period, but it was waved off after it was determined the clock had run out just before he knocked a loose puck into the Northeastern net.

But the Irish ended up not needing it and cruised to a much-needed Hockey East win.

“We played a much more controlled game,” Jackson said.

At Compton Family Ice Arena


ND - Vince Hinostroza, 6 (Mario Lucia, Peter Schneider) 6:00; ND - Lucia, 13 (Hinostroza, Wuthrich) PP, 10:17. Shots on goal: NU 14, ND 10; Penalties: NU 1-2, ND 0-0.


ND - Schneider, 6 (Jeff Costello) SH, 4:45. Shots: NU 13, ND 10; Penalties: ND 3-6, NU 0-0.


No scoring.

Shots: ; Penalties: ND 3-6, NU 2-4.

Northeastern000 — 0
Notre Dame210 — 3

Shots: NU 36, ND 33; Saves: ND 36 (Steven Summerhays), NU 30 (Clay Witt); Power plays: ND 1-3, NU 0-6; Penalties: ND 6-12, NU 3-6; Records: ND 15-9-1 (4-6-1), NU 15-8-3 (8-5-1); Attendance: 4,585.

Notre Dame's Robbie Russo, left, tries to score on teammate goalie Steven Summerhays in a drill during an open Notre Dame hockey team practice on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, at Merrifield Park in Mishawaka. The team practiced outdoors as part of its annual "Practice on the Pond" for fans. Tuesday's event was the seventh time the Irish hockey team has practiced at Merrifield Park. SBT Photo/JAMES BROSHER