Notre Dame hockey: 'Easy' shutout for Summerhays

Steve Lowe
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND -- The work load Friday night was a big departure from what Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays experienced last weekend, but the result was quite similar.

Summerhays stopped all 19 Boston University shots he faced for his Irish program record 13th career shutout, and No. 15 Notre Dame got goals from Austin Wuthrich and Stephen Johns to beat BU, 2-0 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

After facing 85 shots last weekend at Providence (and stopping 83 of them), Summerhays didn't have to work nearly as hard for his second consecutive shutout and seventh of the season, which is one off of the single season mark of eight, set by fellow Anchorage, Alaska native Jordan Pearce in 2008-09.

"It's crazy, I think I only had two shutouts in juniors," Summerhays said. "I've never really been known for shutouts, it's definitely more of a team defensive stat, but it's always nice to get zeroes."

Afterwards, Johns threw an arm around Summerhays to congratulate him, and also joke about the first shift of the game, when the Terriers had a 2-on-1 breakaway, but missed the net on what was ultimately one of their best chances at breaking up the shutout.

"He's obsessed with his stats, so he keeps updated on everything," Johns said with a laugh. "We rag him a little bit, but we know he's one of the better goalies to every play in this program.

"Hopefully he can be our iron rod back there for the rest of the year."

The overall defensive effort earned a big assist for their work in front of Summerhays, blocking 20 shots before they ever got to the senior netminder.

That charge was led by another senior, defenseman Kevin Lind, who had four blocked shots and added an assist for the Irish (18-12-2, 7-9-2 Hockey East). Boston (8-19-4, 3-11-3) is winless in its last eight games (0-6-2).

"I can't say enough about how our seniors are playing," said Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson. "With where we were in the standings, with the frustrations, with the expectations for the season, they could have gone the other way, but they're the guys that are really laying it on the line right now. They're the guys that are battling the hardest."

After just missing on a choice chance from between the circles earlier in the first period, Wuthrich converted his second try when he hooked up with Thomas DiPauli on an odd-man rush for his fifth goal of the season.

DiPauli caught up to a long Ali Thomas pass in the left circle and hooked the puck over to Wuthrich in the slot, where he fired and eventually poked in his own rebound.

Johns gave the Irish a 2-0 lead just 19 seconds into the second period when he took a pass from Sam Herr at center ice, sped up the right side and fired a low shot from the right circle that scooted in under BU goalie Matt O'Connor's right pad.

"I actually didn't even try to score, I tried to make an off-pad pass to (Bryan Rust) going to the net, but fortunately it went in," Johns said. "Just throw a coconut, sometimes it goes in."

Summerhays made the lead stand up with 10 saves in the third period to help Notre Dame extend its unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1) and clinch at least home ice in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs.

"Hopefully, he's got more here in store," Jackson said of Summerhays. "He's played really well here in the last three weeks and I think that's extremely important for the rest of the season."

At Compton Family Ice Arena


ND - Austin Wuthrich, 5 (Thomas DiPauli, Ali Thomas) 9:51. Shots on goal: ND 9, BU 6; Penalties: ND 1-2, BU 1-2.


ND - Stephen Johns, 5 (Sam Herr, Kevin Lind) 0:19. Shots: BU 3, ND 2; Penalties: ND 2-4, BU 1-2.


No scoring. Shots: BU 10, ND 9; Penalties: ND 1-2, BU 1-2.

Boston U.000 -- 0
Notre Dame110 -- 2

Shots: ND 20, BU 19; Saves: ND 19 (Steven Summerhays), BU 19 (Matt O'Connor); Power plays: BU 0-4, ND 0-3; Penalties: ND 4-8, BU 3-6; Records: ND 18-12-2 (7-9-2 Hockey East), BU 8-19-4 (3-11-3). A - 4,669.