Mann stops 32 Notre Dame shots as Michigan skates to 3-0 hockey victory

John Fineran
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND — Once again, an inability to finish at the net ended up being No. 14 Notre Dame’s downfall Friday night in its Big Ten Conference hockey game against Michigan.

Sophomore goaltender Strauss Mann stopped all 32 shots taken by the Irish for his third shutout of the season and the Wolverines got an early power play goal and scored two more in the third period to beat the Fighting Irish, 3-0, before a capacity crowd of 4,896 watching at the Lefty Smith Rink in the Compton Family Ice Arena.

“I didn’t think we played a bad game; I thought we did some good things,” Jackson said. “Our inability to put the puck in the net is haunting us.”

Nick Pastujov scored on a Michigan power play at 7:04 of the first period and Nick Granowicz scored when a centering pass from behind the net bounced off him past Irish goalie Cale Morris at 1:47 of the third period.

Mel Pearson’s team then added an insurance goal at 17:47 by Jacob Hayhurst into the net which had been vacated by Morris, who finished with 15 saves, for a sixth attacker.

It was the third time this season the Irish have been shut out. Wisconsin’s Daniel Lebedeff blanked the Irish 3-0 on Nov. 15 in Madison and Boston College’s Spencer Knight turned the trick in a 4-0 victory Dec. 6 in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Notre Dame (10-8-3, 5-4-2-1 Big Ten) and Michigan (8-11-2, 3-7-1-0 Big Ten) conclude their series Saturday with faceoff set for 6 p.m. at the Smith Rink.

The Irish, who have been offensively challenged since starting the season 7-0-1, looked like they had turned the corner last Sunday by scoring four goals in a span of 7:27 during the second period of a 4-1 victory at Western Michigan. The Irish line of center Michael Graham, left wing Cam Morrison and right wing Alex Steeves had a hand in all four goals, with Steeves notching a pair and Morrison getting one while defenseman Matt Hellickson had the other goal.

But the Wolverines held that line scoreless and Jackson’s temporary breakup of his usual first line of center Mike O’Leary, right wing Cal Burke and left wing Colin Theisen didn’t produce anything. Freshman Trevor Janicke moved up to Burke’s spot while Burke skated with center Jake Pivonka and Graham Slaggert.

“We had some good looks on the power play (the Irish went 0 for 3) and some good looks 5-on-5,” Jackson said. “They took advantage of their opportunities and we didn’t. We just have to find ways to break teams down and score. We had a couple of 2-on-1s and didn’t get a shot on goal. We have to put the puck into the net.”

O’Leary had a chance at 6:30 of the first period from the slot but Mann made a pad save. Then Graham had two chances in close that Mann stopped to preserve Michigan’s 1-0 lead. Burke’s backhander was gloved by Mann early in the second period.

Prior to their 3-0 victory over Penn State that ended the first semester, a 1-1 tie against Western Michigan in South Bend a week ago Friday and last Sunday’s outburst, the Irish scored 15 goals in nine games during which they went 1-7-1, including six losses in a row.


At Lefty Smith Rink, South Bend


Notre Dame;0;0;0—0

First Period—Scoring: 1. Michigan, Nick Pastujov 5 (Michael Pastujov, Eric Ciccolini) PP 7:04. Penalties: Michigan 1-2; Notre Dame 2-4.

Second Period—Scoring: None. Penalties (total): Michigan 2-4 (3-6); Notre Dame 0-0 (2-4).

Third Period—Scoring: 2. Michigan, Nick Granowicz 1 (Johnny Beecher) EV 1:47; 3. Michigan, Jacob Hayhurst 2 (Garrett Van Wyhe) EN 17:47. Penalties (total): Michigan 0-0 (3-6); Notre Dame 0-0 (2-4).

Power-play opportunities—Michigan 1 of 2; Notre Dame 0 of 3.

Faceoffs won—Michigan 22 (5-14-3); Notre Dame 28 (11-11-6).

Blocked shots—Michigan 13 (2-7-4); Notre Dame 10 (5-3-2).

Shots on goal—Michigan 18 (8-5-5); Notre Dame 32 (10-13-9).

Goalie saves—Michigan, Strauss Mann 32 (10-13-9); Notre Dame, Cale Morris 15 (7-5-3).

Records—Michigan 8-11-2, 3-7-1-0 Big Ten; Notre Dame 10-8-3, 5-4-2-1 Big Ten.

A—4,896 (4,850).

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