Primeau, Adams key balanced attack in Notre Dame hockey win over Wisconsin
SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame let Wisconsin off the hook once Friday night. It wasn’t going to allow it again in their Big Ten hockey game at the sold-out Compton Family Ice Arena.
With every game remaining in the regular season important for Notre Dame’s playoff chances, coach Jeff Jackson’s Fighting Irish overcame their own mistakes midway through the first period to score three unanswered goals on the way to a 5-3 victory before 5,022 fans watching around the Lefty Smith Rink.
A pair of giant graduate transfers — 6-foot-3 center Chayse Primeau (Omaha) and 6-foot-6 right wing Jack Adams (Providence) — came up big to lead the scoring attack. Notre Dame also received another solid goaltending performance from senior Ryan Bischel (27 saves) as it evened its season record at 12-12-3 and improved its Big Ten record to 7-8-2 for 23 points, a point behind Michigan State for fourth place in the league.
“We played two pretty good games last weekend at Penn State and thought we had a chance to win both,” Primeau said. “Our mindset coming in was to play playoff hockey. Coach said after the game that if (Wisconsin) is considered the worst team in the league, then this is a pretty darn good division. You can’t take any nights off.”
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Primeau started the night with his seventh goal of the season at 6:10 of the first period, the first of two Notre Dame power-play goals. He then finished it with an assist on sophomore left wing Justin Janicke’s insurance goal at 2:19 of the third that gave the Irish a 5-2 lead against coach Tony Granato’s last-place Badgers (10-15-0, 3-12-0 Big Ten for 9 points).
Adams’ fourth goal of the season, the re-direct off a cross-ice feed from captain Nick Leivermann, was the eventual game-winner which gave the Irish a 4-2 lead at 18:16 of the second period.
“We needed that,” Adams said of the victory. “It’s been an up-and-down year. I think we’re starting to peak at the right time.”
Notre Dame knows it controls its own destiny, needing to finish at .500 or better if it hopes to receive its seventh straight berth in the 16-team NCAA tournament field.
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Adams’ goal allowed all four forward lines for Notre Dame to make it into the scorebook in the opening game of the series which concludes Saturday at 6 p.m. The Irish came into the contest scoring just 2.35 goals a game (49th out of 61 schools) and having just 13 power-play goals in 84 attempts (45th nationally). Friday they were 2-of-5 on man-advantage opportunities.
Hunter Stand and Jesse Lansdell had the other goals for Notre Dame and junior right wing Ryder Rolston picked up a pair of assists. Jack Horbach, Daniel Laatsch and Mathieu De St. Phalle scored the goals for Wisconsin, which got 30 saves from its 6-foot-4 senior netminder Jared Moe.
“Our guys played well,” Jackson said. “We got contributions from all four lines. You’re going to need some depth scoring — the goal by Strand and the goal by Adams. Both of those were important goals for us. Getting depth scoring is going to be important for us down the stretch.”
The Irish jumped out quickly for a 2-0 lead in the first period and led 3-2 after the first period thanks to two power-play goals.
Primeau converted passes from Landon Slaggert and Ryder Rolston at 6:10 with Wisconsin’s Tyson Jugnauth off for slashing. It became 2-0 53 seconds later when Strand batted home his own rebound to Moe’s left after assists from Grant Silianoff and Jake Boltmann at 7:03.
But the Irish got careless in their own zone, and Wisconsin got goals from Horbach (9:51) and Laatsch (12:07) from in close to tie the game at 2-2.
Notre Dame regained its composure and got another power-play chance at 15:40 when Charlie Stramel of Wisconsin was whistled for roughing. Lansdell batted home his own rebound at 17:32 off feeds from Trevor Janicke and Drew Bavaro to make it 3-2.
The teams each had early power-play chances — Wisconsin two and Notre Dame one — before the Irish increased their lead to 4-2 late in the second period with some nifty cross-ice passes.
Chase Blackmun, a native of Hudson, Wisconsin, found Irish captain Nick Leivermann across the ice. The Irish captain, playing in his first game in three weeks, then shoveled a cross-ice pass back to Adams, who directed the puck into the empty net behind Moe at 18:16 for the Irish 4-2 lead after two periods.
The Irish made the lead 5-2 early in the third period when Rolston hustled in at the end of his shift to put a shot on net with his team in the middle of a line change. Moe made the save, but Primeau got to the rebound and shoveled it in front to Justin Janicke, who put it into the net at 2:19. De St. Phalle ended the evening’s scoring with a power-play goal at 4:24 to pull Wisconsin back within 5-3.
NOTRE DAME 5, WISCONSIN 3
At Lefty Smith Rink in Compton Family Ice Arena, South Bend
|Notre Dame||3||1||1||— 5|
First Period—Scoring: 1. Notre Dame, Chayse Primeau 7 (Landon Slaggert, Ryder Rolston) PP 6:10. 2. Notre Dame, Hunter Strand 3 (Grant Silianoff, Jack Boltmann) EV 7:03. 3. Wisconsin, Jack Horbach 4 (Daniel Laatsch, Luke LaMaster) EV 9:51. 4. Wisconsin, Daniel Laatsch 1 (Charlie Stramel, Mathieu De St. Phalle) EV 12:08. 5. Notre Dame, Jesse Lansdell 5 (Trevor Janicke, Drew Bavaro) PP 17:32. Penalties: Wisconsin 2-4, Notre Dame 1-2.
Second Period—Scoring: 6. Notre Dame, Jack Adams 4 (Nick Leivermann, Chase Blackmun) EV 18:16. Penalties (total): Wisconsin 1-2 (3-6), Notre Dame 2-4 (3-6).
Third Period—Scoring: 7. Notre Dame, Justin Janicke 6 (Chayse Primeau, Ryder Rolston) EV 2:19. 8. Wisconsin, Mathieu De St. Phalle 5 (Corson Ceulemans, Cruz Lucius) PP 4:24. Penalties (total): Wisconsin 2-4 (5-10), Notre Dame 1-2 (4-8).
Shots on goal: Wisconsin 30 (12-6-12), Notre Dame 35 (11-8-16). Goalie saves: Wisconsin, Jared Moe 30 (8-7-15), Notre Dame, Ryan Bischel 27 (10-6-11).
Power-play opportunities: Wisconsin 1 of 4, Notre Dame 2 of 5. Faceoffs won: Wisconsin 35 (8-14-13), Notre Dame 33 (14-7-12). Blocked shots: Wisconsin 13 (6-2-5), Notre Dame 13 (3-7-3).
Referees: David Marcotte and Barry Pochmara. Linesmen: Pat Richardson and Nicholas Bet. Attendance: 5,022 (4,852). Records: Wisconsin 10-15-0, 3-12-0 Big Ten for 9 points; Notre Dame 12-12-3, 7-8-2 Big Ten for 23 points.
BIG TEN CONFERENCE
Friday’s results: Notre Dame 5, Wisconsin 3; Minnesota 8, Michigan State 0; Michigan 7, Penn State 3.
Standings:1.Minnesota 13-3-1, 40 points (19-7-1); 2. Ohio State 9-7-0, 27 points (16-9-1) and Penn State 8-8-1, 27 points (18-8-1); 4. Michigan State 7-8-2, 24 points (13-12-2); 5. Notre Dame 7-8-2, 23 points (12-12-3); 6. Michigan 7-8-0, 21 points (15-9-1); 7. Wisconsin 3-12-0, 9 points (10-15-0).
Saturday’s games: Wisconsin at Notre Dame, 6 p.m.; Michigan State at Minnesota, 5 p.m.; Penn State at Michigan, 7 p.m.