Austin Wuthrich and Sam Herr each scored a pair of goals and Notre Dame scored four times in the third period for a come-from-behind 6-3 win over Lake Superior State Friday night in front of a sellout crowd of 5,022 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
Jeff Costello and Mario Lucia added single goals and freshman center Vince Hinostroza had three assists as the Irish bounced back from 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to win the game.
Colin Campbell, Ian Miller and Kevin Czuczman scored for the Lakers while goaltender Kevin Murdock made 43 saves to keep the Irish at bay for two-and-a-half periods before Notre Dame broke through for four goals in a seven-minute span in the third period.
The win, the third straight for the Irish, improves them to 13-8-1 overall on the season. The Lakers fall to .500 on the year at 11-11-1.
"I thought we got some momentum when we tied the game and it was the first time that we were actually skating," said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
"They (Lake Superior) play a smart, patient game and we turned pucks over and got frustrated. We tied the game and got that momentum and we started moving our feet a lot better."
The Irish drew first blood at 9:31 with the help of a major penalty to Lake Superior's Matt Johnson who was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct at 8:03 for kneeing when he collided with Costello at center ice near the Notre Dame bench. Costello was able to stay in the game.
With a five-minute power play the Irish went to work with Wuthrich getting his third goal of the season and his first since Oct. 26. Hinostroza carried the puck down the right side and headed behind the net. His pass came from the right side across the crease to Wuthrich at the left hash mark and he tucked a wrist shot in the upper right corner over Murdock's stick had to make it 1-0. The goal would be the only one scored by the Irish with the five-minute man advantage.
The score stayed that way until the 16:26 mark when the Lakers tied the game at 1-1 when Campbell followed a Garret Clemment shot that Irish goaltender Steven Summerhays kicked out in front. Campbell banged the rebound into a wide-open goal for his eighth of the season and that's the way the period would end.
Lake Superior took their first lead of the night at 4:23 of the second period when Miller took a feed from Stephen Perfetto in the slot and slipped a shot between Summerhays' pads for his second of the year to make it 2-1.
The Irish used the power play to tie the game at 9:33 of the middle period with Costello scoring his eighth of the year on a rebound.
Hinostroza wristed a shot towards the goal from the high slot with Wuthrich and Lucia screening Murdock eight feet in front of the goal. The shot hit Wuthrich and went off of Lucia right to Costello coming from the bottom of the left right circle. He was able to tuck the shot between Murdock and the right post to make it a 2-2 game.
The Lakers answered back with a power-play goal of their own at 18:01of the second to make it 3-2. Freshman Alex Globke took a shot from near the right circle that went off the post rebounded to the left circle where Czuczman moved in from his left point and whipped a shot that beat Summerhays inside the left post for his eighth goal of the year. The power-play goal snapped a streak of 18 consecutive penalties killed by the Irish dating back to Dec. 7 against Massachusetts.
Through two periods, the Irish were outshooting Lake Superior, 34-19, but trailed by a goal going into the third period as Murdock made save after save and the Irish missed on a couple of breakaways.
The score remained 3-2 in favor of the Lakers until the 9:54 mark of the third when Notre Dame scored one second after a Lake State penalty ended.
Wuthrich picked up his second of the night and fourth of the year when Hinostroza's shot was stopped by Murdock only to see the rebound find its way to the junior from Anchorage, Alaska. Wuthrich fired a shot from one knee from the bottom of the circle, beating Murdock inside the left post and the game was tied at 3-3.
The game seemed to open up after that and the Irish would score three more times, starting at the 14:15 mark, getting three quick ones in a span of 2:26.
Herr would get the eventual game winner at 14:51 as he and T.J. Tynan (two assists) broke down the middle on a two-on-one with Herr taking a final pass from Tynan and snapping a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle through Murdock's pads for his 11th of the season and a 4-3 lead.
"I started double shifting Sam (Herr) in the third period and when he gets more ice time, he plays better," said Jackson.
"That's when things started to change. He started to play with a little more jump in his game. He's been a big addition to our offense this year. He has good instincts and he competes hard."
Just 1:19 later Hinostroza would put Lucia in all alone and his shot from the high slot beat Murdock high to his stick side for Lucia's 11th of the season and a 5-3 lead.
Herr closed the scoring 1:07 later at 16:41 when he and Tynan again teamed up as Tynan flipped a pass from the left boards at center ice, putting Herr in alone as he beat Murdock with a shot to his glove side for his 12th of the year and the final score of 6-3.
"Winning the third period was huge for us, because it hasn't been a strength for us in the first half," said Jackson.
"This is a new day and it's definitely a positive to win a game like that. We didn't play our best game and we were able to turn it on like that and win a game."
The Irish fired a season-high 49 shots on Murdock while the Lakers had 22 in the game, including just three in the third period. Summerhays finished the game with 19 saves and his 11th win of the season.
Notre Dame was 2-for-5 on the power play while Lake Superior was 1-for-5.
The Irish and the Lakers will close out the two-game series in a 7:05 p.m. game on Saturday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
** IRISH NOTES**
** Sam Herr and Mario Lucia now have team-high, six-game point streaks that started on Dec. 6 versus Massachusetts. Herr now has six goals and four assists for 10 points in his streak while Lucia has five goals and five assists for 10 points in his streak.
** Vince Hinostroza's three-point night was his third of the season and his three-assist game was his second of the year. The Irish freshman now has five goals and 14 assists for 19 points in 16 games this season.
** The line of Mario Lucia (1g, 1a), Vince Hinostroza (0g, 3a) and Austin Wuthrich (2g, 1a) had three goals and five assists for eight points in the game.