Notre Dame, Ind. - Senior center T.J. Tynan came through in the clutch on Friday night and the result was a 3-2 win for Notre Dame over Michigan Tech in front of a sellout crowd of 5,022 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
Tynan snapped a wrist shot from between the hash marks at 12:59 of the third period to snap a 2-2 to give the Irish their third consecutive win in the young season. Steven Fogarty and Robbie Russo staked the Irish to a 2-0 lead with first-period goals. Notre Dame has now won nine straight games at the Compton Family Ice Arena dating back to January 26, 2013.
The Huskies used a strong effort from their special teams as C.J. Eick scored short-handed and Ryan Furne notched a five-on-three power-play goal in the middle stanza to even the score at 2-2.
On the night, Notre Dame out shot Michigan Tech by a 43-24 advantage. Sophomore Pheonix Copley turned in a strong game between the pipes for the Huskies, stopping 40 shots in the game. Irish senior Steven Summerhays won his third straight game, stopping 22-of-24 in the contest.
The win improves fourth-ranked Notre Dame to 3-0-0 on the year while Michigan Tech falls to 0-2-1. The two teams will meet again in a 2:05 matinee on Sunday, October 20. The break in the series is due to Notre Dame hosting Southern California in football at 7:30 on Saturday evening.
"Sometimes the two-goal lead is the worst lead in hockey," said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
"One team gets a little comfortable and the other team is a little hungrier. I was worried this week because its one of the tough weeks being mid-term exam week. We shortened the practices because guys have heavy exam loads. I don't know that we were all that sharp the whole game until we got on a roll at the very end."
Notre Dame got off to a fast start in the first period, scoring twice, getting one goal that came just as a power play expired and one on the power play. Fogarty scored the first goal of the game, his first of the season just two seconds after a penalty to the Huskies' Reid Sturos ended.
Austin Wuthrich carried the puck into the Michigan Tech zone along the right boards. He dropped the puck to Vince Hinostroza coming through the middle. The freshman center set Fogarty up at the bottom of the left circle where he tucked a nice wrist shot inside the right post for the 1-0 lead.
The Irish made it 2-0 at 17:16 when Russo scored his second of the season, this one on the power play as he fired a low, hard wrister through a screen to beat Copley. Tynan and Bryan Rust set up the goal by moving the puck out of the left wing corner to the left wall where Rust found Russo all alone.
The second period belonged to Michigan Tech's special teams as they scored once on and Irish power play and then converted with two Notre Dame players in the penalty box.
With defenseman Walker Hyland off for hooking, Notre Dame was controlling play when Eick blocked an Irish shot at the left point and was off to the races. He beat everyone down the ice and snapped a wrist shot from between the circles that beat Summerhays over his glove and under the cross bar at 2:21 to cut the lead to 2-1.
The goal was the first given up by Summerhays this season and snapped his career-best scoreless streak at 147:27.
Midway through the period, Wuthrich and Kevin Lind were whistled off for interference and contact-to-the-head hi-sticking penalties just five seconds apart to give the Huskies a five-on-three for 1:55 and they capitalized.
Furne did the honors as he notched his first goal of the season, taking a pass from defenseman Riley Sweeney at the bottom of the left circle and one-timed it past Summerhays before the Notre Dame netminder could get from the left post to the right post to even the score at 2-2.
The power-play goal was the first given up by the Irish this season and snapped a streak of 15 consecutive penalties killed over the first two-plus games.
"We got a little frustrated in the second period," said Jackson.
"That's when you hope that with an older team that you can get a hold of the reins after the wheels came off a bit. We got the tire out of the trunk and put it back on the rim."
The Irish came to life in the third as they outshot Michigan Tech by a 15-5 margin, but could not dent Copley until Tynan found a bit of an opening and beat the 6-3 goaltender from the left circle with just over seven minutes left in the game.
"It was kind of a broken play and Mario (Lucia) made a great pass to me," said Tynan as he described his game winner.
"I had a little more time than I thought, so I hesitated for a second and just wanted to get the shot off. I didn't really see it go in, but I heard the crowd and figured it went in. It was good to get that goal then."
Jackson was glad that his team was able to find its game in the third period.
"I think that we just settled in when the game was on the line. We have to be a good third-period team if we are going anywhere," said Jackson.
"You are going to have games like this. The biggest thing that is going to be different for us this year showed up tonight - playing teams that we have never played before. You can watch all the film you want but until you actually go through the game, you have to figure it out and we did eventually in the third period."
** IRISH NOTES **
** Notre Dame's win over Michigan Tech was the first for the Irish over the Huskies since Nov. 25, 1993 when Notre Dame took a 5-4 win in the opening game of the Great Alaska Face-Off Tournament in Fairbanks, Alaska. The last time that the Irish beat the Huskies at home came on Jan. 20, 1979, a 5-4 win. This was Michigan Tech's first appearance at Notre Dame since Nov. 20, 1982.