SUMMERHAYS MAKES 36 SAVES AS NOTRE DAME SHUTS OUT NORTHEASTERN, 3-0
Senior goaltender Steven Summerhays posts fifth shutout of season with 36 saves for Fighting Irish
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Senior goaltender Steven Summerhays stopped all 36 shots he faced and Notre Dame got goals from Vince Hinostroza, Mario Lucia and Peter Schneider in a 3-0 whitewashing of Northeastern at the Compton Family Ice Arena in front of 4,585 fans.
The shutout win avenged Friday night's, 4-0, shutout by the Huskies that saw goaltender Clay Witt make 30 saves. It also snapped Northeastern's four-game winning streak at the Compton Family Ice Arena, as they own four of the 17 opponent victories at the building since it opened in 2011.
For Summerhays, who now leads the nation in shutouts with five, it was as different as night and day. On Friday night, he gave up four goals on just seven shots in taking the loss. He turned the tables on Saturday in picking up his 13th win of the season.
"Tonight was definitely the complete opposite of last night. It was nice to get that kind of turnaround," said Summerhays.
"I was able to get into the game a little more. The past couple games since Christmas we were doubling and tripling teams in shots. Tonight I got some shots early and was able to feel the puck a little bit. That definitely helped my confidence and I just kept building on it."
The victory improves Notre Dame to 15-9-1 overall and 4-6-1 in Hockey East, good for nine points to move the Irish back into eighth place in the playoff race. The win also snapped a three-game Hockey East losing streak for Notre Dame. Northeastern, ranked 11th to start the week, is now 15-8-1 and 8-5-1 in conference play. The Huskies are second in Hockey East.
"I thought we played a much more controlled game tonight," said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
"We didn't over extend ourselves like we did last night. Tonight our shots had more value to them. We didn't have as many shots, but it's more about the scoring chances. We did a better job tonight getting to the net."
For the Irish, the trio of Lucia, Hinostroza and Schneider carried the offense as each finished the night with a goal and an assist.
Hinostroza opened the scoring at the 6:00 mark of the first period, scoring his sixth goal of the season. Lucia set the freshman center up with a great cross rink pass from the left boards inside the Northeastern blue line as Hinostroza moved down the right side. He fired a wrist shot past Witt from the right face-off dot to give the Irish the 1-0 lead.
The lead would go to 2-0 at 10:17 as Notre Dame capitalized on a power-play chance just 15 seconds into the man advantage as Lucia scored his team-high seventh power-play goal and his team-best and career-best 13th goal of the season.
Hinostroza took a shot from near the goal line on the left side of the goal that Witt stopped. Austin Wuthrich grabbed the rebound and slid a backhand pass across the crease to Lucia who moved in from the right circle to fire the puck past Witt as he scrambled to follow the pass.
Northeastern out shot the Irish in the first period by a 14-10 margin. On Friday night, the Huskies had 14 shots in the entire game.
Schneider put the game away with a short-handed goal, Notre Dame's sixth of the season at 4:45 for the 3-0 lead.
With Northeastern in control in the Notre Dame zone, defenseman Kevin Lind moved a loose puck ahead to Jeff Costello. The senior captain fed it ahead to Schneider in the neutral zone who raced in on Witt, faking to his right before pulling the puck to his back hand and sticking it over Witt's stick hand and under the cross bar for his fifth of the season.
From there it was all Summerhays as he made 22 of his 36 saves over the final 40 minutes to seal the important win for Notre Dame.
"I talked to him after the game last night. The way he played tonight is the way we know he can play," said Jackson.
"That's why I knew after the game last night that I was going to come back with him tonight. I have confidence in him and it was just a matter of him getting his confidence back. I challenged him because I know that he is a much better goaltender than he showed last night."
The Irish were outshot by Northeastern in the game by a 36-33 margin. Witt finished the game with 30 saves.
With his fifth shutout this season, Summerhays now has 11 in his Notre Dame career and remains third on the all-time list behind David Brown `07 and Jordan Pearce `09 who had 12 in their careers.
Also moving up in the record book at Notre Dame was head coach Jeff Jackson who recorded the 200th win of his career at Notre Dame. The veteran coach is now 200-119-34 in his ninth season behind the Irish bench. Overall, he is 382-171-59 in 15 seasons between Notre Dame and Lake Superior State.
The win also closed out Notre Dame's six-game home stand that saw the Irish go 5-1-0.
They now take to the road for a two-game series at Durham, N.H., on Jan. 31-Feb. 1 when they face the New Hampshire Wildcats for the first time in Hockey East play. Friday's game has a 7:00 p.m. start time while Saturday's game starts at 4:00 p.m.