Michigan, Notre Dame split weekend series at Yost
U-M freshman goalie Strauss Mann goes low to stop a shot by Notre Dame’s Joe Wegworth. Mann stopped 26 shots in the Wolverines’ 2-1 win Friday.
The two teams that played on even terms for almost an entire NCAA semifinal game last season split a two-game series this weekend.
No. 14 (USCHO.com) Michigan and No, 6 Notre Dame faced off at Ann Arbor’s Yost Arena on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Wolverines (5-4-0 and 1-1-0-0 in the Big Ten) won Friday night’s matchup 2-1. It was the first game between the two teams since Notre Dame’s 4-3 win – on a goal with 5.2 seconds left – in the Frozen Four last April.
“We were really looking forward to this game,” Michigan defenseman Quinn Hughes said after Friday night’s game. “They're one of the best in the country, so it was fun to play them. And it was good to see where our game is, and it's encouraging to win tonight.”
Friday’s game was also the Wolverines’ Big Ten opener.
But Notre Dame (5-4-1, 2-2-0-0) turned the tables Saturday night with a 6-2 win as Alex Steeves had two goals and an assist and Cal Burke had a goal and two assists. Jack Jenkins added a goal and an assist and Joe Wegwerth and Bobby Nardella also scored.
Jake Pivonka and Matt Hellickson had two assists and former HoneyBaked star Dylan St. Cyr (Northville) made 29 saves.
Michigan’s scorers were Will Lockwood (Bloomfield Hills) and Nick Blankenberg (Washington).
Jake Slaker and Nick Pastujov scored power-play goals for the Wolverines on Friday night as Strauss Mann made 26 saves.
“I liked our game. We played well defensively, we played with the lead,” U-M coach Mel Pearson said after Friday night’s game. “Added a couple power-play goals and did a good job on the penalty kill – especially with the game on the line in the third period.”
Cale Morris made 36 saves for the Irish, and Matt Hellickson got their only goal.
“I thought we played a solid road game,” Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said. “But we certainly didn't take advantage on the power play, and that was pretty much the difference in the game.”
The two teams will meet next on Jan. 5 in an outdoor game at South Bend’s Notre Dame Stadium at 3:30 p.m. The game will be televised on the NBC Sports Network.