Junior linemates Anders Lee and Jeff Costello each had a goal and two assists to lead Notre Dame to a 6-4 win over Michigan on Saturday night in front of a sell-out crowd of 5,022 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
Lee and Costello were joined in the goal-scoring column by Bryan Rust, Peter Schneider, Austin Wuthrich and David Gerths as the Irish swept a two-game series from the Wolverines for the second time this season and won all four games in one season against Michigan for just the second time ever, and the first time since the 1972-73 season.
Alex Guptill, Phil Di Giuseppe, Kevin Lynch and Mac Bennett scored for the Wolverines as they scored three times on six power-play chances in the contest.
The win gives Notre Dame a modest three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) and improves the Irish to 18-11-1overall and 14-7-1-1 in the CCHA. They now have 44 points in conference play and are three points behind first-place Miami and two behind second-place Western Michigan with each team having six games remaining on the regular-season schedule. The loss drops Michigan to 10-18-2 on the year and 7-15-2-2 in conference play.
“This was a big weekend for us. We need to get every point we can, especially at home,” said head coach Jeff Jackson.
“Our next four games are going to be extremely tough. We play two exceptional teams (Miami and Western Michigan) so we really needed to take care of business this weekend if we want to finish in the top four of the conference.”
Notre Dame scored the lone goal of the first period with Costello and Lee picking up points. Off a face off in the neutral zone in front of the Irish bench, Lee won the draw back to defenseman Sam Calabrese in the Notre Dame zone. Calabrese fired a pass off the left boards that Costello was able to grab at the Michigan blue line and with a Wolverine defender hanging on him drove on goaltender Jared Rutledgestuffing the puck between the freshman goaltenders’ pads for his seventh of the year to make it 1-0.
The Irish would build the lead to 2-0 with a Lee power-play goal at 6:26. Mario Lucia controlled the puck at the right point and fired the puck off the boards behind the net to the left of Rutledge. Costello played it off the boards with a little backhand pass to the right post where Lee, the junior captain, jammed the puck between Rutledge’s pad and the right post for his CCHA-leading 17th goal of the season.
Michigan was able to stay in the game on the strength of its power play and cut the lead to 2-1 at 8:50 of the second when Guptill snapped a wrist shot from the slot past Irish netminder Steven Summerhays for his eighth goal of the season.