Notre Dame hockey blanks Providence College, 3-0, behind 36 saves from Summerhays

Providence, R.I. Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays made 36 saves and the Irish got goals from David Gerths, Bryan Rust and Jeff Costello in a 3-0 win over Providence on a snowy, wintery night at Schneider Arena.

The shutout gives Summerhays six on the season, tops in the nation and ties him for first on Notre Dame’s all-time list with David Brown ‘07 and Jordan Pearce ‘09.

Jon Gillies made 24 saves for Providence as the Friars out shot the Irish 36-27 on the night. Summerhays, who had a career-high 47 saves on Friday night in the 2-2 tie, finished the weekend with 83 saves in the Notre Dame win and tie.

The win snapped a six-game (0-5-1) Irish winless streak on the road in Hockey East. The last Irish win in the conference away from home came on Nov. 2, at Vermont, a 3-2 win.

Notre Dame is now 17-12-2 overall and 6-9-2 in Hockey East, good for 14 points and a tie for seventh with Vermont with the Catamounts holding a game in hand. Providence is now 15-9-6 on the year and 7-7-2 in conference play. The Friars are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games.

The Irish scored once in each period and took a 1-0 lead at 5:59 of the opening stanza on Gerths’ first goal of the season.

With the Irish in a line change, Mike Voran forced a turnover in the right corner and came out with the puck. Gerths, who was coming late down the slot, took a pass from Voran and hammered a slap shot low to Gillies stick side to make it 1-0. The goal snapped a 35-game, goal less drought for the Ankeny, Iowa native. He last scored on March 2, 2013 against Bowling Green.

Notre Dame came into the game just 2-for-27 on the power play since Jan. 24 but scored with the man advantage to take a 2-0 lead as Rust cashed in from the left side of the goal at 13:12 for his 12th goal of the season.

With Mark Jankowski off for elbowing, the Irish went to work. Costello made a cross rink pass from the left circle to Sam Herr camped on the right side. The sophomore left wing slid a pass across the crease to a wide-open Rust who tucked the puck inside the left post to give Notre Dame the two-goal lead.

From there, Summerhays held the Friars off the scoreboard, making 15 saves in the third period alone. He came up with a big stop midway through the third period as he shut down the PC’s Nick Saracino on a breakaway attempt.

The Irish sealed the victory at 19:21 of the third when Costello scored his 10th goal of the season, scoring into an empty net for the 3-0 victory. Steven Fogarty and Peter Schneider picked up assists on the play.

Notre Dame was 1-for-5 on the power play and held the Friars scoreless in five power play chances.

Summerhays is now 15-11-2 on the season with a 2.04 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage to go with his six shutouts. The last Notre Dame goaltender to have six shutouts in a season was Jordan Pearce ‘09, who had eight during the 2008-09 campaign.

Travel problems again hit the Irish as they saw their return flight to South Bend cancelled due to heavy snow and wind in the New England region. The Providence area was expecting 9-12 inches of snow through the early parts of Sunday morning. The Irish will look to get out of Rhode Island around noon on Sunday.

This is the third time this year that Notre Dame has had flights cancelled due to weather this season. In early January, flights to Boston for Frozen Fenway from Chicago and back to South Bend from Boston were cancelled, leading to interesting travel problems for the team.

The Irish return to Hockey East action on Feb. 21-22 when they play host to Boston University in the final regular season home series. Game time each night at the Compton Family Ice Arena is 7:05 p.m.

#rv/#20 Notre Dame (17-12-2/6-9-2) 1 1 1 - 3
#9/#9 Providence (15-9-6/7-7-2) 0 0 0 - 0

1st Period: ND: David Gerths 1 (Mike Voran), 5:59.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; PC: 1 for 2 minutes.

2nd Period: ND: Bryan Rust 12 (Sam Herr, Jeff Costello), PPG, 13:12.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; PC: 2 for 4 minutes.

3rd Period: ND: Costello 10 (Steven Fogarty, Peter Schneider), ENG, 19:21.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; PC: 1 for 2 minutes.

Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 11 - 9 - 7 - 27
Providence 11 - 10 - 15 - 36

Goaltender Saves:
ND: Steven Summerhays (60:00) 11 - 10 - 15 - 36
PC: Jon Gillies (60:00) 10 - 8 - 6 - 24

Power Plays:
ND: 1 for 5
PC: 0 for 5

Attendance: 2,978 (sellout)

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