Irish blank Michigan, 3-0, for weekend sweep

Ann Arbor, Mich. - For the second consecutive night, the Fighting Irish hockey team used a strong third period to defeat Michigan as Spencer Stastney, Cam Morrison and Tory Dello scored and Cale Morris stopped all 19 shots he faced give Notre Dame a 3-0 victory and a weekend sweep at Yost Ice Arena (5,800).

Highlights

Stastney’s goal proved to be his first career game winner.

With the win, Notre Dame (14-12-6, 9-8-5-3 B1G) jumped Michigan (15-14-3, 10-10-2-1) in the Big Ten standings and will await the remainder of Saturday’s results to see where they stand heading into next weekend’s final regular -season series at home against Michigan State.

Morris’ 19-save shutout was his 10th career shutout and his second on the season. He also recorded the 57th win of his career to move into a tie for second with Steven Summerhays ’14 on Notre Dame’s career wins list.

Strauss Mann totaled 25 saves in the Michigan goal. Notre Dame finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while Michigan was 0-for-2.

How It Happened

The Irish got the game’s first power play when Jesse Lansdell was slashed 30 seconds into the contest but were unable to capitalize. Then four minutes into the opening frame Cal Burke sent Jake Pivonka in on a breakaway but the sophomore’s shot flashed wide of Mann.

The game remained scoreless after the first with Mann totaling seven saves and Morris making four stops, the best of which came with four minutes left when he robbed Nick Pastujov with a left pad save on an attempt from just outside the goal crease.

Morris made another great stop early in the second when he denied a Hayhurst breakaway attempt by thwarting the first shot with his pad and smothering the follow up with his glove.

The second period ultimately proved to be scoreless as well with Morris stopping all nine shots he faced and Mann turning aside 10 shots. Notre Dame’s best look game with three minutes left when Colin Theisen, setup by Nick Leivermann, fired a snapshot from the slot that hit Mann’s mask.

Early in the third, Stastney had a great chance but his shot on a three-on-two rush went wide.

Cal Burke negated a great scoring chance for Michigan’s Luke Morgan midway through the third before Hellickson had a good look that Mann fought off. Just moments later, Morris was forced into another quick pad save as the pace of the game picked up.

Stastney finally opened the scoring at 11:38 of the third when his wrist shot from the left faceoff dot beat Mann high. Play initially continued, but replay review confirmed Stastney’s first career game winner. Pierce Crawford and Jesse Lansdell earned assists on the play.

Morrison doubled the Irish lead just 1:36 after Stastney’s marker when he buried a shot high past Mann’s blocker. Morrison’s linemates Michael Graham and Alex Steeves eached picked up assists on Morrison’s second goal in as many nights.

Dello sealed the weekend sweep for the Irish when he scored an empty-net goal from the bottom of his own defensive-zone circle with 1:27 to play. Matt Hellickson earned the lone assist on the tally.

Up Next

Notre Dame returns home to close out the regular season with a weekend series against Michigan State (Feb. 28-29).

Game one is slated for a 7 p.m. ET puck drop (NBCSN), while Saturday’s Senior Night game will begin at 6 p.m. ET (NBCSports Philadelphia+).

Pittsburgh Penguins’ organist Tim DeBacco will serve as the guest organist for the weekend and Chicago Blackhawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison is set to sing the anthem on Senior Night, click here for tickets.

Notes

Cale Morris stopped all 19 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season and the 10th of his career.

With tonight’s victory, Morris moved into a tie for second with Steven Summerhays ’14 on Notre Dame’s all-time wins list (57).

With a goal, Cam Morrison notched his sixth point in the last seven games and his fourth goal in the last five games.

The Irish are now 3-0-1 in their last four road games.

With an assist, Matt Hellickson notched his 10th-career point against Michigan (4-6-10 in 13 games played).

Notre Dame’s penalty kill improved to 17-for-18 over the past six games (series against Penn State, Minnesota and Michigan).

Spencer Stastney scored his first career game-winning goal.