By STEVE LOWE
South Bend Tribune
7:30 PM EDT, October 24, 2012
Fans who filled up the Compton Family Ice Arena last week saw two Notre Dame hockey teams: one they already know too well, and one they would like to get to know better.
In Thursday's 3-1 loss to Minnesota Duluth, the Irish took bad penalties early in the game, tried to go one-on-one too often in head coach Jeff Jackson's estimation, and resembled the squad that struggled down the stretch last year to a 19-18-3 record.
In Friday's 4-1 victory over the Bulldogs, a sold out crowd saw a fast, hard-hitting group that played much more disciplined than the night before, scored two early goals, and outshot UMD 21-8 in the first period.
"And I think they were kind of generous with those eight shots they gave me," said ND goaltender Steven Summerhays. "If we can keep doing that, we should be pretty successful this year."
Here are a few notable quotes from Jeff Jackson after the Minnesota Duluth series:
-- On scratching his plan to play goaltender Mike Johnson once in the first four games, and instead sticking with his starter, Summerhays: "I wanted to play Mike in the first four games, but the thing is, last year, Mike's had that chance to come back after a loss, Steven has not. If he is going to be our guy, I have to show the confidence in him to come back with him."
-- On what he saw from Summerhays, who is currently 14th in the country with a .943 save percentage, against UMD: "I saw pretty good goaltending. He's had two weeks in a row now that he's played pretty well. (Thursday) night there wasn't a whole lot that he could do at times. It wasn't his fault that we had the breakdowns we did. It was important for him to come back (Friday). I compare it to a relief pitcher. If he has a bad outing, come back with him, unless it's (Detroit's Jose) Valverde."
-- On the transition from wing to center by 6-foot-3, 220 pound captain Anders Lee: "It's different for a big man playing center. There's only a few of them playing in the National Hockey League, and you've got to be a different type of player. You've got to be a power player up the middle, and he played like that (Friday night). There's not just power wingers, there's power centers, too. He played more that way (Friday night), and I think if he can continue to do that, he's going to have a lot of success."
-- On defenseman Robbie Russo's power play goal in Friday's win, and what adjustment was made on the man advantage from Thursday: "We switched (Russo) to the other side. (Shayne) Taker has been playing well and we put him out at the point and it made the power play look much better. We put Robbie on his off side where he can shoot the puck."
-- On getting goals from the third and fourth lines Friday night: "When I start seeing guys like (Mike) Voran and (David) Gerths scoring goals, that's a good sign for our team. Last year that hurt us. Those guys are really important players to our team, they play valuable minutes, and when they contribute -- that's not going to be their forte, but when they contribute like that, it makes us a much better team."
-- On the contribution by speedy freshman forward Thomas DiPauli: "We had a choice whether we brought Thomas in this year or not. A big key for me was that he could kill penalties. He's playing left wing but we expected him to play center. He's killing penalties and I had no concerns about that, and he's certainly proven that he has value beyond just penalty killing. He skates well, which makes us faster."
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Going back to the first weekend of college hockey, defending national champion and No. 1 Boston College lost right out of the gate on Oct. 13, 3-1 to Northeastern. That loss allowed ...
Minnesota to move up to the No. 1 spot in the national polls. When the Irish play at Minnesota on Jan. 8, it will be a family affair -- the Golden Gophers are coached by former Notre Dame player Don Lucia, whose son, Mario Lucia, is a freshman forward with the Irish this season and is expected to be back from a leg injury by then. In the meantime, the Gophers promptly coughed up their top ranking by losing to Michigan Tech, 5-3 last Friday, which was also the same night that ...
No. 9 Notre Dame toppled No. 13 Minnesota Duluth, 4-1. As first reported in last Friday's Duluth News Tribune, the Bulldogs will return to South Bend in 2014 when Notre Dame hosts the Ice Breaker tournament. An official announcement by the tourney coordinator, College Hockey Inc., is pending, as all four teams that will participate in 2014 have yet to be confirmed, but the Ice Breaker is ...
The very same tournament the Irish won to open this season. They took the title with a 3-2 win over Nebraska-Omaha, which just got done playing ND's next opponent ...
Northern Michigan. The 16th-ranked Wildcats split with UNO, losing 5-3 on Friday, then winning 2-1 on Saturday. Northern is one of two Central Collegiate Hockey Association foes that play on an Olympic-sized ice sheet, but unlike in years past, the Irish can prepare for that larger rink by practicing on their very own, which is located just adjacent to Lefty Smith Rink, the main playing surface in the Compton Family Ice Arena, where ND will host ...
Defending CCHA champion Western Michigan in two weeks. Like the Irish, the 10th-ranked Broncos are off to a 3-1-0 start, but they'll be taking this week off before their trip to South Bend on Nov. 2, which marks the start of a very difficult month for the Irish ...
During which they will travel to Ann Arbor for a pair of games with No. 6 Michigan, followed by two at home with No. 4 North Dakota. And sandwiched between those contests and the Western Michigan series? A trip out east on Nov. 9 to face aforementioned Boston College, which regained the USCHO.com No. 1 ranking on Monday.
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