The Notre Dame Fighting Irish took the home ice once again on Saturday, looking to avoid being swept by their rival and Big Ten foe, the Michigan Wolverines. The Irish easily won the battle of shots on goal in the opening game of the series, but that wasn’t enough as the Wolverines cruised to a 3-0 victory at Compton Family Ice Arena. The rematch was much of the same, as for the second straight night, Cale Morris let in three Michigan goals as the Wolverines continued their climb out of the basement of the Big Ten by leaving South Bend with two victories.
The game got off to a great start for the Irish, when South Bend native Graham Slaggert deflected a Jake Pivonka shot in net just 1:45 into the contest. Surprisingly, that would be all the scoring in a period in which both teams would later find themselves on the power-play twice.
On a power-play in the second while still up 1-0, Slaggert had a great chance to get his second of the game, but it couldn’t get past Michigan goaltender Strauss Mann, who would go on to stop 25 of 26 shots. Near the halfway point of the period, the Wolverines would take the lead by getting two goals in just over five minutes. Nick Blankenburg got the Wolverines scoring started on the man advantage, followed by a backhand goal from Jack Summers.
In contrast to the first two periods, the Irish were able to out-shoot the Wolverines in the final twenty minutes by a total of 10-7. Pivonka nearly tied the game at 2 midway through the final period, but his deflection went off the post. Michigan cemented the sweep when Jake Slaker sent it the length of the ice and into the empty net to make the game 3-1, which would be the final.
Notre Dame: Graham Slaggert at 01:45 in the 1st with assists from Jake Pivonka and Tory Dello
Michigan: Nick Blankenburg at 11:28 in the 2nd with assist from Cam York
Michigan: Jack Summers at 16:33 in the 2nd with assists from Will Lockwood and Nick Granowicz
Michigan: Jake Slaker at 19:40 in the 3rd with assists from Jacob Hayhurst and Nick Blankenburg
Notre Dame: Solag Bakich for high sticking at 06:23 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Graham Slaggert for slashing at 08:52 in the 1st
Michigan: Nick Blankenburg for interference at 17:24 in the 1st
Michigan: Johnny Beecher for tripping at 19:46 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Jesse Lansdell for boarding at 05:02 in the 2nd
Michigan: Team penalty for too many players on ice at 06:41 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Jesse Lansdell for interference at 09:43 in the 2nd
Michigan: Nolan Moyle for slashing at 03:07 in the 3rd
Michigan: Nick Blankenburg for unsportsmanlike conduct at 04:56 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Mike O’Leary for interference at 04:56 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Cale Morris, 32 saves
Michigan: Strauss Mann, 25 saves
The Irish will travel to Columbus, OH next weekend for a series with the Ohio State Buckeyes, whom they swept in November at home.