The no. 16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish welcomed the no. 8 Michigan Wolverines to Compton Family Ice Arena for their second series of the 2020-21 season. This past November, the Irish swept the heavily favored Wolverines, a team loaded with NHL Draft prospects. Both teams entered this week’s series with plenty of momentum. The Wolverines swept their rival Ohio State Buckeyes this past weekend, while the Irish swept the former no. 1 Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Midway through the opening frame, a questionable slashing call on Nick Blankenburg and a tripping call Michael Pastujov a few minutes apart put the Irish on the first two power-plays of the evening. Notre Dame came into the contest with the conference’s second worst power-play, and their woes continued as Michigan killed off both penalties with ease. After a period of play, the Irish out-shot the Wolverines 8 to 7 and the game remained scoreless.
Just over a minute into the second, the scoring got underway when potential top pick in the 2021 NHL Draft Owen Power fired a shot from the point that was redirected by Thomas Bordeleau to break the scoreless tie. A couple minutes later, Irish captain Nate Clurman was called for tripping and the nation’s third best power-play unit made it 2-0 when Phillippe LaPointe got a loose puck past Dylan St. Cyr. Trevor Janickie almost cut the lead in half on a breakaway midway through the period, but couldn’t get it past Erik Portillo.
Things quickly went from bad to worse. In the closing minutes, Philadelphia Flyers first round pick Cam York went the length of the ice to make it 3-0. The wrap-around goal didn’t come without controversy, as a lengthy review ensued, but the goal stood. Then, with 27 seconds left before intermission, Kent Johnson’s first of two goals made it 4-0 Wolverines.
In the opening minute of the third, the Irish power-play got another opportunity when Keaton Pehrson was called for hooking, but once again the Wolverines killed off the penalty. The Wolverines extended their lead to 5 when for the second time in the contest, an Owen Power shot was redirected past Dylan St. Cyr., this time by Kent Johnson. With just over five minutes to go in the contest, Matt Hellickson prevented the shutout with the lone Notre Dame goal. Colin Theisen and Michael Graham were credited with the assists.
Michigan: Thomas Bordeleau at 01:22 of the 2nd, assisted by Owen Power and Brendan Brisson
Michigan: Phillippe Lapointe (PPG) at 03:28 of the 2nd, assisted by Matty Beniers and Owen Power
Michigan: Cam York at 16:48 of the 2nd, assisted by Erik Portillo
Michigan: Kent Johnson at 19:33 of the 2nd, assisted by Matty Beniers and Luke Morgan
Michigan: Kent Johnson at 09:51 of the 3rd, assisted by Owen Power and Nick Blankenburg
Note Dame: Matt Hellickson at 14:52 of the 3rd, assisted by Colin Theisen and Michael Graham
Michigan: Nick Blankenburg, 2 for slashing at 08:02 in the 1st
Michigan: Michael Pastujov, 2 for tripping at 10:15 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Nate Clurman, 2 for tripping at 02:12 in the 2nd
Michigan: Keaton Pehrson, 2 for hooking at 00:22 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Michael Graham, 2 for slashing at 17:56 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Dylan St. Cyr (L) saved 28 of 33 shots
Michigan: Erik Portillo (W) saved 29 of 30 shots
Notre Dame takes on Michigan in the series finale on Friday at 6:30 PM ET. The game can be streamed on NBCSports.com or the NBCSports app.