NCAA hockey: No. 4 Minnesota Duluth clamps down to beat No. 5 Notre Dame
Sophomore center Adam Johnson scored twice, including the go-ahead goal six minutes into the second period, to help propel Minnesota Duluth past Notre Dame 4-3 Friday night at AMSOIL Arena.
Senior left winger Kyle Osterberg and rookie right winger Joey Anderson each added a pair of assists for the Bulldogs, who remained unbeaten in 2016-17 (3-0-2) and jacked their home winning streak to seven games going back to last March. Notre Dame fell to 2-1-0 overall.
Both the No. 4 Bulldogs and No. 5 Irish came out swinging in the first 20 minutes of play, combining for six goals, and going 3-for-3 on the power play. The Irish struck eight seconds into their first man advantage opportunity of the night to take an early 1-0 lead before goals by Willie Raskob (on a power-play shot from the right point) and Johnson (a nifty deke move which beat Notre Dame goalie Cal Peterson) put UMD up 2-1. Cam Morrison's power play tally with 4:25 to go before intermission drew the Irish even, but UMD answered and regained the lead on a hard wrister from Alex Iafallo between the face off circles. That lead, however, was short-lived, as Ander Bjork potted the equalizer for Notre Dame just 17 seconds later.
"I haven't seen a period like that in a while where everyone was trading goals," said UMD head coach Scott Sandelin. "We needed to settle down into a better, tighter game after that."
Johnson's game winner, which capped off the first two-goal night of his collegiate career, came after senior defenseman Dan Molenaar's shot trickled through the pads of Petersen and was punched in by the Hibbing, Minn. native. Johnson and sophomore Neal Pionk, the reigning National Collegiate Hockey Conference Defenseman of the Week who had one assist, are the lone two Bulldogs to collect at least one point in all five games to date.
Freshman Nick Deery, the latest NCHC Goaltender of the Week, made 20 saves in his home debut while Peterson had 28 stops, including 12 in the second period when the Irish were outshot 12-4.
The two teams will meet again Saturday night at AMSOIL Arena.