U-M Cannot Battle Back in Defeat at No. 12 Notre Dame
Jon Merrill

Feb. 8, 2013

Boxscore | Highlights

Site: South Bend, Ind. (Compton Family Ice Arena)
Score: #12 Notre Dame 7, Michigan 4
Records: U-M (10-17-2, 7-14-2-2 CCHA), Notre Dame (17-11-1, 13-7-1-1 CCHA)
Attendance: 5,022
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 9 -- at Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind.), 7:05 p.m.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The University of Michigan ice hockey team overcame early two- and one-goal deficits, before No. 12 Notre Dame eventually pulled away for the 7-4 win Friday (Feb. 8) in front of a sellout crowd of 5,022 at Compton Family Ice Arena.

A turnover and a lost faceoff allowed the Irish to take a 1-0 lead just 1:16 into the game. Anders Lee, Notre Dame's leading scorer, tallied his first of two goals on the night, knocking the puck out of midair after a scramble in front of the Wolverine net. At 16:02, David Gerths found a deflected puck on his stick and put the Irish up by two.

Then U-M caught fire. Jon Merrill (Brighton, Mich.) scored his first goal of the season on a power play with a seeing-eye slap shot from the blue line at 18:32, and U-M tied the game early in the second period, when Kevin Lynch (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) beat the Irish defense to the puck and threw it front of the net, where Cristoval 'Boo' Nieves (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) buried it just 37 seconds into the second period. It was the eighth goal for Nieves this season.

However, Bryan Rust, brother of former Wolverine Matt Rust (2008-11), put Notre Dame back on top 3-2 with his eighth goal of the season, scoring on a wide-open net after a slick spin back pass from Jeff Costello at 6:29.

Ten minutes later, with Phil Di Giuseppe (Maple, Ontario) in the box for slashing, U-M countered with a quick two-on-one shorthanded break. Andrew Copp (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Andrew Sinelli (Dexter, Mich.) broke up ice. Copp's shot from the right circle was stopped, but the rebound came right back to his stick, and he pushed it in at 16:19 to the tie game again at 3-3. It is Copp's sixth goal of the season.

Just 50 seconds later, with Notre Dame still on the power play, Lee scored his second goal, this one on a tip to put Notre Dame up for good.

In the third, Eric Johnson scored the first goal of his career, ripping a shot from the high slot 7:05 into the period and just 1:21 later, Gerths stole the puck and went in on a breakaway to score his second goal of the night.

Michigan battled back with a shorthanded goal by Derek DeBlois (Narragansett, R.I.), but, with U-M's goalie pulled for the extra attacker, Rust added his second goal of the night into the open net with just 15 seconds left.

The teams meet again at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 9). Comcast (Ch. 900 in Ann Arbor) will televise the game.


Derek DeBlois scored his second shorthanded goal in as many games. DeBlois scored a shorthanded goal against MSU last week at Joe Louis Arena.

• It was the first time U-M scored two shorthanded goals in one game since Oct. 14, 2006, against Connecticut (Chad Kolarik and T.J. Hensick).

• The seven goals tie the mark for the most goals against U-M this season. The Spartans scored seven against U-M on Nov. 10 in East Lansing.

• The 18 shots on goal in the second period by Notre Dame are the most by any team against U-M in a single frame all season.


Michigan Head Coach Red Berenson
On the game overall ... "I didn't like the outcome of the game, but I like the way that we fought back even though we gave up an early goal at the start of the game. I liked our first period, and then the second period we didn't do much, but then we got back in it with a shorthanded goal. I thought their fourth goal hurt, it was a power-play goal I think with three seconds left on the power play and just a poor play by us. We were right back in the game, and then we give them the lead too easily. Then the third period, we were just too little, too late."

On the team's penalty kill ... "I thought our power play looked okay in the game. I thought our penalty kill looked okay. But, we give up power-play goals and then we fought back. On special teams, when you add it all up we were probably even for the night. Nevertheless, you cannot give a team life. Every time they get a goal they get a life, and we gave up too many goals against."

U-M Junior Defenseman Jon Merrill
On trying to overcome the deficit ... "We knew that it wasn't going to be easy. We knew that we were going to have to fight from behind. It was a good game up until the third period when we kind of let them have it. We need to come out stronger tomorrow."

On the defensive unit's effort ... "I thought we battled. I thought we had a few mental lapses, but that we battled really hard. That is something that I was pleased with."

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