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Saturday, May 25, 2024
The Observer

Irish score six in game two, salvage series split with Wisconsin

After splitting a home series with Alaska last weekend, the Notre Dame Men’s hockey team went on the road, resuming conference play against the University of Wisconsin Badgers. The Irish tread water, splitting with the cellar-dwelling Badgers. They dropped game one, 2-0, and they won game two, 6-4.

Game one

Game one was a relatively uneventful affair for the Irish. Despite a Wisconsin penalty for interference in the first period, the Irish could not get anything going on offense. Wisconsin outshot Notre Dame 16-7, with Irish senior netminder Ryan Bischel turning away all 16 shots.

In the second period, sophomore forward Justin Janicke started the period by taking a tripping penalty, which the Irish penalty kill outlived. The game was even for the next ten minutes until sophomore defender Drew Bavaro went to the penalty box for a cross-check.

As the penalty clock wound down, it looked like the Irish would kill off their second penalty, continuing a string of good special teams play. However, with 13 seconds left in Bavaro’s penalty, Wisconsin forward Carson Bantle slipped two Irish defenders and got in the slot, screening Bishel. Meanwhile, Cruz Lucius caught a pass on the right side, just above the faceoff circle.

Lucius sent the puck up to Tyson Jugnauth, who was waiting just below the blue line. Jugnauth shot the puck, which was subsequently tipped by Bantle, who scored the first goal of the series at 14:06 in the second.

Wisconsin earned their second goal of the series with 1:09 left in the second period. Wisconsin’s Corson Ceulemans scored unassisted, sneaking a shot by Bischel.

After two, Wisconsin held a 2-0 lead, which would be the final score for the game. Notre Dame notched 12 shots in the third period.

Game two

While game one was uneventful for the Irish, game two was action-packed.

The Irish made up for Friday’s lack of scoring quickly, scoring four goals in the first period. Bavaro scored the opener, a little over five minutes into the contest. Graduate student Jack Adams and sophomore Hunter Strand, both forwards, assisted. The goal was followed up by one from Janicke, just over three minutes later.

Bavaro continued his excellent performance with a second goal at 14:31. Graduate student defenseman Ben Brinkman and Adams assisted him. Senior forward Jesse Lansdell scored on a Notre Dame powerplay to close out the first period.

The first period went so poorly for the Badgers that they pulled starting goaltender Jared Moe in favor of backup Kyle McClellan, who played the remainder of the contest.

After a much quieter second period that saw Adams score in the final minute, Trevor Janicke took an interference call in the first minute of the period.

Wisconsin took advantage of their second man-up opportunity of the game when Mathieu De St. Phalle beat Bischel to make it a 5-1 game. At 8:55, St. Phalle scored a second powerplay goal, bringing the Badgers within three.

After the Irish were whistled for a major penalty and game misconduct, the Badgers continued their power play success. Bantle scored at 15:37, making it a 5-3 game with just under five minutes remaining.

With the Irish still down a man, (a major penalty continues even if a goal is scored), Trevor Janicke put the game out of Wisconsin’s reach. He made it a 6-3 lead with 2:52 left in the game.

Although they trailed by three, the Badgers pulled McClellan for an extra attacker with just under two and a half minutes left in the third period.

The strategy worked once, as Bantle scored the fourth Badger power play goal, bringing the game to its final score of 6-4, Notre Dame.

Standings recap

After splitting with the Badgers, the Irish now sit in fifth in the Big Ten standings with a 4-6-1-1 conference record for a total of 15 points.

Wisconsin currently sits in seventh with six points and a 2-10-0-0 conference record (9-13-0 overall).

If the season ended today, the Irish would travel on the road to take on Michigan State (fourth in the conference) in a best-of-three series. The Badgers would take on Penn State, who currently sits second in the conference.

Up next

Notre Dame hosts No. 3 Minnesota on Friday, Jan. 13 at 7:35 p.m. and again on Saturday at 6:05 as they look to catch up to the No. 14 Spartans, who lead the Irish by five points in the standings. The last time the Irish faced the Golden Gophers in November, Minnesota swept Notre Dame. Notre Dame scored once in two games but allowed seven goals.