ND Hockey: The Irish Bounce Back And Contain The Badgers!

What a difference a day can make. Twenty hours after falling to the Badgers 2-1, the Irish bounced back and figured out how to contain the Badgers. The Fighting Irish were determined not to lose two in a row. Anyone that knows Coach Jackson, knows he can turn his team around in short order. Coach understands what it takes to motivate his team. Once again, the team answered the call.

First Period

After Friday nights win, the Badgers wanted to keep the momentum going. In the first 2:25 minutes of the game they had seven shots attempted compared to the Fighting Irish three. Matthew Freytag found a way to sneak one past St. Cyr on the left hand side of the net. His goal put the Badgers up 1-0 early in the game.

The goal by the Badgers fired up the Irish offense. In a span of five minutes the Irish fired four shots at the Badgers Goalie Daniel Lebedeff. The last shot fired at Lebedeff drew a penalty on the Badgers for “Holding” and put the Fighting Irish onto its first power play of the night at 8:52. Thirty six seconds later, Colin Theisen fired a shot from the left hand side of Lebedeff, just inside the face-off circle to light the lamp and put the Irish on the board with the equalizer.

The Badgers were a little unsettled in the first period. The Badgers would tally a total of 7.5 minutes in the “Sin Bin”. Though the Irish capitalized on the first power play, no goals would be scored on the remaining “man advantages.”

Second Period

To set the pace for the second period, the Irish were going to need to play smart hockey and look to create more scoring opportunities. Well, sometimes your opponent does it for you instead. Too Many Players On The Ice, is called against the Badgers, setting up the first power play of the second quarter. A little over a minute into the power play, Michael “Golden”Graham fires the puck past Lebedeff to put the Irish up 2-1.

After the Graham goal, the Badgers tried to climb back into the game with an equalizer. The Irish defense and St. Cyr would not let it happen. Despite having a player advantage after a 4 on 4, the Badgers just couldn’t find the back of the net. St. Cyr had two huge saves on the kill. The Irish did find a way to score again. After a strong penalty kill, Jake Pivonka got his second career goal at 12:04. The Irish lead 3-1.

Late in the period, why not score your second goal of the period. “Golden” Graham did just that. At 18:37 on the “one-timer”, he scored a team leading 11th goal of the season and he is just a freshman. The Irish now grow their lead 4-1.

Graham’s Second Goal Of The Night

Third Period

To shake things up to start the third period, the Badgers replace Lebedeff in goal with Jack Berry. Now, this just awesome because, the music pumped into the arena is playing Chuck Berry’s “Johnny Be Good” which is just a classic moment. The Notre Dame Band starts to chant “hi, hi Berry” what a moment in the game. With a three goal lead, it’s never safe to just play defense. The Irish made sure to play some offense as a well.

After offsetting “unsportsman like conduct” penalties by Graham Slaggert (ND) and Dominick Mersch (UW), The Irish got a power play opportunity at 13:48, and Cal Burke took full advantage of it. 1:18 into the power play, Burke scores from the left hand side of Berry for the game winner. Putting the Irish at a 5-1 advantage.

The Badgers were not going to ease off just because of the score. 43 seconds later Sean Dhooghe put one in on St. Cyr from the left side to set the final score at 5-2.

Post Game Conferences

Coach Jeff Jackson

Media question was asked about ” the shake up to the line up for Saturday nights game”.

Coach Jackson’s response: “Well, that’s something you need to do after a game like last nights. There were several guys that didn’t play like they should and moved some guys around and sometimes you need a wake up call.”

Shake Down The Thunder Sports asked Coach Jackson “back in the second period the team had 5-3 advantage, there seemed to be a little bit of extra puck handling going on. What are your thoughts on the play?”

Coach Jackson’s response: “It’s kinda tough, that unit was just put together this weekend and the O’Leary unit was already tired, They had already scored a power play goal that was good. Part of it was just being nervous about the moment and not moving the puck as quickly.”

Dylan St. Cyr

Dylan had a 32 save night for the Fighting Irish, one short of his season high. Dylan addressed the media afterwards on what it meant to get the call from Coach Jackson to start. Hear what he had to say.

Stars Of The Game

☘☘☘ Dylan St. Cyr 32 saves .941 PCT

☘☘ Cal Burke 1 Goal, 2 Assists, 3 Shots On Goal, 1 Blocked By Defense

☘ Michael “Golden” Graham 2 Goals, 4 Shots On Goal

Up Next

The Fighting Irish travel to Minnesota in a critical two game series. The Irish are two points behind Minnesota in the B1G Conference standings and trying to maintain a a ranking that will get them back to the NCAA Hockey Tournament. This trip will also conclude their road travel for the regular season. Fridays game will be televised on the Big Ten Network at 9 PM EST and could be listened to here. Saturday’s game will be televised on Fox Sports North at 5:30 PM EST and could be listened to here.

Cheers and Go Irish!☘🚨🥅⚡

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