SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The University of Michigan ice hockey team’s attempted comeback was thwarted for the second consecutive game and they fell to No. 2 Notre Dame, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 7). The Wolverines saw Josh Norris and Quinn Hughes return to action for the Maize and Blue following their time representing the United States at the World Junior Championships, with Norris scoring the lone goal and Hughes picking up an assist.
Notre Dame thought it opened the scoring 5:59 into the first period when Bo Brauer slid the puck into the goal after a scrum behind the cage. The goal was reviewed and the officials determined there was a hand pass committed by Notre Dame during the scrum, wiping out the Fighting Irish goal.
The first period ended scoreless, with only a penalty for each team going onto the scoresheet after 20 minutes. A great penalty kill by the Wolverines seemed to provide a spark to the Maize and Blue as freshman forward Dakota Raabe had the best scoring opportunity for Michigan, but was stopped by Notre Dame goaltender Cale Morris on the doorstep.
The Wolverines continued the pressure at the start of the second period, keeping the puck in the Notre Dame zone for most of the opening minutes of the second stanza. Freshman Michael Pastujov and senior captain Tony Calderone were stopped by Morris on excellent scoring opportunities in the first four minutes of the period.
Despite Michigan controlling the play early in the second period, it was Notre Dame that opened the scoring. Andrew Oglevie got the Fighting Irish on the board first at the 6:10 mark of the second period. Colin Theisen passed the puck up to to Dylan Malmquist, leading to a 2-on-0 for Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish doubled their lead on the power-play with 6:09 left in the second period. Cam Morrison’s shot rebounded out into the slot where Matt Hellickson was able to slap home the rebound into the back of the net for the Notre Dame goal. Also assisting on the goal for the Irish was Bobby Nardella.
The Wolverines were able to break into the scoring column 8:44 into the third period when freshman Josh Norris scored his fifth goal of the season in his first game back from winning a bronze medal with the United States and the World Junior Championships. Fellow freshman and World Junior teammate Quinn Hughes picked up a loose puck in the slot and fired it on net. Morris made the initial save but was unable to stop Norris from batting the puck out of the air for the goal.
Sophomore goaltender Hayden Lavigne had an outstanding afternoon in net, making 34 saves on the day.
The series with the Fighting Irish now sits at 75-56-5 all-time in U-M’s favor, but a less generous 23-26-2 when playing in hostile territory in South Bend.
Michigan will head to Minnesota next weekend to take on the Gophers for a pair of Big Ten contests. Puck drop in Minneapolis is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST both nights. Friday’s game will be televised on Fox Sports Detroit, while Saturday’s contest will be shown on FS Detroit Plus.