SOUTH BEND – One down, one to go.
A standing room only crowd of 2,859 at the Joyce Center was treated to an aggressive, hard-fought overtime battle to open the Central Collegiate Hockey Association second round playoffs Friday.
And in the end, overshadowed freshman Jeff Costello, who has contributed consistently all year, let loose a shot from near the left wing board that found the net for a 3-2 Irish win. "He hasn't gotten a lot of the recognition with the other two (freshman) guys buzzing around quite a bit," said Irish coach Jeff Jackson, referring to freshmen T.J. Tynan and Anders Lee, whose earlier goals allowed the Irish to be tied at 2-2 entering both the third period and overtime. "But he's played a real important role for us because he has a physical edge and he's not afraid to get his nose dirty. And that's one of the reasons he scores timely goals."
Jackson had no qualms about the shot that Costello was surprised went in and put the 22-10-5 Irish in position to win a trip the CCHA semifinals with a victory Saturday night at the Joyce Center.
The Lakers now go into Saturday night's 7:05 p.m. start at the Joyce Center facing elimination in the best-of-three series with a 12-16-9 mark.
"Every shot is a good shot in overtime," Jackson said. "You've got to get pucks to the net. That was one of my few messages in between periods. He got the puck to the net. Billy Maday was driving to the back post, so the goalie might have been cheating a little bit. Hey, listen, we'll take it."
No. 8 Notre Dame got on the board in the first period on a nifty short pass from Costello to fellow Tynan, who flicked it in just inside the crease, eight feet away from the goal at the 6:48 mark. The power play opportunity was the result of Lake Superior State having too many men on the ice.
After opening the period aggressively, penalties of their own put the Irish on the defensive the last 10 minutes and goalie Mike Johnson turned away 10 shots in the period keeping the Lakers off the board.
Notre Dame opened the second period aggressively, too, getting off seven shots, in the first 6:30 of the period, but failed to score. Instead, it was the Lakers who got on the board with the aid of a tough call on Notre Dame's Costello, who came up behind a Laker but did not appear to trip him. Nonetheless with Costello in the penalty box for tripping, the Lakers got a beautiful backhand goal by Chad Nehring in front of the Irish net after he did a reverse spin. Rick Schofield then put the Lakers ahead with a backhand goal at the 11:14 mark to put the Irish down 2-1.
Notre Dame however tied it when Lee back-handed one right in front of the net after a pass from Costello as the Lakers penalty was ending. And so it stood 2-2 entering the third period.
"It was an unbelievable play," Lee said. "Tynan made a great play to get it low and Costello saw me and no one else did."
Neither team could score in the third period despite the Irish getting off 14 shots. Johnson had one save where it appeared the puck all but got in before he caught up with it. The Irish finished the final three minutes with a flurry of shots, one by Tynan that earned a review. But there was no evidence in replays to suggest it was a goal.
Lake Sup.State 0 2 0 0 — 2
Notre Dame 1 1 0 1 — 3
Goals: ND – T.J. Tynan 20 (Jeff Costello, Sam Calabrese) PP 6:48. Penalties-minutes: ND 2-4, LSS 1-2.
Goals: LSS – Chad Nehring 7 (Fred Cassiani, Kyle Haines) PP 9:28; LSS – Rick Schofield 17 (Will Acton).11:14. ND – Anders Lee 22 (Costello, Tynan) 17:42. Penalties-minutes: ND 3-6, LSS 3-6.
Goals: No goals. Penalties-minutes: LSS 1-2, ND 1-2.
ND – Costello 10 (Joe Lavin ) 4:52. Penalites-minutes: LSS 0, ND 0.
Shots: LSS 10-7-7-2 --26 , ND 8-11-14-4 -- 37.
Saves (goaltender): ND 10-5-7-2 --24 (Mike Johnson), LSS 7-10-14-3 — 34 (Kevin Kapalka).
Power plays: ND 1-5, LSS 1-5.
Penalties-minutes: LSS 6-12, ND 6-12.
Referee: Matt Shegos, Brian Hill. Linesmen: Marc DesRoslers, Tony Molina.
A – 2,859.
Notre Dame Hockey: Costello boosts Irish
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