ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Mike Cammalleri was done thinking about the game with five minutes still left on the clock.
The seventh-ranked Michigan Wolverines, set to face No. 1 Michigan State on Saturday, had the luxury of looking ahead after obliterating Notre Dame 9-0 Tuesday night at Yost Ice Arena.
“This is an exceptional night for this team,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “[The offense] does give us that much more confidence.”
The nine-goal margin of victory was the largest since the 1995-96 season, when Michigan slapped the Fighting Irish, 11-1.
The Wolverines improved to 18-6-4 overall (12-4-4 CCHA). Notre Dame dropped to 5-18-5, 3-12-4.
Sophomore John Shouneyia led the Michigan charge right out of the gates on a breakaway 1:09 into the game, his 11th goal of the year.
Two minutes later, a shot by captain Geoff Koch deflected off Mike Cammalleri’s skate for Cammalleri’s 16th of the season.
Mark Kosick added a slapper to make it 3-0 at the end of the first.
“We got down early, they got a few breaks, and we didn’t really respond,” Notre Dame junior David Inman said.
When asked why, Inman said, “I don’t know. Our team, it’s been an enigma.”
What isn’t an enigma is the power of the Michigan offense. Kosick and Cammalleri went on to record hat tricks, and Michigan’s top line of Cammalleri, Koch and Andy Hilbert had 12 total points on the night.
For the evening, Michigan outshot Notre Dame 51-21.
“We did a lot of little things right,” Kosick said. “That helps you score goals.”
The night helped Kosick’s confidence the most. After Berenson benched him just two weekends ago with only 14 points in 24 games, he has five points in the past two games playing on the fourth line.
“I don’t think I should have been benched, but that was the coaches’ decision,” Kosick said. “It’s been a tough ride for me. At the start of the year I was getting the same shots — they just weren’t going in.”
Kosick played a big part in helping the Wolverines tally four goals in the second period and two more in the third.
Notre Dame coach Dave Poulin pulled goaltender Kyle Kolquist after the fourth goal in favor of Jeremiah Kimento. Kimento then gave up five goals.
Dealing with a three-goaltender rotation, Poulin said he will start Tony Zasowski this weekend against Yale.
“If I thought one guy could do the job it wouldn’t be a problem,” Poulin said. “I sat them down at the beginning of January and said, ‘If you win, you’ll play.’”
At the other end, Michigan goaltender Josh Blackburn earned his third shutout in five games by halting Notre Dame on all 21 shots.
“Tonight was a big step back for us,” Inman said. “We had made strides — the attitude is a lot better in recent weeks.”
Notre Dame played tough with one win and a tie against No. 9 Western Michigan two weekends ago, and didn’t perform poorly in a loss and a tie at Ohio State last week.
But Tuesday, the Notre Dame that had one win in 13 games reappeared.
“It’s the same team as [the past two weeks],” Poulin said. “Is tonight an aberration? I hope it’s an aberration.”