SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Notre Dame Fighting Irish got goals from seven different players and freshman goaltender Morgan Cey turned in his first career shutout as the Irish blanked the Lake Superior State Lakers 7-0 at the Joyce Center on Saturday night.
Cey made 20 saves on the night and got all the offensive support he would need in the first period when Notre Dame scored four times while limiting the Lakers to just three shots on goal.
The seven-goal edge was the largest margin of victory for the Irish in CCHA play.
The win also improved the Irish to 3-6-4 overall and put them back at .500 in the league at 3-3-3. Lake Superior falls to 3-10-0 on the year and 2-9-0 in league play.
“There wasn’t one reason for the way we played tonight,” said head coach Dave Poulin. “I really thought we did all the little things well. We won the battles for loose pucks. We made short, quick passes to move the puck, we finished our checks and our special teams had a strong night. Plus, we got offense from a lot of different people which you always like to see.”
Connor Dunlop got the Irish on the board at 5:33 of the first period when he took a feed from David Inman and snapped it past Lakers’ goaltender Scott Murray for his fourth goal of the season.
Junior defenseman Paul Harris, playing in his first game of the season, collected his first goal of the season when he jumped into the play late, took a feed from Rob Globke and one-timed a low, hard shot under Murray at 9:02.
The line of Inman, Globke and Michael Chin struck again at 14:52. The trio recorded two goals and added five assists on the night in their first game together. This time Globke took a pass from Inman and drilled a shot past Murray for his first goal since Oct. 12 and third goal of the year.
Inman (a goal and two assists) made it 4-0 with a power-play goal with an assist to Tom Galvin at 18:25. Inman tracked down a loose puck in the Notre Dame zone and carried the puck to the right wing boards in the Lake Superior zone. He dropped a pass to Galvin at the right point who returned it to Inman and the senior blasted a shot past Murray for his team-best seventh goal of the season.
“That line had a strong night. They give us a big line with speed. I really liked the way they played in practice this week.” said Poulin.
The Irish added two goals in the second period as Yan Stastny scored the first of his career at 7:24 and then Evan Nielsen scored his second of the year at 10:54. Alex Lalonde closed the scoring when he picked up his own rebound behind the LSSU net, skated in front and tucked it past Murray just 59 seconds into the third period for the final goal of the night.
On the night, Notre Dame outshot Lake Superior State, 38-20. The 38 shots was a season-high by the Irish. Murray made 31 saves for the Lakers while Cey kicked out 20 on the night.
Twice in the game, the Irish were forced to kill five-on-three power plays, one of two full minutes. “We gave special recognition after the game to Morgan for his first shutout and to our special teams. They really responded when the game was still close early,” said Poulin.
For Cey, who has played in 11 of Notre Dame’s 13 games so far in his rookie season, the shutout was a team effort.
“I thought this was the best game we’ve played all season,” said Cey. “We played solid defense and we got a few bounces to bounce our way tonight. Our penalty killing was awesome. I’m really happy with the outcome of this game.”