ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Notre Dame coach Dave Poulin had just graduated in 1982 when the Irish last beat Michigan in a regular-season game in Ann Arbor, following a win against them during his senior year also.
Following Saturday’s 4-3 victory over the Wolverines at Yost Ice Arena, Poulin can now enjoy one as a coach.
“I think I may have scored a goal in that game [in 1982],” said Poulin, in his eighth season with Notre Dame (5-4-2, 4-4-0 CCHA). “Yost is a tough place to play. It’s a very hostile environment.”
The Irish snapped a 15-game regular-season winless streak in Ann Arbor. They also ended Michigan’s nine-game unbeaten streak.
“This was a very satisfying win,” Poulin said. “We thought we played well enough to win (Friday), but in this league well enough doesn’t win games. You have to find a way to win.”
The final six minutes of Saturday’s game had Poulin wondering if this would be the year.
With the score tied 2-2, Notre Dame forward Cory McLean put the Irish ahead, sneaking a shot underneath Michigan (9-2-1, 6-1-1) goalie Al Montoya’s pads with 5:40 left.
The lead didn’t last long as Milan Gajic answered for the Wolverines with 3:55 left. Gajic took a nice feed from Dwight Helminen on a 2-on-1, blasting a one-timer past Irish goalie Morgan Cey.
“Our bench never got down,” Poulin said of Gajic’s game-tying score. “We didn’t have time.”
Just 15 seconds later, Notre Dame junior Rob Globke put home the game-winner off a Conner Dunlop rebound.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” said Globke, who tied the game at 1-1 in the second period with his first goal. He added an assist on Notre Dame’s second score as well. “I was hanging around the net just waiting for a rebound.
“(Montoya) is a great goalie. This weekend was the first time we had faced him and he’s tough.”
Globke leads the Irish in points with 9-5-14 this season.
Helminen put Michigan ahead 1-0 with 13:15 left in the first period on a shorthanded goal. He stole a pass from his own blue line, and broke away for an uncontested shot on Cey.
The Wolverines regained the lead at 2-1 on an Eric Nystrom power-play goal late in the second period. Gajic set Nystrom up by drawing Cey out of the net. He then found Nystrom wide open for an easy score.
Michigan has netted a power-play goal in five of its last six games, including four straight.
The Irish tied the score again with 14:34 left in the game. Tom Galvin faked Montoya low, then went high over his shoulder.
“I’m going to put this one behind me and come back Monday ready to practice,” said Montoya, who finished with 27 saves. “We need to play 10 times better to win next weekend.”
Michigan coach Red Berenson said Montoya didn’t play a bad game. “He’s been facing way too many shots lately,” he said. “We need to play better in front of him.”
The Wolverines once again shut down Notre Dame’s power play. The Irish went 0-for-6, following an 0-for-7 effort Friday.