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College Hockey:
Not Quite: Late Laker Goal Denies Irish Sweep

— In Friday’s series opener between Notre Dame and Lake Superior State, the game went into the third period tied at three. Saturday night, the game went into the third period tied at one.

Friday night, Irish freshman forward T.J. Tindra scored to ignite the Irish to a 5-3 win. Saturday, Irish senior defenseman Brett Lebda scored his first goal of the season — but the Irish only managed to skate away from the 65-minute contest with a 2-2 tie.

For those of you doing the math out there, Saturday’s game went into overtime, with freshman Laker goaltender Jeff Jakaitis being forced to make a total of 34 saves, while at the other end of the ice, Irish freshman David Brown made 39.

“Jeff did a good job. He gave up one goal tonight that he hasn’t given up yet, and that’s flat through his legs. Every time he’s in the net, something good happens,” Laker head coach Frank Anzalone said.

“It shouldn’t surprise you, looking at the numbers coming in. Their young freshman had played well, and David Brown’s producing right now for us,” Irish head coach Dave Poulin said.

The Lakers struck first, with the Irish a man down, when freshman forward Dominic Osman’s shot from the point went between Brown’s pad and the goal post.

The Irish, before surrendering the goal in the second, had not allowed a power-play goal since November 8 against Michigan State, and had killed 28 of the last 29 penalties before Osman hit the back of the net.

The Irish scored a little over ten minutes later on their own power play, when Brett Lebda passed to Wes O’Neill, whose shot trickled through Jakaitis’ legs, and the horn sounded with the teams knotted at one.

Like the night before, the Irish broke the tie when Lebda scored his first of the season after coming up with the puck in the crease off a mad scramble in front. He tapped it past Jakaitis to give the Irish the one-goal lead.

Unlike Friday, the Lakers came back. Freshman forward Trent Campbell found a wide-open Bo Cheesman between the circles to tie the game at two.

Despite a number of quality scoring chances for both sides in the extra session, the score remained 2-2, and both teams were unsatisfied with the results.

“I really think we can win a game here, but we just don’t. We play hard and everywhere we go we run into pretty good goaltending,” Anzalone said. “There were pucks bouncing around their net in the second period, but we almost lost this game too, on one surge by them.

“We worked so hard at the end to tie it; we worked hard all night. We dominated control of the puck. You have to give our kids credit for the fact that they stood with it and they didn’t get swept and they were able to get the point, in a situation that looked like it was going to be miserable.

“We played good last night too, but it wasn’t good enough, and tonight we played good enough and we just get a tie. The main thing is we got a point.”

“Anytime you give up a goal late in the game, it’s a down locker room after the game. I like the expectations of our team right now. There’s no satisfaction in the fact that we got three out of four points,” Poulin said.

“Tonight was a very tough game to play. They’re big, they’re physical, they’re disciplined and we knew that coming in, so we knew what we were in for, and we got everything we expected.”

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