SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — In a game that was at best unspectacular, Lake Superior (6-11-2 overall, 5-6-2 CCHA) and Notre Dame (5-10-5 overall, 3-8-4 CCHA) skated to a 1-1 tie in CCHA play.
The Lakers jumped on the board first when forward Steve McJannet intercepted a pass inside the Irish zone, dished it to the net where two Lakers were waiting, and Bo Cheesman put the puck into the net to put the Lakers up 1-0 7:24 into the first stanza.
After a scoreless second period, Notre Dame tied the game up early in the third off a faceoff in the Lakers’ end of the rink. Matt Amado won the faceoff and sent it back to defenseman Noah Babin, who lit the lamp with a low wrister that slid under Jeff Jakaitis’ right pad to tie the game up for good.
The real story of the game, though, was the play of Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey. Though he made fewer saves than Lake Superior’s Jakaitis, Cey was forced to make remarkable saves when the Lakers were able to dust off their offense. Toward the end of the second period, the Lakers fired off pinpoint wrist shots from different angles, forcing Cey to single-handedly keep his team in the game.
In the overtime, however, Cey really shined. The Lakers put relentless pressure on the Irish, throwing only three shots on net and seeing the defense block or deflect six.
Controversy struck the Lakers in the middle of the second when Laker Mark Adamek, returning from an eight-game suspension, delivered a nasty hit on an Irish player into the boards, prompting the referee to call a five-minute boarding penalty. While the Lakers disagreed with the call, they countered with an aggressive penalty kill that had more quality opportunities than the Irish.
The two teams meet finish their season series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. at the Taffy Abel Arena, with both teams trying for two points in their quest to get home-ice advantage in the CCHA playoffs.
• Along with Adamek, defenseman Barnabas Birkeland was reinstated after an eight-game suspension for violating team rules. Birkeland did not play due to a broken arm.
• Laker goaltender Matt Violin returned to the lineup after missing time with a broken ankle, but did not play.
• This was the sixth overtime game this season for the Irish, and they have yet to lose, posting a 1-0-5 record in games with the extra time.
• This was the 10th game out of 20 that the Irish have failed to score more than one goal. They are 0-8-2 in those games and 5-2-3 in games where they score more than one goal.
• Irish head coach Dave Poulin is still searching for his 100th CCHA victory. Since joining Notre Dame in 1995, Poulin has posted a 99-133-39 record.