College Hockey:
Notre Dame Earns Split with Alabama-Huntsville

Special Teams Propel Irish

— “There’s times to be calm,” said Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson, summing up his team’s performance on a second straight night where his team led 2-1 after two periods.

Unlike the previous night, the homestanding Irish went on to win 3-1 in front of the twelfth straight sellout crowd at the Joyce Center.

“There’s a time and a place for me to get on guys, but we’ve built a culture here where our players’ words have more meaning than mine.”

The game was overall a physical one, and Jackson addressed the officiating for a second straight night, saying, “It seems that the refs always find their whistles on Saturday nights. That’s just the way two-game series are; players are tired and make mistakes, and sometimes, the refs are tired, too.”

Penalties were the story, with each team in double-digits in penalties drawn. Special teams was the difference for the Irish tonight, as both the power play and penalty kill netted goals.

Responding to a reporter’s question about killing off a major penalty to senior Brett Blatchford, Jackson noted, “We scored the go-ahead goal on that power play as well. That was a huge kill. I’m really liking the way that Danny Kissel and Benny Ryan are playing on the penalty kill right now.”

Scoring that go-ahead goal was senior Kyle Lawson, who went on to note that the third period was “the difference all weekend. Last night they got some bounces and the puck went their way, and tonight we controlled the puck and got the bounces we needed.”

Of his goal, Lawson said, “[Ian] Colesie has a big shot, and it hit off a seam [in the boards] and came right to me. Even though [Talbot] never saw it, it still went off his skate and he almost stopped it.”

“I don’t get real caught up in [the shot differential],” UAH Coach Danton Cole said. “We can’t make the number of mistakes that we did tonight and give their offensive guys chances, whether they score them or not.”

Scoring was at a premium for the Irish, who flung 51 shots at Charger netminder Cameron Talbot, who stopped 48 of them.

“Cam was great,” said Cole. “He made some big saves, and we did a good job of controlling things to the outside. The guys worked real hard, and I’ve got no complaints for that.”

“We don’t want to put ourselves in a position where getting that split is good for us,” Cole said, “whether it’s on the road or at home. We’ve got to keep working and learning and find ways to finish things off.”

Alabama-Huntsville next travels to the Air Force Academy, while Notre Dame hosts Providence on Thursday and Friday.

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