OXFORD, Ohio — Top-ranked Miami defeated No.14 Notre Dame 4-0 on Saturday night at Steve Cady Arena, using three third period goals and an 18-save-preformace from goalie Connor Knapp to take both games against the Irish.
Carter Camper had a goal and an assist and Tommy Wingels scored his sixth goal of the season for the RedHawks. The win moves Miami to 11-2-5 overall, and 8-1-3-1 in the CCHA. The loss drops the Irish to 7-7-4 overall, and 4-4-4-2 in the CCHA.
The first period got off to a slow start, as the teams registered just three shots on goal combined in the first ten minutes. The best chance came when Camper picked up a loose puck in the Notre Dame zone and passed it to an open Pat Cannone in front of the Irish goal. Cannone’s backhand effort was turned away by Notre Dame netminder Mike Johnson, who made 25 saves in last night 1-0 Miami win.
The second 10 minutes of the period belonged to the RedHawks, who used their first power play of the game to take an early lead. Wingels, who had the lone assist in Friday’s game, put his shot from the left side of the goal over the shoulder of Johnson and into the net to give Miami a 1-0 lead. The assists came from Cameron Schilling and Camper, whose pass found a wide open Wingels to the left of the Irish net.
Miami continued to pressure the Irish net after the goal, but were unable to put another one past Johnson, although putting nine on net in the second 10 minutes.
Johnson continued to be strong in net for the Irish, stopping 13 second period RedHawks’ shots to keep them at one. Miami got their best chance to double their tally in the second when freshman winger Reilly Smith stole the puck from an Irish in the Notre Dame zone and fired a wrist shot at Johnson. Smith followed his shot and picked up his own rebound, firing another shot at the Irish net, only to see it kicked away on a diving save by Johnson.
“Their goalie played really well, especially in the second period,” said Miami coach Enrico Blasi. “We continued to put pressure on him and we eventually got off some shots that got past him.”
Notre Dame put nine shots on net in the second period, but could not beat Miami goaltender Connor Knapp. The Irish had their best chance in the second to tie the game when junior winger Calle Ridderwall received a breakout pass from Irish defender Kyle Lawson during a Miami line change. Ridderwall skated down the right side of the Miami zone and shot at the RedHawks’ net, but Knapp was there to make a glove save.
The RedHawks, who were 0-for-5 in Friday night’s game on the man-advantage, scored their second power play goal of the night early in the third period by way of Cannone. Cannone blocked a clearing attempt by the Irish penalty kill deep in the Miami zone and fired the loose puck past Notre Dame goalie Mike Johnson to double the RedHawks’ lead at 2:27 of the third.
Miami continued to pressure the Irish net throughout the third period, and increased their lead to four with two goals in the last six minutes of the game. The goals, both unassisted, came off of the sticks of Camper and Justin Vaive.
Notre Dame managed four shots on goal in the third period, but could not beat Knapp, who finished the game with 18 saves and earned his second shutout of the season.
“Connor made some nice saves when he had to tonight and had a very good performance overall,” said Blasi. “They have some really good players on their team, and he kept us on top throughout the game.”
Notre Dame was held scoreless both nights against the RedHawks, although having 15 power plays on the weekend.