COLLEGE MEN'S HOCKEY: Bulldogs fall to Fighting Irish in title game
The longest current NCAA Division I unbeaten streaks continued Saturday night as Notre Dame of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association defeated Minnesota Duluth of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association 3-1 in the championship game of the in...
The longest current NCAA Division I unbeaten streaks continued Saturday night as Notre Dame of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association defeated Minnesota Duluth of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association 3-1 in the championship game of the inaugural Shillelagh Tournament at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Notre Dame (16-3-2) is No. 1 in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll and tied for No. 6 in the PairWise Rankings with the help of a 16-game streak (14-0-2). UMD (9-5-6) is No. 14 in the PairWise and had its eight-game unbeaten run (5-0-3) snapped.
Senior winger Garrett Regan of Hastings, Minn., the son of former UMD defenseman Pat Regan (1976-80), was Notre Dame's catalyst with two first-period goals as the Fighting Irish led 2-1 after 20 minutes. That advantage held through the early minutes of the third period as this edition of the News Tribune went to press.
Regan scored 1:44 into the game and with 5:49 left for a 2-0 advantage, and has 29 goals in 135 career games.
Akins countered in a rush started by Evan Oberg and Justin Fontaine with 90 seconds left in the opening period. After a scoreless second period, Notre Dame led in shots on goal 22-16.
Notre Dame hadn't lost since Oct. 24-25 when swept at home by Miami of Ohio. The Fighting Irish are in first place in the CCHA and rank fourth among Division I men in offense (3.60 goals a game) and fifth in defense (1.65).
Notre Dame was without sophomore defensemen Teddy Ruth and Ian Cole, who are playing for the United States in the World Junior Championships in Ottawa, Ontario.
Senior goalie Jordan Pearce of Anchorage, Alaska, entered the game with a .935 save percentage and 1.66 goals-against average for Notre Dame. He played in the 2008 Division I title game as Boston College beat the Fighting Irish 4-1 in Denver.
The Bullodgs are 13th in Division I defense, allowing 2.16 goals a game. Junior goalie Alex Stalock had allowed just one goal in six of the previous eight games and has season marks of .923 save percentage and 2.09 goals-against average. UMD's eight-game unbeaten streak was matched by Denver at 7-0-1 entering Saturday's home game with No. 4 Boston University. UMD had gone 5-0-3 since a 4-1 defeat at home to Wisconsin on Nov. 15.
UMD last met Notre Dame at the start of 2004-05, tying 2-2 and winning 4-1 in South Bend, Ind.
Earlier Saturday, Union (N.Y.) College got goals from Stephane Boileau and Jason Walters to defeat Massachusetts-Lowell 2-1 in the tournament third-place game. Union (9-8-1) broke a three-game losing streak, while Lowell (8-10) extended its losing streak to five. Lowell led in shots on goal 31-23.
UMD returns to WCHA play this Friday and Saturday at St. Cloud State.