Irish score flurry of goals in 5-2 victory over Redhawks
By BILL HART
Associate Sports Editor
Some say one win isn't enough to turn a season around, but after Thursday night's game, the outlook for Notre Dame's ice hockey team is whole lot brighter.
During the first career start of freshman goaltender Tony Zasowski, the Irish scored four goals in less than eight minutes and earned their first home and CCHA win with a 5-2 victory over the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks.
Both teams cautiously traded penalties and shots in the first period, but each to no avail.
The Redhawks, anxious to prey on Zasowski's inexperience, gave him plenty of tests early in the game.
After gaining a power play off an elbowing penalty in the second minute, the visitors gained a clear breakaway off center ice.
But the Irish goaltender stood tough, blocking the shot with ease and recovering in time for the defensemen to arrive.
The Irish continued their offensive woes in the first period, mounting only five shots on goal. So far, the team has scored only one goal in the opening periods of all seven games this season.
"We had some chances early today which we haven't had," head coach Dave Poulin said about the early scoring drought. "I thought our first period was pretty good, though. It's just that we're coming off the stretch we're coming off of, it's still pretty fragile when it gets to be game time. But hopefully the momentum from this game will carry through to the next one."
Both teams traded passes until the 1:40 mark of the second period, when Notre Dame's Dan Carlson and Miami's Pat Leahy earned penalties for tripping and interference, respectively.
Six seconds later, the Redhawks' Ernie Hartlieb was called for high sticking Irish right wing John Wroblewski in the face.
When the coincidental penalties ended, Carlson rushed out of the penalty box in front of Leahy, streaked past the left point with a pass from Joe Dusbabek and sent a rising shot over Olsen's glove hand at the 3:45 mark.
The goal was Carlson's second on the year. Sean Molina and senior Joe Dusbabek each earned an assist on the play.
After Carlson's goal, the offensive floodgates opened up for the Irish. At the 4:08 mark, Redhawk defender Clarke Wolford was called on a double minor for holding and unsportsmanlike conduct. Less than 30 seconds later, Dusbabek redirected a shot to the right post that just barely beat Olsen's glove hand.
Dusbabek's goal was his first of the season and was assisted by Carlson and senior defenseman Tyson Fraser.
After holding back a short-lived Redhawk power play, the Irish struck again at the 10:03 mark, when a clearing attempt by Molina broke center ice and found forward Matt van Arkel. The junior broke past the Miami defenders and tucked a low forehand shot just inside the right post.
Molina earned his third assist of the night one minute later when he passed from the back to Dolder, who angled in from the left while trying to draw the defenders away from the weak side. He then slid a soft pass to sophomore left wing David Inman at the top of the crease, who pulled a quick fake before lifting a wrist shot over his right shoulder.
"He was just outstanding tonight," Poulin said about Molina's effort. "His three assists was secondary to his play, almost. His play was outstanding. The three assists were almost like a bonus."
The goal was Inman's fifth of the year, already half of his total from last season. Molina's three assists set a career high for points in a game. The Redhawks spoiled the shutout bid at the 14:09 mark in the second, when senior Mark Shalawyo won a face off on the left side of the Irish net and passed behind the goal to sophomore Ken Marsch, who flicked a shot into the upper right corner.
Miami struck again at the 8:55 mark of the third period, when freshman Mark Medvecz scored his first career goal off of assists by Hartlieb and Shawalyo. But it proved to be as close as the Redhawks would get, as senior Andy Jurkowski wrapped up the Irish scoring with a breakaway goal past replacement goalie David Burleigh at the 12:59 mark.
"I was very encouraged, all around," Poulin said. "It was the best all-around game we've played. Certainly our defensemen moved the puck better in the neutral zone. Eight penalties is still too many for us, but when it's 0-for-8, it's not too many."
Zasowski, the first freshman to start at goaltender since Matt Eisler in the second game of the 1994-95 season, has 33 saves on the night and kept the Redhawk power play stagnant by preventing all eight chances.
"He was very good very early," Poulin said about Zasowski's play. "He was strong all night, there was no question. Both of [Miami's] goals were scored by defensemen on late trailer plays. But Tony looked very good. He looked very solid, and he showed a lot tonight."
With the win, the Irish improve to 2-5 on the season and 1-4 in CCHA play, while the Redhawks fall to 1-1-1 in conference play and 4-2-1 overall. Notre Dame will go for the two-game sweep tonight at the Joyce Center, with the puck set to drop at 7:05 p.m.
All Sports Stories for Friday, October 29, 1999