By Matt Mackinder/At the CCHA Championship
DETROIT - Hockey games are 60 minutes for a reason and tonight, Michigan found out why.
Leading 2-1 going into the third period, Notre Dame rattled off four straight goals in the third to pull away and take the CCHA tournament championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 5-2 win in front of 19,126 at Joe Louis Arena.
"I think where we're at in the season, no loss is a good loss, so we've got to take it, learn from it and move on," Michigan junior co-captain Chris Summers said. "We've got a week to prepare for next weekend and it's do or die now."
Freshmen Luke Glendening and David Wohlberg staked the Wolverines to an early 2-0 lead until Billy Maday scored midway through the second period to bring the top-ranked Irish to within one.
"I thought we played pretty well in the first period," Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson said. "The first goal was rather fluky and the second shot was just a blocked shot and a bad break. Down 2-0, I didn't feel like we were down 2-0. I thought we were playing well. It was just a matter of being patient enough to try and generate some scoring chances."
Just 20 seconds apart early in the third, Calle Ridderwall (1:45) and Ben Ryan (2:05) beat Michigan goalie Bryan Hogan to give Notre Dame a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Ridderwall and Christiaan Minella added late goals to ice the game for Notre Dame, now 31-5-3.
"We really didn't play that well the first 30 minutes, I didn't think," Michigan senior forward Tim Miller said. "They were getting way too many opportunities and then they scored with five seconds left on the penalty kill and I think that was the turning point."
Hogan made 29 saves and tournament MVP Jordan Pearce stopped 28 for the win.
Both the No. 3 Wolverines (29-11-0) and the Irish will find out their regional opponent and location tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN2.
Photo by Matt Mackinder