Notre Dame leads the CCHA--and this weekend the Northern Michigan Wildcats got a taste of why. The Irish drubbed the 'Cats 8-1 on Friday, and then beat them again 3-1 on Saturday.
The 'Cats lit the lamp first in Friday's game, when Mike Maltese scored unassisted at 7:42 of the first period. But the team's usual strategy of getting soundly outshot (39-17) and still walking away with the win didn't pan out against the Irish, in part due to the fact that the 'Cats served 42 minutes worth of penalties.
Notre Dame went on to score eight unanswered goals, including one shorthanded and two on the power play. Freshman goalie Jared Coreau, reigning CCHA Goaltender of the Week, made 10 saves and allowed four goals before being replaced by Reid Ellingson early in the second period. Ellingson had 21 saves on 25 shots.
Saturday's defeat wasn't quite as painful for the 'Cats. The Irish jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 2:20 into the game, and added a second goal in the waning minutes of the first period. Still, the 'Cats kept pace offensively, outshooting the Irish 11-8 in the first twenty minutes.
The Irish went up 3-0 after scoring in the last seconds of a power play that resulted from Wildcat Andrew Cherniwchan being called for a five-minute major for kneeing. For the second night in a row, Coreau was replaced mid-game. He headed to the bench with seven saves.
Ellingson stopped all of the 10 shots he faced, and late in the second period, the 'Cats capitalized on a power play to get on the board. Scott Macaulay and Phil Fox set up Justin Florek for his eighth goal of the season.
Northern outshot Notre Dame 7-5 in the last period (and 25-20 over the course of the game), but neither team made another goal.
The 'Cats (9-11-4, 7-7-2 CCHA) are idle next weekend, but will look to rebound January 21-22, when they welcome Ferris State to Marquette.