Oct. 24, 1997
Boston College Hockey Comes Back to Down Notre Dame
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Mike Mottau, Blake Bellefeuille and Brian Gionta all scored in a five-minute span midway through the third period as visiting Boston College continued its recent success in one-goal games with a 3-2 comeback victory over Notre Dame, in a much-anticipated non-conference hockey matchup Friday in front of an advance sellout crowd (2,667) at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse.
Boston College (2-0-0)--which finished with a 36-27 shot advantage--failed to solve Notre Dame senior goaltender Matt Eisler on its first 29 shots of the game but scored three times on its final eight shots to secure the victory. The Eagles are 10-1 in their last 11 games that have been decided by one goal.
Notre Dame (3-1-0)--which failed on its final six power-play chances--claimed a 2-0 lead on sophomore center Ben Simon's goal early in the third period. The Irish netted the first goal of the game on junior left wing Aniket Dhadphale's fourth goal of the season, a man-up score at the 9:26 mark of the first period.
The game featured a combined total of 15 former NHL draft picks (eight for BC, seven for Notre Dame) and seven players (five for BC, two for Notre Dame) who were members of the 22-man U.S. junior select team at last August's international Tampere Cup. The teams' combined 36 skaters included four seniors, 10 juniors, 11 sophomores and 11 freshmen.
The Eagles have won the last three games in the series and are 7-1-0 in the last eight meetings between the teams.
Mottau ignited the comeback with a goal from the center of the blueline that ended Notre Dame's perfect season-opening penalty-killing streak at 17-for-17. Bellefeuille and freshman defenseman Marty Hughes worked the puck to Mottau and the sophomore defenseman saw his first shot deflected by an Irish defenseman. Mottau then quickly sent another shot on net and Eisler appeared to be partially screened on the play, with the puck deflecting off his left side and into the net (10:15).
The visitors netted the equalizer less than three minutes later, on a rocket shot from Bellefeuille. Sophomore defenseman Mike Mottau worked the puck up ice for sophomore forward Kevin Caulfield, who found his linemate Bellefeuille streaking down the right side. The sophomore center slanted in from the right and whizzed a shot into the upper right corner of the net to produce a suddenly-tied game with 6:58 left in regulation.
Freshman right wing Mike Lephart initiated the game-winner with a long cross ice pass for junior center Marty Reasoner. With Gionta, another freshman right wing, filling the left side, Reasoner skated towards the net and slid a pass across the crease, where Gionta ended the flurry by depositing the puck into the left side of the net.
The Irish opened the scoring when freshman left wing Matt Van Arkel dug along the sideboards in the BC end and worked the puck to senior Steve Noble near the left side of the crease. Noble sent the a pass across the crease for a waiting Dhadphale, who slammed the puck home for a 1-0 lead.
Simon's third goal of the game was a memorable one, coming at the 4:45 mark of the third. Junior right wing Brian Urick won a battle for the puck before freshman left wing Dan Carlson dropped a pass into the slot for Simon, who used some fancy stickwork to fake a BC defender and skate to his right before flicking the puck past freshman Eagles netminder Scott Clemmensen.
Eisler's opening run of 29 saves included four that stopped strong Eagles scoring chances.
1st - ND 1. Dhadphale 4 (Noble, Van Arkel) PP 9:26.
Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Poulin: "This game was different ... very different. Last year, we had a lot of one goal losses, but this one does not compare. Boston College is the favorite in Hockey East this year and we stuck in there with them the whole game. ... We had some great scoring chances when it was 2-1 and we needed to capitalize on them. After the game, I told the team that if we had capitalized on those situations we would have won the game. ... Matty (Eisler) really played well tonight, just like he has all season. I have a lot of confidence in him and his abilities in the goal. (Mark) Eaton also played a great game for us .He stepped up as a leader tonight to help the team. ... The first (BC) goal was a power play, so we were shorthanded at the time. The second and third were transition goals that we were shorthanded on due to the fact we had men coming off the ice."
Boston College Head Coach Jerry York: " It was a great win especially when you come from behind like we did. Two teams, very even. It was a hard-fought, win a huge win. Anytime you can start the season like this, it's a huge lift."
Boston College Sophomore Defenseman Mike Mottau: "Coach (York) told us to stay together. ... We knew that we could come back. We a re a strong third-period team."
Boston College Freshman Right Wing Brian Gionta: "I never expected to have my first goal be a game-winner. It was a beautiful pass by Marty. He set me up perfectly."