Nov 15, 2012, 1:22 PM EDT
Although the Irish have done it four straight times, they cannot be expected to beat a #1 ranked Boston College team every time they play them. There’s no denying it, the Irish have a very talented team this year, but Boston College has just as much fire power on its side. Couple a powerful BC offense with home-ice advantage during a Holy War weekend and you have yourself one nasty opponent. That being the case, a 3-1 loss with an empty net goal is nothing to be ashamed of. One or two lucky bounces in Notre Dame’s direction could have easily led to an Irish victory last Friday night. Alas, one cannot change the past, but one can reflect upon it. So, a couple thoughts and reflections from Friday night’s tilt:
- Irish penalty kill a force to be reckoned with. Although it is never particularly advantageous to have a man in the box, the Irish do an excellent job of shutting down the opposing team’s power play units. Boston College came into the Friday night matchup with a #1 ranked power play and the Irish held the Eagles to zero goals on six chances. The Irish have allowed just four goals in 37 short-handed situations. This puts the Irish penalty kill at an 89.2% success rate. Such a percentage ranks first in the CCHA and seventh nationally. Tenacious defense and that brick wall in net (aka Steven Summerhays) make getting a puck by the Irish penalty kill a very difficult task indeed.
- Spreading the wealth. Eleven different players have scored the Irish’s 24 goals this season. Captain Anders Lee leads the team with five of those goals, followed by freshman Steven Fogarty. The 6-foot-3, offensively gifted underclassman has put in three goals thus far and is tied for third on the team in points. It will be interesting to see if Fogarty can continue to produce and become a stand-out freshman.
The Irish have their sights set on a pair of wins up in Ann Arbor this week. The Wolverines are ranked 13th in the nation, so this will be a continuation of Notre Dame’s 8+ game stretch against ranked teams. Hopefully the legs will be loose this Thursday night as the Irish try to bounce back from that tough loss to BC. They will need every ounce of momentum they can get as they begin a grueling stretch of games against tough opposition. As long as the upperclassmen continue to lead, and the underclassmen produce like the have been, the Irish should be in good shape.
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