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CCHA Reflections

Mar 25, 2013, 11:48 PM EDT

The Fighting Irish were no joke at the Joe this weekend. They showed up ready to play both nights, and did just that, knocking off Ohio State and Michigan to take home the final CCHA Championship. It was the first CCHA title won by the Irish since the 2008-2009 season, and therefore, the first championship for any of the Irish celebrating in the locker room Sunday afternoon. Coach Jeff Jackson said in Sunday’s post-game press conference, “Being a great team is about making big plays at big moments,” and the Irish were able to do exactly that this weekend. A few of my own reflections from my little dorm room cubicle:

  • Young guns coming through in the clutch. Sophomores Peter Schneider and Austin Wuthrich both scored huge goals this weekend. Schneider was able to tie up Saturday’s game against Ohio State at the 10:52 mark of the first period. This goal was able to stop the Buckeyes’ momentum and get the Irish back on track toward their victory. Austin Wuthrich scored arguably the biggest goal of his career Sunday afternoon when he netted the eventual game-winner in the third period. Both these sophomores were able to make the big play at the big moment. The CCHA playoffs are over, it remains to be seen if they can keep it up into the NCAA Tournament.
  • Summerhays reaches 20-win mark. Steven Summerhays joined the ranks of Mike Johnson and six other Irish goaltenders who have each attained 20 wins in a single season. Summerhays is riding a heat wave recently and has the potential to be the catalyst of an Irish Frozen Four appearance.

In a very fitting and poetic manner, Coach Jeff Jackson finished his last season in the CCHA the same way he finished his very first—with a championship victory against Michigan. He has arguably one of his most talented teams in years. With Summerhays between the pipes and the top line of Lee, Costello, and Rust, there are few teams who can outplay Notre Dame. The football team may not have been able to do it, but the Irish Icers have a darn good chance of bringing home a national title.

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