Michigan hockey scores 2 in third to beat Notre Dame, a full weekend sweep

The Michigan hockey team is soaring in the Big Ten rankings.

The eighth-placed Wolverines scored two goals in the last eight minutes on Friday to beat Notre Dame 3-1, completing a two-game sweep in South Bend, Indiana.

They have won four in a row, dropping from fifth to tied for second in the conference.

Michigan (10-6-0, 8-6-0-1-0-0 Big Ten) entered Friday averaging five goals per game during their 5-1 streak and made another quick start. against the Irish as Michael Pastujov scored 86 seconds in it.

But Notre Dame (7-8-1, 5-6-1-0-1-1), who swept the Wolverines earlier this season, tied the game late in the second and kept Michigan’s powerful offense in. failure until the middle of the third.

Michigan, which won Thursday’s game 5-1, found a spark after killing a penalty, leading to second defenseman Jay Keranen’s first career goal at 12:05. After sustained pressure in the offensive zone, his point shot made its way through traffic ahead and beat goaltender Dylan St. Cyr, who finished with 32 saves.

First-year forward Brendan Brisson, a 2020 first-round pick of the Vegas Golden Knights, benefited from a rebound four minutes later. Meanwhile, junior Strauss Mann made 35 saves. The reigning Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year has allowed four goals in his last four games.

“Very proud of our team,” said Michigan head coach Mel Pearson. “I thought it was a bold road victory. The defense was solid, the goalkeepers were solid, took advantage of a few chances. We didn’t create a lot, but we were opportunistic on a few of our occasions and are done. It’s a real solid victory. It’s hard to sweep in this league. To get the job done tonight, I couldn’t be more proud.

The Wolverines are out until they host Penn State on February 3-4. They have 12 games left in the regular season.

“I wish I could keep playing,” said Pearson. “We have a break now, but I think we all wish we could keep playing. We will use the 12 days between games to make sure we continue to improve, stay healthy, rest and prepare for the final push.

Catherine J. Martinez