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  1. #1
    Moderator marv81s's Avatar
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    Irish Advance To The Joe

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    Jordan Pearce Pitches Second Shutout As Irish Advance To Joe Louis Arena With 1-0 Win Over Nebraska-Omaha

    March 14, 2009

    Notre Dame, Ind. - Notre Dame starting goaltender Jordan Pearce entered this weekend's CCHA quarterfinal series with Nebraska-Omaha, ranked as one of the top goaltenders in the nation.

    He did not disappoint on Friday and Saturday night, stopping 30 shots each night in 5-0 and 1-0 shutout wins at the Joyce Center. Saturday's 1-0 win gave the Irish two in a row against the Mavericks and sends Notre Dame to Joe Louis Arena on March 20-21 to play for the CCHA playoff title.

    Pearce would get all the scoring he would need early in the first period as senior center Justin White scored the lone goal of the night in the 1-0 win.

    "Winning 1-0 is probably a little bit more like we're supposed to win," said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.

    "I thought Jordan Pearce was the difference in the game. If he's not first- or second-team in this conference, something's not right. He's done it all season long. He was outstanding last night (Friday) and he was even better tonight."

    The shutout was Pearce's second in a row and third this season against Nebraska-Omaha. He finished the night with a streak of 191:50 shutout minutes against the Mavericks with the last goal he surrendered to them coming at 8:10 of the third period on Feb. 20 when Nick Fanto scored to tie that game at 3-3. Notre Dame prevailed in overtime, 4-3, that night.

    Pearce continues to rack up the milestones on the weekend, as the shutout was his nation-leading eighth of the season and the 12th of his career to tie him with David Brown `07 who had 12 from 2003-07. The win also was the Anchorage, Alaska native's 57th of his career to make him the all-time wins leader at Notre Dame.

    "I watch him now, and he competes as hard as any goalie I've ever coached," said Jackson.

    "It's just his nature. It's a great trait in a goalie to be emotionally under control. Tonight, he just looked like he wasn't going to give up a goal. He had that look about him, that confidence, like there was nothing getting by him."

    The win improves the No. 2 Irish to 29-5-3 overall as they now have an eight-game winning streak, dating back to the Feb. 8 loss at Ohio State. Nebraska-Omaha's season comes to an end with a 15-17-8 record. Notre Dame's 29 wins are the second-highest total in the program's 41-year history, surpassed only by the 32-win campaign in 2006-07.

    Notre Dame's opponent is not yet know for the semifinal game at Joe Louis Arena on March 20 but the Irish will play the first game at 4:30 p.m. Northern Michigan defeated Miami on Saturday to send that series to a third game on Sunday, March 15 and the Alaska-Ohio State game was not finished when this story was released.

    White got the only goal of the game at 2:46 of the first period as the Irish converted a Mavericks' turnover into a goal.

    Goaltender Jerad Kaufmann went behind the goal to play a loose puck. He backhanded the biscuit into the left wing corner where Notre Dame's Dan Kissel got to the puck to center it in front to White who fired it into an open goal for his ninth of the season to give the Irish the 1-0 lead.

    "I was in the middle and saw him (Kaufmann) go behind the net," said White.

    "The puck just squirted out to Dan Kissel in the corner and he made a great feed to me in front and I had a wide-open net."

    From there, the goaltenders took over as Pearce made 22 of his 30 saves in the second and third periods. Kaufman was perfect the remainder of the game but it wasn't enough as he finished with 23 saves in the game.

    The shutout lowered Pearce's goals-against average to 1.62 and moved him to the national lead in that category pending the Alaska-Ohio State game and the numbers put up by Nanook goaltender Chad Johnson. He already leads the nation with 28 wins and eight shutouts.

    The 1-0 win was the 12th one-goal game that the Irish played in this season as the record went to 10-2 in one-goal games on the year. The 1-0 win was the third on the season for Notre Dame.


    ** The Irish played their final game at the Joyce Center for 2008-09. They finished the year with a 13-3-2 record at the Joyce and in those 18 home games had 13 sellout games with crowds of 2,713 or better.

    ** Notre Dame will be making its eighth trip overall and third in a row to Joe Louis Arena for the CCHA semifinals and finals in Detroit. The Irish advanced in 1982, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 and again this season. In 2002, 2003, and 2004, it was known as the CCHA Super Six with six teams advancing to Detroit.

    ** Justin White's goal gives him a career-high nine for the season and he now has equaled a career-best with 15 points on the season. His two game-winning goals are also career bests.

  2. #2
    Congrats to the team. Now lets take care of business and make the Frozen Four.
    Irish Guard GH Division

  3. #3
    Senior Member Irish Joe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I hadn't been in the "Other Irish Sports" thread in a while....I thought this was about me!

    Member of the Irish Guard, GH Division

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