SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame’s Bryan Rust scored two goals in the game’s final 68 seconds to rally the Fighting Irish by the Maine Black Bears 3-2 in Hockey East action Saturday night at Compton Family Ice Arena.
After winning its first road game of the season Friday night, it looked like the Bears would pick up their second, but the Irish pulled goalie Steven Summerhays with 1:20 remaining and the strategy quickly paid off 12 seconds later when Rust took advantage of traffic in front of Maine goalie Martin Ouellette.
Shayne Taker and T.J. Tynan assisted on the goal.
Rust responded again with 43.6 seconds remaining when he faked left and then sent the puck right, over Ouellette’s glove and into the net for the game-winner. Stephen Johns and Taker assisted.
The Fighting Irish outshot the Bears 42-22 as Ouellette finished with 39 saves.
Notre Dame snapped a three-game losing skid and improved to 16-12-1 overall and 5-9-1 in Hockey East while the Black Bears slipped to 13-10-3 and 7-5-2, respectively. Maine is now 1-9-2 in road games.
Maine’s Cam Brown scored the game’s first goal 8:24 into the first period when he received the puck from Jake Rutt, skated to the post, and pushed the puck to the front of the net where it banked in off Summerhays’ pad and into the net.
The Irish responded at the 13:44 mark when Tynan scored on the power play off a nice setup pass from Mario Lucia. The goal came shortly after the Bears had killed off a two-man advantage.
Maine’s Ben Hutton scored the only goal of the second period and that came at the 11:41 mark when he one-timed a pretty pass from Devin Shore.
For Hutton, it was his 10th goal of the season and he became just the 17th defenseman in Maine history to score 10 or more goals in a single season.
Summerhays finished with 20 saves for the Irish while Vince Hinostroza added an assist.
Josh Henke and Brice O’Connor each added an assist for the Bears, who were 1 for 3 on the power play, compared to Notre Dame’s 1 of 6.
Maine returns to action next weekend when it hosts Merrimack at Alfond Arena in Orono.