The Rutgers squad deserves to have the letter "A" sewn on their jerseys for effort, but the letter "L" will still go in the win-loss column. Rutgers used a swarming team defense to slow down Notre Dame's offense as well as a 19 save performance by their goalie Dan Shaivitz. However, the Fighting Irish's Tom Glatzel single handedly defeated them with six goals of his own.
Man for man Notre Dame is bigger, stronger, and faster than the Scarlet Knights so they came in with a great game plan. They tucked their undersized defense in front of the net and refused to allow Notre Dame attackers inside. They worked a zone in which they doubled the ball every time a middie up top turned his back to the cage. This was extremely effective, but they weren't nearly as effective when the ball was coming from behind. All in all their team defensive plan worked, but the problem was more on the offensive side.
On Rutgers' first possession star attackmen Keith Cromwell was stripped clean by senior defenseman Mike Adams. This set the tone for the day as Adams crippled Rutgers offense by taking Cromwell out of the game. Without Cromwell making things happen, the Knights are at a loss. He's the beginning and the end of their offense so despite Glatzel's six goals, Adams was the MVP today. Rutgers struggled as when the feeds were there the shots weren't. For example, in the third quarter Rutgers was man-up to start the half with a 6-1 deficit to make up. It was an opportunity to turn things around and they got the shot that they wanted. The lefty crank to the upper right hand corner would have beat any right handed goalie in the nation, only problem is Notre Dame's goalie Kirk Howell is a lefty. It seemed to summarize there offense on the day.
The game started expectedly slow as players had to warm up in the chilly weather. Notre Dame didn't score the first goal until the 10:26 mark when David Ulrich worked his way from behind the cage to his left. With pressure on he turned and let a bounce shot go the caught the upper left corner. Ulrich didn't have much angle, but the placement was perfect. Glatzel then got his first of the day from the same exact spot ten minutes later. In an unsettled situation the ball was banged cross crease to Glatzel who hit the same corner without bouncing it, 2-0. With 3:04 left Rutgers defenseman Brad Kerwin's low clearing pass was picked off by an outstretched Glatzel who went in all alone on Shaivitz and burried one low and away, 3-0. Rutgers couldn't stop the bleeding with time running out of the first quarter. With 20 seconds left middie Steve Bishko froze his defender with a split dodge to his left. No slide came so he stepped into the lefty blast and hit the far side of the net waist high, 4-0. There was just enough time left for Cromwell to get a slashing penalty to give Notre Dame the extra-man going into the second.
The Scarlet Knights killed it off and when cromwell came back into the game defensemen Mike adams picked him clean for the second time of the day. The scoring didn't pick up until 8:43 of the second and you guessed it; Glatzel was the man. He got the ball at "X" from his right side and as the defense slid he came back against the grain to the surprise of the whole defense. With a quick move he came around the crease and popped one by Shaivitz ear, 5-0. Glatzel got his next goal when the middies inverted. The idea is to get middies going against short sticks from down low, but this was Glatzel's day. He rolled on his man to get by and the slide wasn't there in time, 6-0.
Rutgers finally got on the board in the second half. After a man-up for the Knights expired they kept the pressure on. Cromwell hit streaking middie Jason Brown from goalies left to right and Brown hit the empty net, 6-1. Glatzel had the answer again. He isolated from behind the cage and burned his man. The closest defenseman was face-guarding at the time and completely blew the slide, we won't mention any names, so Glatzel was free to beat Shaivitz again, 7-1. Notre Dame didn't do enough of what they did on there next goal or it would've been much worse. Middie John Flandia hit the open backside player in Bishko who was standing about 14 yards out who used his right hand this time from the same spot as his previous goal. With time and room Shaivitz had to hope it hit him, but it didn't, 8-1. Rutgers got one back off a sweet Cromwell feed. He hit Mike McLaughlin running straight down the middle in traffic and McLaughlin got off a quick shot to beat Howell, 8-2. Notre Dame scored their final goal on another backside feed to Chris Young who converted.
Time was running out as the fourth quarter started, but Cromwell wasn't about to pack it in. He worked his way left handed from behind to about 6 yards above goal line extended. With a man draped over him he ripped a low shot that slipped past Howell, 9-3. Notre Dame got a penalty at 8:43 and Rutgers made them pay. They worked the ball to Kenny Springer who was in the high right handed crank position. Springer wisely hit the upper left to give his team hope, 9-4. Rutgers had a flurry of opportunities of the next face-off, but after the ball popped off the post they were deflated and the game wound down from there.
Rutgers vs. Notre Dame