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January 18, 2022
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CHN Staff Report

In game titles like the one particular Notre Dame played with Penn Point out last Saturday, junior forward Max Ellis could have found himself worn down in the course of several years previous, Irish head coach Jeff Jackson said. 

Ellis, Notre Dame’s top scorer, has steadily enhanced physically throughout his time in South Bend. And individuals improvements aided him finish off a five-place weekend for Notre Dame on the road versus the Nittany Lions, with .2 seconds to spare in 3-on-3 overtime.

The Irish gained a faceoff in their defensive zone with 8.9 seconds remaining, and defenseman Spencer Stastney carried the puck up the ice, firing it off the pad of Penn Point out goalie Oskar Autio and onto Ellis’s adhere. He deposited it into the web just right before the horn sounded. 

“It was a terrific faceoff get by [Jake] Pivonka,” Ellis claimed. “It went back to Stastney and then, his skating’s remarkable. He took it all the way up the ice, and manufactured a stunning move off the pad to me and I just completed it off into the net. But each of people two are worthy of the credit history for that just one.”

Happy to pass off the acclaim for that instant, Ellis absolutely performed his section for the Irish. He’d ridden a five-video game goalless streak into the weekend before scoring twice in a victory Friday night, capped off by the additional time tally Saturday. 

He’d been “just OK” around that span, according to Jackson, but Ellis showcased a return to kind last weekend, shifting into a tie for fifth nationally with 14 ambitions. 

“It felt great,” Ellis explained. “I think it was just a team work to help me get back again there. As a staff, we have scoring from leading to base so it was a wonderful weekend for us to get back in for the next fifty percent.” 

It took time for Ellis to clearly show signs of the means that has made him one particular of university hockey’s major purpose threats this time. He performed only eight video games as a freshman. He acquired more time in 2020-21 — participating in 24 game titles — but scored only 5 ambitions, incorporating 11 helps. 

He’s practically tripled that intention output this year in a few much less online games. 

Experienced the NCAA moved additional swiftly to go a resolution permitting players rapid eligibility if they pick to transfer, Ellis may not be even on Notre Dame’s roster, Jackson speculated. 

“Thanks to the transfer portal not becoming in position, he’s in this article as a junior,” Jackson stated. “Because he didn’t engage in as a freshman. For me, that’s how you get greater. You gotta combat as a result of it alternatively of, ‘Oh, screw this, I’m heading somewhere else.’ He did not have any decision in the make any difference, but like any kid presently, it is about the approach. It’s about getting better. Final calendar year, he took a move. This 12 months, he took an additional step.” 

Thanks in no little aspect to Ellis’s contributions, the Fighting Irish sit 3 points off the top rated of the Large Ten standings at the halfway issue of the meeting timetable. Sitting down 11th in the Pairwise, they’re in superior position to make the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in a row — excluding the pandemic calendar year. 

Ellis has his eye on a Large 10 title. Notre Dame last won the convention frequent-season crown in 2017-18, its first period in the Significant 10. 

“In buy to acquire the league, you’ve gotta get two game titles in a weekend as soon as in a even though,” Jackson mentioned. “That’s the only way you can end in the best of the standings. We have been privileged to do that the very first yr, but it’s been difficult at any time due to the fact then. It is been .500 hockey practically all the time in the Major Ten.” 

The Irish bought it completed with Ellis’s extra time goal in State College or university to start off the second half of the time, and now they head into a weekend series at Ohio Point out wanting to harness that momentum. 

“I think the resiliency we confirmed coming back again from a deficit really proves to us that we can be a staff down the street that can do anything,” Ellis explained. “So I consider just maintaining that attitude that we experienced when we were down, building on that in the second half, I believe we’re gonna do some thing specific.” 

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