NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- A four-goal third period by Sacred Heart spelled trouble for the No. 5/6 University of Notre Dame hockey team, and the Irish dropped their second game of the season 6-4 on Thursday at the Compton Family Ice Arena (3,340).
The Irish (2-2-1, 0-0-0 B1G) had 11 different players tally points, but a relentless Pioneer attack in the third-period proved too much. Cal Burke, Dawson Cook, Andrew Oglevie and Joe Wegwerth registered goals on the night, while Colin Theisen, Justin Wade, Bobby Nardella (2), Mike O'Leary, Cam Morrison, Jack Jenkins and Andrew Peeke recorded assists.
The Irish led 3-2 after two periods of play, scoring the first goal and responding to each of Sacred Heart's first two tallies. Burke scored just 62 seconds into the game, while Cook buried a shot less than two minutes after the Pioneers (2-2-0, 0-0-0 Atlantic Hockey) tied it at 1-1, and Oglevie scored 17 seconds into a power-play to put Notre Dame up 3-2.
Despite 11 different players earning points, the Irish couldn't solve the Pioneers' unconventional attack
The Pioneers were dominant in the third period, however, outshooting the Irish 14-7 and crowding the shot chart with chances. They tallied two goals in the first eight minutes to take the lead before Oglevie knotted the game at 4-4 on a power play with 7:42 left in the game.
Sacred Heart answered just over a minute later with center Vito Bavaro's third goal of the game. The Pioneers added an empty net goal in the final second of the game to seal the decision.
Irish goaltender Dylan St. Cyr finished with 22 saves, while Pioneer goalie Brett Magnus registered 29 saves.
On the outcome...
"We got outworked. I'll take responsibility for that, for not being ready to play. I knew they were going to be a tough team. We didn't have the discipline with the puck that we needed to have against a defensive system like that, but they outworked us. That's the biggest point, and that's on me."
On the team's readiness following a close series against No. 1 Denver...
"You would think that (the team wouldn't be outworked after the performance in the Denver series), but that's not the way it worked out tonight. It was a perfect storm for them. We weren't ready for them."
On defensive breakdowns...
"A lot of it comes from the way that their system is. They slant the center in behind the (defense) and our guys aren't accustomed to that. We tried to adjust in practice to give them an idea how to handle that, but we didn't execute very well. More of it is the result of our puck decisions and turnovers; that's what allowed them to generate speed coming through the neutral zone from their system."
On the mindset...
"I don't think we were mentally prepared for what we needed to do to win tonight, and they were, so credit to them."
1-0 | Cal Burke got the first two shots of the game as the Irish peppered the net early, connecting on the second from the right faceoff circle just 1:02 into the first period. Justin Wade had the primary assist on the play, while Colin Theisen kept the play alive along the boards with his skate.
2-1 | Dawson Cook scored his first goal of the season, tipping in a deflection off the stick of Mike O'Leary to put the Irish up 2-1 with 12:39 left in the second period. The centering pass came off the stick of Bobby Nardella for the first of two assists on the night.
3-2 | Seventeen seconds into a power play, Cam Morrison dished a centering pass between the circles for Andrew Oglevie, who flipped the puck over the left shoulder of goaltender Brett Magnus. Nardella added his second assist on the night when he helped along a Jordan Gross pass from the defensive zone.
4-4 | Joe Wegwerth buried the tying goal at the top of the crease off of Magnus' left pad. Jack Jenkins and Andrew Peeke came in with the assists on the play.
The Irish tallied two power play goals on the evening, finishing 2-for-3 on power play chances. The Pioneers were 0-for-1 with a man advantage. The Irish are now 7-for-13 (53.8 percent) on the power play this season, ranking first in the nation.
Cal Burke, Dawson Cook, Mike O'Leary, Jack Jenkins and Andrew Peeke each tallied their first points of the season Thursday.
Burke and Cook notched the first two goals, while O'Leary assisted on Cook's score, and Jenkins and Peeke helped on Joe Wegwerth's third-period goal.
Andrew Oglevie (4-3-7) and Bobby Nardella (1-5-6) have each earned points in all five games for the Irish this season.
Gross skated in the 124th consecutive game of his Irish career (dating back to the first game of his freshman season). That streak ranks tied for the second-longest active streak in NCAA DI, trailing only Karson Kuhlman (Minnesota Duluth - 126) and tied with Landon Smith (Quinnipiac - 124).
The Fighting Irish battled back in Game 2 to earn a split of the series
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame hockey team made the most of its chances Friday evening, rebounding from a game one loss to defeat Sacred Heart 3-1 at the Compton Family Ice Arena (4,007) in Friday's game two.
The No. 5/6 Irish (3-2-1, 0-0-0 B1G) got a pair of goals from Joe Wegwerth and a third from Dawson Cook while outshooting the Pioneers (2-3-0, 0-0-0 Atlantic Hockey) 43-25 on the night. Also among the point-scorers for the Irish were Andrew Peeke (0-2-2), Jordan Gross (0-1-1), Jack Jenkins (0-1-1), Colin Theisen (0-1-1) and Bo Brauer (0-1-1).
Irish goaltender Cale Morris got his second career win in the start, tallying 24 saves with a .960 save percentage. Pioneer goalie Nathan Perry registered 40 saves.
1-0 | Joe Wegwerth gave the Irish the lead just 3:51 into the first period, fighting a defender off his back down the right boards and carrying the puck across the end line and back around the front of the net before slipping his shot through the legs of goaltender Nathan Perry. Jordan Gross and Andrew Peeke assisted.
2-0 | Dawson Cook pushed the Irish advantage to two with 7:06 left in the second period, deflecting a spin-o-rama attempt from Jack Jenkins over the right shoulder of Perry. Bo Brauer got the second assist.
3-0 | Just after an Irish power play expired, Wegwerth tallied his second goal of the game with 3:33 left in the second, redirecting a rebounding shot by Colin Theisen after Peeke sent in the initial shot from the blue line.
The Irish were 0-for-4 on the power play, while holding the Pioneers to an 0-for-3 effort, including a 43-second stretch of 5-on-3 action in the third period.
The Irish will close out their eight-game October homestand with a two-game series against Nebraska-Omaha next Thursday and Friday (Oct. 26-27) at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Both games are slated for 7:35 p.m. ET starts and will be televised on NBC Sports Chicago Plus. To purchase tickets, click here.
-- ND --