Oct. 14, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A third-period push wasn’t enough for the No. 4/6 University of Notre Dame hockey team to overcome top-ranked Denver on Saturday at the Compton Family Ice Arena (4,075), as the Pioneers answered Notre Dame’s two-goal third to come away with the 4-2 win.
Denver (1-0-1, 0-0-0 NCHC) owned a 2-0 lead after one period, but after a scoreless second, the Irish (2-1-1, 0-0-0 B1G) tallied a pair of goals with less than six minutes remaining. Cam Morrison broke through first to get the Irish on the board with 5:16 left in the third period, while Jordan Gross recorded the equalizer on a blazing power-play shot that tore through the back of the net with 4:52 remaining.
The Pioneers were quick to answer, however, when Liam Finley scored with 4:28 left in the game.
Denver added an empty-net goal by Dylan Gambrell at the 1:20 mark to seal the decision.
Denver edged the Irish in the shot battle 34-33, though the Irish held a 26-20 edge in shots in the final two periods.
Jake Evans tallied two assists for the Irish, including the primary assist on Morrison’s goal, to push his career total to 100 (31-69-100). Andrew Oglevie and Bobby Nardella also had assists for the Irish.
Cale Morris got his second career start in goal for Notre Dame, recording 33 saves.
COACH JACKSON’S TAKE
On positive takeaways from the Denver series…
“I thought there were two really good hockey games. They’re a tremendous team, but there were points in each game where we played toe-to-toe with them. We have to find a way to do that for 60 minutes. I thought we did a good job of coming back today in the third period. I saw positive things from all three positions. I thought both goalies played well. Our defense did a good job, for the most part, against a very good offensive team. Our forward depth right now is not quite where it needs to be from an offensive perspective, but I thought that we showed signs of the potential to generate offense from our cycle and our first unit power play has been pretty effective for us.”
On surrendering momentum after tying the game…
“It’s frustrating. We’ve given up what I call a momentum goal every game. In other words, we score a goal and then the other team comes back and scores a goal the next shift. That’s a mental thing that we have to be ready for. The matchup didn’t change. We gave up a goal from a lack of coverage in our own end and that just can’t happen with five minutes left in the game, especially after tying the game.”
On Cale Morris’ performance…
“I thought he made some really key saves for us and that’s good. I’m OK with (Morris and Dylan St. Cyr) playing back-to-back (in goal) for us for the time being. Dylan’s had a little bit more success, but Cale’s made some really big saves in key moments in the game. He’s done well, too.”
NOTRE DAME GOAL DESCRIPTIONS
1-2 I After the Irish flushed the puck out of the Denver zone, Cam Morrison charged up the ice, fired a shot from the inside the right circle, then buried the rebound at the net. He was aided by assists from Jake Evans and Andrew Oglevie.
2-2 | The Irish equalizer was so impressive, it almost wasn’t counted. With the Irish on the power play late in the third period, Jordan Gross fired a one-timer from the top of the zone that broke through the netting with 4:52 remaining in regulation. The goal was initially waved off after Gross threw up his hands in celebration, but revisited and confirmed after nearly three minutes had elapsed.
The Irish recorded their fifth power play goal of the season on Jordan Gross’ third-period goal. Notre Dame was 1-3 on the power play, while holding Denver to 0-2.
- Jake Evans tallied his 100th career point on his second assist of the game. He has recorded at least one point in all four games this season.
- Evans became the 52nd player in Irish history to reach 100-career points.
- Jordan Gross (2-4-6), Andrew Oglevie (3-3-6), Jake Evans (3-5-8) and Bobby Nardella (1-3-4) have each started the year on four-game point streaks.
- Gross skated in the 123rd consecutive game of his Irish career (dating back to the first game of his freshman season). That streak ranks as the third-longest active streak in NCAA DI, trailing only Karson Kuhlman (Minnesota Duluth – 126) and Landon Smith (Quinnipiac – 124).
- Notre Dame athletic trainer Kevin Ricks worked his 500th game on the Notre Dame bench for the Irish hockey team.
The No 4/6 Irish will welcome Sacred Heart to the Compton Family Ice Arena for a two-game series Thursday, Oct. 19, and Friday, Oct. 20. Both games are scheduled for a 7:35 p.m. ET puck-drop and will be televised on NBC Sports Chicago Plus. To purchase tickets, click here.
— ND —
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs, in addition to overseeing production of the football Gameday Magazine. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.