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Comeback Falls Short As Omaha Defeats #8 Irish 6-4

Oct. 26, 2017

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By Dan Colleran

Jordan Gross scored on a power play early in the third period to cut the Omaha lead down to 5-4 but the University of Notre Dame hockey team was unable to complete the comeback on Thursday night as the Mavericks went on to post a 6-4 victory at the Compton Family Ice Arena (3,834).

Omaha (3-1-1) built a 5-1 lead, including two goals and an assist by David Pope, with just under three minutes to play in the second period.

But Notre Dame (3-3-1) rallied with goals by Cal Burke and Andrew Peeke late in the middle stanza to make it a 5-3 game after 40 minutes of play.

Just 1:09 into the third, Gross tallied a power-play goal for his 99th career point to cut the Omaha lead to one goal. But that was as close as the Irish could get and the Mavericks added an empty net tally just after killing off a Notre Dame power play at 19:54 of the third for the final 6-4 scoreline.

Dylan St. Cyr played the first two periods in the Notre Dame net and made 25 saves, while Cale Morris stopped all five shots on goal he faced in the third.

Omaha goaltender Evan Weninger finished with 31 saves, including 13 in the third period as the Irish looked for a game-tying goal.


On the third period and consistency…

“We shot ourselves in the foot several times early in the game. It was primarily the play of our defenseman not reading situations well, making bad decisions defensively, especially off the rush. Somewhat uncharacteristic, but that’s where it started. Obviously the first shift of the game, getting scored on by a puck that bounces twice off the shin pad and off the ice, scoring on that first shift definitely set the tone for how that game went for us.”

On the how the team played overall…

“We did some good things, but we didn’t do them soon enough. We didn’t play with that urgency in the early stages of the game, and that’s something we have to resolve. We have to get guys thinking that, especially at home, you want to be the team pushing the pace, not the visiting team. So, in that regard, especially against a team with a lot of quality forwards out there, if you don’t pay attention to detail in your game then you’re going to give up scoring chances and goals.”

On the takeaway from this game…

“The biggest thing is just shooting ourselves in the foot. They’re going to make plays. They’re a good team offensively. They’re going to make plays, but you have to minimize what they’re going to do. You can’t give them odd man rushes and expect to not get scored on, and we gave them several odd man rushes. That’s the direct result of some bad puck plays and bad decisions by our defensemen trying to take a chance and gapping up on a guy and then they blow by them. They had at least two two-on-ones because of that tonight.”


3-1| Four minutes into the second period the Irish scored their first goal of the night. Bobby Nardella scored from the high slot, capitalizing on a crisp pass from Jake Evans. Luke Novak had the second assist, his first career assist and point.

2-5 | Cal Burke retaliated with his second goal of the season at 18:36, less than a minute after Omaha’s fifth goal. He was assisted by Colin Theisen and Jake Evans.

3-5 | With less than a minute left in the second period, Andrew Peeke scored his first goal of the season at 19:38 with a shot from the point that went through heavy traffic in front. He was assisted by Matt Hellickson and Jake Evans

4-5 | The Irish carried their momentum into the start of the third period with a powerplay goal by Jordan Gross. Gross scored with a hard wrist shot from the blue line at 1:09, assisted by Jake Evans and Bobby Nardella.


The Irish were 1-for-4 on the power play, while holding the Mavericks to an 0-for-3 effort. Notre Dame’s penalty kill has gone 9-for-9 over the last four games.


  • Jake Evans posted a career-high four assists (also a career-high for points in a game), which marked his 25th career multi-point game and his fourth of the season.
  • Evans posted the first four-assist game by a Notre Dame player since Stephen Johns did so on Dec. 29, 2010 versus Canisius.
  • Jordan Gross’ power-play goal in the third period was his 99th career point (29-70-99) and was his 10th career power-play goal.
  • Gross skated in the 126th consecutive game of his Irish career (dating back to the first game of his freshman season).
  • With a goal and an assist, Bobby Nardella has now notched at least one point in six of Notre Dame’s first seven games of the season.
  • It marked Nardella’s second multi-point game of the season and the 10th of his career.
  • Skating in his second career game, sophomore forward Luke Novak notched his first career point with an assist on Nardella’s goal.


The Irish will close out their eight-game October homestand tomorrow night against Omaha (Oct. 27) at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7:35 p.m. ET. and the game will be televised on NBC Sports Chicago Plus. To purchase tickets, click here.

— ND —

Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College (’06 & ’08G).