Oct. 12, 2008
Denver, Colo. – The Notre Dame hockey team traveled to Colorado to opened the 2008-09 season versus the Denver Pioneers at Magness Arena. For the Irish, it was one day under six months since their previous game, playing for the national championship at the Pepsi Center and they were looking to get the new campaign off to a fast start.
Through two periods, things were looking good as the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie after 40 minutes of play, only to see the Pioneers explode for three goals in a 4:04 span in the third on the way to a four-goal final period and a 5-2 win over the Irish in front of 6,066 at Magness Arena.
Denver freshman Luke Salazar led the way with a three-point game, scoring a pair of goals with an assist for the Pioneers while Patrick Wiercoch, Tyler Ruegsegger and Anthony Maiani added single goals. Freshman Billy Maday started the scoring in the game and Justin White finished it with Kevin Deeth adding a pair of assists.
Special teams played a key role in the contest as Denver converted two of its eight chances while the Irish were 0-for-8 on the night.
Notre Dame got on the board first in the game, taking a 1-0 lead at the 3:30 mark of the opening period. Maday, playing in his first collegiate game, scored on his first career shot as he tucked the rebound of a Kevin Deeth centering pass behind Pioneer goaltender Marc Cheverie for the first goal of his Irish career.
The Pioneers tied the game at 13:57 of the first period when they scored on the power play, one of five chances in the opening period. Center Tyler Bozak controlled the puck behind the net and centered it in the slot to Tyler Ruegsegger who one-timed a shot past Jordan Pearce to even the score at 1-1.
The goaltenders took over in the second period with Pearce stopping all 11 shots he faced while Cheverie was eight-for-eight on his chances. The officials continued blowing the whistle as the Irish had four power-play chances to three for Denver.
The tight-checking game opened up in the third period as Pioneers offense came to life, scoring three goals over a 4:04 span and a fourth to put the game away.
Denver took the lead for good at 4:35, cashing in on a three-on-two chance. Salazar was able to redirect a centering pass from defenseman Patrick Mullen under an Irish defenseman and Pearce for his first collegiate goal.
Salazar made it 3-1 at 6:53 when he flipped a rebound over Pearce after the Irish goaltender had made two stops on Denver’s power-play unit for the Pioneers’ second power-play goal of the night. Kyle Ostrow and Jess Martin assisted on the goal.
The lead went to 4-1 at 8:39 when Wiercoch scored his first collegiate goal firing a shot through a screen from the center point.
Denver closed out its’ goal-scoring run at 12:53 of the third stanza on a one-timer by Maiani for the 5-1 lead.
White would close the scoring for the night when he flipped home the rebound of a shot by Deeth for his second assist of the night with 52.3 seconds left for the final of 5-2.
On the night, Denver fired 31 shots on Pearce and the senior came up with 26 saves. Cheverie faced 25 shots in the game and made 23 saves.
The Irish will return to action on Friday, October 17 when they open the home schedule at 7:35 p.m. at the Joyce Center against the Sacred Heart University Pioneers.
** The 2008 USA Hockey Hall of Fame game celebrated the induction of four outstanding hockey players who played for Team USA throughout their careers – former NHL stars Brett Hull, Brian Leetch and Mike Richter along with the first women’s inductee, Cammi Granato.
** Billy Maday’s first collegiate goal on his first career shot marked the first time an Irish player scored on his first shot since Tim Wallace ’06 did it in his first career game versus Minnesota-Duluth in 2002.
** Four freshmen saw their first collegiate hockey action for the Irish in the game versus Denver. Center Patrick Gaul, right wing Billy Maday and defensemen Nick Condon and Sean Lorenz dressed for Notre Dame.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#4/#4 Notre Dame (0-1-0) 1 0 1 - 2#6/#6 Denver (1-0-0) 1 0 4 - 5
Penalties: ND: 5 for 10 minutes; DU: 3 for 6 minutes.
Second Period: No Scoring:
Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes; DU: 4 for 8 minutes.
Third Period: DU: Luke Salazar 1 (Patrick Mullen), 4:35; DU: Salazar 2 (Kyle Ostrow, Jesse Martin), PPG, 6:53; DU: Patrick Wiercoch 1 (Rhett Rakhshani, Ruegsegger), 8:39; DU: Anthony Maiani 1 (Bozak, Salazar), 12:53; ND: Justin White 1 (Deeth), 19:07.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; DU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 7 - 8 - 10 - 25Denver 9 - 11 - 11 - 31Goaltender Saves:ND - Jordan Pearce (60:00) 8 - 11 - 7 - 26DU - Marc Cheverie (60:00) 6 - 8 - 9 - 23Power Plays:ND: 0 for 8DU: 2 for 8