Nov. 25, 2006
Omaha, Neb. – There’s something to be said about youth. And Notre Dame’s underclassmen had a lot to say on Friday night as they helped lead the fourth-ranked Irish to a 4-2 win over Nebraska-Omaha at the Qwest Center.
Irish freshmen and sophomores accounted for three goals and four assists on the night as Notre Dame got goals from Erik Condra, Josh Sciba, Dan Kissel and Kevin Deeth in the victory that got the Irish back on the winning track after seeing their nine-game unbeaten streak snapped last Saturday at Michigan State.
Brandon Scero and Phil Angell scored third-period goals for the Mavericks to erase a 3-0 Irish lead after two periods of play.
The win improved the Irish to 10-2-1 on the season and 5-1-1 in the CCHA. Nebraska-Omaha falls to 3-7-4 on the season and 2-6-1 in the conference.
The Irish wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the first period as Condra scored his fifth of the year just over a minute into the game on Notre Dame’s first shot of the night.
The trio of Condra and linemates Deeth and Ryan Thang broke into the Maverick zone on a three-on-two with Thang feeding the puck to Deeth breaking down the middle. Deeth slid the puck to Condra who was all alone to the left of Nebraska-Omaha goaltender Eric Aarnio. Condra redirected the pass over Aarnio’s stick hand to give the Irish a 1-0 lead.
The goal marked the 11th time in the first 13 games that Notre Dame scored first in a game and improved the Irish to 9-1-1 when they get an early lead.
Notre Dame would get on the board late in the period when freshman defenseman Kyle Lawson put Michael Bartlett and Sciba into the UNO zone on a two-on-one bid. Bartlett pulled the defenseman toward him and slid the pass to Sciba who deposited the puck behind Aarnio at 18:18 for his fourth goal of the season and the Irish a 2-0 lead after one period.
The two-goal first period marked the 12th time in the first 13 games that the Irish did not surrender a goal in the opening period and for the year they have now outscored the opposition by a 14-1 margin after the first stanza.
In the second period, Notre Dame would again convert on an odd-man rush as Kissel, another freshman, picked up his fourth goal of the year at 3:15 for the eventual game-winning marker.
Center Mark Van Guilder knocked down a Nebraska-Omaha clearing attempt at the UNO blue line and was able to move the puck to Kissel who was working his way out from behind the Maverick net. The freshman left wing took the pass in front of the goal, turned and fired a shot over Aarnio’s blocker to give Notre Dame a 3-0 lead after two periods of play.
Nebraska-Omaha came out in the third period and took the play to the Irish. They finally broke through on goaltender David Brown on a long shot from outside the blue line by Scero.
The Mavericks appeared to be looking for a line change as Scero fired a shot that deflected off Brown’s catching glove and rolled behind him through the crease and into the goal for his 10th of the season at 2:09.
The goal swung the momentum in the Maverick’s favor as they put pressure on the Notre Dame goal and cashed in just over three minutes later.
Dan Charleston controlled the puck behind the Irish goal and slipped a back-hand pass in front of the goal where Angell was crashing in from the right point. The senior defenseman one-timed a shot past Brown to cut Notre Dame’s lead to 3-2.
But, the duo of Deeth and Thang were there to save the day late in the period. Thang knocked down a clearing attempt along the right wing boards and found Deeth cutting to the goal. The speedy center did the rest, making a move on the defense before going to from his back hand to forehand before beating Aarnio for his sixth goal of the season at 14:31 for the 4-2 final score.
Thang finished with two assists while Deeth had a goal and an assist in the game. Condra and Kissel each had a goal while Lawson had an assist in the game.
For the night, the Irish and Mavericks each had 20 shots on goal. Brown finished with 18 saves while Aarnio had 16 for Nebraska-Omaha.
The Irish and Mavericks will meet in game two of the series on Saturday, Nov. 25 in a 7:35 p.m. (CST) game.
** Notre Dame goaltender David Brown is now 3-0-1 in his career versus Nebraska-Omaha. He has a 1.22 goals-against average and a .954 save percentage.
** The Irish killed off all four Nebraska-Omaha power-play chances in the game and have now killed 45 of the last 47 opponent power plays (95.7% success rate) since Oct. 20. For the season, the Irish have now killed 65-of-70 opponent power plays (92.9% success rate).
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - FNotre Dame (10-2-1/5-1-1) 2 1 1 - 4Nebraska-Omaha (3-7-4/2-6-1) 0 0 2 - 2
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; UNO: 1 for 2 minutes.
ND: Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UNO: 0 for 0 minutes.
Third Period: UNO: Brandon Scero 10 (Phil Angell, Eric Aarnio), 2:09; UNO: Angell 1 (Dan Charleston, Tomas Klempa), 5:23; ND: Deeth 6 (Thang), 14:31.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UNO: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 7 - 8 - 5 - 20
Nebraska-Omaha 7 - 4 - 9 - 20
ND - David Brown (60:00) 7 - 4 - 7 - 18
UNO - Eric Aarnio (58:46) 5 - 7 - 4 - 16
ND: 0 for 1
UNO: 0 for 4