NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 15th-ranked University of Notre Dame hockey team rebounded to take the final game of a weekend series against Wisconsin, defeating the Badgers 5-2 on Saturday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena (5,331).
Notre Dame (16-11-3, 9-9-2-2 B1G) outpaced Wisconsin (10-15-5, 6-9-5-2 B1G) on special teams, scoring three power-play goals to make the difference on the night. In total, 10 Irish players tallied points as Notre Dame registered five goals for the second time in three games.
“We knew it was getting to the time of the year when we need to win games so I think for us it was just important to get back to our game,” Dylan St. Cyr said after the victory. “Today was a big game for us and I think our team played well and we stepped up with five goals today.”
Freshman forward Michael Graham led the way for the Irish with his fourth multi-goal game of the season, scoring two of Notre Dame’s three second-period goals. With his performance, Graham took the team lead in goals with 11 and earned his first multi-point game since stringing together three such performances from Jan. 18-25 (a two-game series with Wisconsin and the first game of a stint at Michigan State).
Also netting goals were Colin Theisen, Jake Pivonka and Cal Burke. Andrew Peeke, Bobby Nardella and Burke each totaled two assists, while Matt Hellickson, Mike O’Leary, Tory Dello and Cam Morrison recorded an assist apiece.
Wisconsin’s two goals provided the game’s bookends, as the Badgers scored at the 2:25 mark of the first period (Matthew Freytag) and the 15:49 point of the third (Sean Dhooghe).
Irish sophomore Dylan St. Cyr made his sixth appearance of the season Saturday, accumulating 32 saves — one short of a season high — and a .941 save percentage en route to third-star honors. Wisconsin starter Daniel Lebedeff made 18 saves and allowed four goals in two periods of action, while reliever Jack Berry totaled eight saves and one goal in the third period.
The Irish converted on three of six power play chances, while the Badgers went 0-for-3. Wisconsin committed eight penalties to Notre Dame’s five.
Notre Dame Goal Descriptions
1-1 | Theisen ripped a one-timer from the right circle as the Irish capitalized 30 seconds into their first power-play chance at the 9:28 mark of the first period. After his first shot in the series was blocked, Theisen buried his eighth goal of the season when Cal Burke sent it back from the opposite circle for an open look. Hellickson also assisted on the play.
2-1 | The Irish netted their second power-play goal of the night when Graham redirected a pass from the slot past Lebedeff to give the Irish the lead just 3:33 into the second. Peeke and Nardella registered assists on the play.
3-1 | Pivonka’s second career goal came at 12:04 of the second when he streaked into the slot and converted on Burke’s pass from the goal line, while Nardella added a secondary assist for his second of the night.
4-1 | Graham registered his second goal of the night — and his team-leading 11th of the season — on a one-timer from the top of the right circle. O’Leary and Dello were the helpers on the play that gave the Irish a three-goal lead with less than two minutes until the second intermission.
5-1 | Burke added to his point total with his first goal since Nov. 30 (vs. RPI), scoring on a give-and-go with Morrison. Peeke added the second assist.
The Fighting Irish will play their final regular-season road series next weekend at Minnesota on Feb. 22-23. Friday’s game will televised by the Big Ten Network (9 p.m. ET) and Saturday’s game will be on Fox Sports North (5:30 p.m. ET).
- With a pair of assists, Bobby Nardella posted his sixth multi-point game of the season and the 19th of his career.
- Nardella now has 98 career points on 23 goals and 75 assists, with the 98 points ranking seventh all-time at Notre Dame in career points for a defenseman.
- With a goal and a pair of assists, Cal Burke posted his fourth multi-point game of the season (first since Nov. 10) and the 10th multi-point game of his career.
- The goal was Burke’s 10th of the season and first since a 5-1 win over RPI on Nov. 30.
- With a pair of goals, Michael Graham recorded his fourth multi-point and multi-goal game of his freshman season.
- Graham now has 13 points (10-3-13) since Jan. 18, including seven points (6-1-7) in four games against the Badgers.
- Mike O’Leary (0-3-3) and Tory Dello (0-4-4) each have three-game point streaks.
Trio Up For Hobey Vote
- It was announced on Jan. 16 that forward Cal Burke, goaltender Cale Morris and defenseman Bobby Nardella have each been selected to Phase One of the Hobey Baker Award’s fan ballot (vote at www.hobeybaker.com).
- Awarded annually to college hockey’s top player, the Hobey Baker award includes candidates exhibiting the exceptional character traits of the award’s namesake, Hobey Baker, with consideration given to scholastic achievement and sportsmanship.
- Morris, who was awarded the 2018 Mike Richter Award as college hockey’s top goaltender, was named a Top-10 Finalist for the Hobey Baker Award last season.
- Morris was the fourth player in Notre Dame history to be among the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker, joining Anders Bjork (2017), David Brown (2007) and Dave Poulin (1982).
- Morris, a Larkspur, Colorado, native, was also the first player from the Centennial State to play his way into the Hobey Top 10.
- The Fan Balloting (Phase I) of the Hobey Baker award calendar will continue until March 10.
- On March 20, the Top 10 Finalists will be announced, at which time Phase II Fan Balloting will begin and run through March 31.
- The Hobey Hat Trick Finalist Announcement will be made on April 4.
- The 2019 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists on Friday, April 12, during the 2019 NCAA Frozen Four Championship in Buffalo, New York.
— ND —