ERIE, Pa. — Cale Morris stopped all 22 shots he faced and three different players netted goals as #2/4 Notre Dame blanked #4/5 Providence, 3-0, to win the 2018 Ice Breaker Championship.
“This early in the season you are always trying to work on your game and get better, especially with the young group we have I was really excited with how we played tonight,” head coach Jeff Jackson said. “I thought we did a much better job with the puck, got some timely scoring and got good goaltending. That’s how we win.”
The teams played a scoreless first period that saw the Irish go 0-for-3 on the man advantage. With 5:55 left in the opening frame, Dylan Malmquist had a great look down low but Providence goaltender Hayden Hawkey turned it aside for one of his seven first period saves.
Early in the second, Joe Wegwerth was quick to headman the puck from the neutral zone to offensive blue line, where Alex Steeves picked up the pass and broke in on Hawkey only to see his backhander denied.
The Irish finally broke the deadlock at 17:36 of the second when Andrew Peeke fired a shot from the top of the far circle that bounced off Wegwerth and past Hawkey for a 1-0 Notre Dame lead. The power-play goal, Wegwerth’s second in as many nights, was also assisted by Malmquist.
Notre Dame extended the lead to 2-0 when Jack Jenkins sent a centering feed in front and Colin Theisen was waiting at the far post for his first goal of the season. The goal, which came at 3:59 of the third, was also assisted by sophomore Matt Steeves – his first career assist.
Bobby Nardella scored his first goal of the season at 10:35 of the third to extend the lead to 3-0 when he forced home a loose puck in front following another power-play shot by Peeke.
The Irish (1-0-1) return to action next Friday and Saturday (Oct. 19-20) on the road against Nebraska Omaha.
- It marks Notre Dame’s fifth appearance in the Ice Breaker tournament including 1999, 2010, 2012, 2014.
- The Fighting Irish won the Ice Breaker tournament in 2012 by defeating Maine and Omaha.
- Joe Wegwerth scored on the power play for the second night in a row, which marked his eighth career power-play goal (Wegwerth has 16 career goals).
- It marked the first power-play goal the Friars have given up this season after starting the season with 16 consecutive penalty kills.
- Andrew Peeke tied his career high with two points on two assists (seventh career multi-point game) and it marked his second consecutive two-assist night.
- In Friday night’s 6-6 tie with Mercyhurst, Cal Burke notched his second career hat trick making him the first Irish player with multiple hat tricks since Anders Lee had two (Oct. 8, 2010 and Oct. 1, 2011).
— ND —