NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Despite a 36-29 advantage in shots on goal, the Notre Dame hockey team fell to the U.S. National Team Development Program (U18s), 4-1, in its opening exhibition game of the 2018-19 season Sunday night at Compton Family Ice Arena (2,919).
Colin Thiesen gave the Irish a one-goal lead just 1:12 into play. When Jake Pivonka’s initial attempt from the slot was blocked, rebounding back to Thiesen, he gathered the puck and beat U.S. goaltender Spencer Knight five-hole.
The Irish outshot Team USA 13-4 in the opening 20 minutes, but were unable to double their advantage entering the first intermission.
Team USA tied the contest at the 4:14 mark of the second stanza on a goal from Marshall Warren.
Goals from Judd Caufield and Trevor Zegras in the final 5:14 of the middle frame gave Team USA a 3-1 lead entering the final period of play.
The U.S. made it a three-goal game on a third-period tally by Alex Vlasic with 9:16 left in regulation.
Cale Morris started in goal for Notre Dame and stopped 10 of 11 shots in 31 minutes of play. Dylan St. Cyr entered the game in relief of Morris and finished with 15 saves.
The Irish open the 2018-19 regular season at the 2018 IceBreaker Tournament in Erie, Pa., next Friday and Saturday (Oct. 12-13). Notre Dame takes on Mercyhurst on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and will face either Miami University or Providence on Saturday in the championship or consolation game.