Oct. 17, 2008
Notre Dame, Ind. –
The Notre Dame hockey team opened the 2008-09 home schedule on Friday night and didn’t disappoint as the Irish handed the Sacred Heart Pioneers a 3-0 shutout in front of 2,256 fans at the Joyce Center.
Senior right wing Erik Condra paced the Notre Dame attack, notching a power-play goal and one assist while junior defenseman Kyle Lawson added a short-handed marker and senior center Christian Hanson closed the scoring with an empty net goal in the 3-0 win. Senior goaltender Jordan Pearce turned aside all 18 shots he faced on the night to record his first shutout of the year and the fifth of his career.
For Sacred Heart, the story of the night was the play of senior goaltender Stefan Drew who made 39 saves in the game as Notre Dame out shot the Pioneers by a 42-18 margin.
The victory improved the Irish to 1-1-0 on the year while Sacred Heart falls to 0-3-0 in the early going. The two teams will meet on Saturday night, Oct. 18 at 7:05 p.m., to close out the two-game series.
The Irish, who were 0-for-8 on the power play in their season-opening loss at Denver last Saturday broke through on their fourth power-play chance of the night at 15:09 of the first period when Condra converted a centering pass from Ryan Thang for his first goal of the season.
“I thought we generated some good scoring chances on the power play tonight,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
“You have to give their goaltender credit, he played a real good game tonight. Sacred Heart did a good job penalty killing. They make it tough to get the second chances as they put two guys right in front. After last weekend, it was progress and it would have been nice to get a couple more.”
The score stayed 1-0 until the final minute of the first when Notre Dame’s special teams struck again. This time it was the penalty killing unit that got on the scoreboard when Lawson beat the Pioneer defense and fired a shot past Drew for his first goal of the season and first short-handed mark of his career at 19:48. Kevin Deeth and Condra chipped in assists on the goal.
“Short-handed goals are momentum goals. They can turn the tide of a game when you give one up,” said Condra.
“We did a good job keeping them deep in their zone and got a break when the puck popped out. Lawson made an unreal play to score the goal.”
The Irish took the 2-0 lead into the intermission and kept pouring the shots on the Sacred Heart goal, only to have Drew repel scoring chance after scoring chance. The 5-11, 170-pound goaltender from Oakbank, Manitoba made 13 saves in the first and 15 in the second as Notre Dame had a 30-8 shots margin after two periods of play.
“I thought their goaltender played exceptional tonight,” said Jackson.
“We were a little loose with the puck and could have had some better scoring chances if we had been a little more effective driving to the net and getting more traffic in front. When the kid is playing that well, we need to get in his face a little more and get bodies to the front of the goal.
The Irish would close the scoring at 19:43 with Drew on the bench in favor of an extra attacker. Sacred Heart got the puck into the Notre Dame net where Calle Ridderwall and Ian Cole both worked to chop the puck out of the right wing corner to Hanson in the neutral zone. The big center was able to direct it down the ice and into the empty net for his first of the year and the 3-0 final score.
“We won the special teams battle tonight which is always great,” said Jackson.
“We got a short-handed goal to go with the power-play goal and our penalty kill didn’t give any up. Winning the special teams battle is a key to being successful. We need to start taking advantages of our opportunities. We’ll continue to work on that tomorrow night.”
** IRISH NOTES **
â€¢ The home-opening win improved Notre Dame to 23-17-1 in home openers during the 41-year history of the program.
â€¢ With his assist on Kyle Lawson’s first-period short-handed goal, Erik Condra moves into a tie for 17th on the all-time assist list with Connor Dunlop `03 as each have 86. He broke his tie for 18th with his uncle, All-American Kirt Bjork `83, who had 85 in his career. His two-point night was the 28th of his career.
â€¢ With his first-period assist on Lawson’s goal, Kevin Deeth has now scored in four straight games, dating back to the Frozen Four last April. He has two goals and three assists in that span.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F
Sacred Heart (0-3-0) 0 0 0 – 0 #8/#8 Notre Dame (1-1-0) 2 0 1 – 3
Penalties: SHU: 4 for 8 minutes; ND: 3 for 6 minutes.
Second Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: SHU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Penalties: SHU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Sacred Heart 4 - 4 - 10 - 18Notre Dame 15 - 15 - 12 - 42
Goaltender Saves:SHU - Stefan Drew (59:49) 13 - 15 - 11 - 39ND - Jordan Pearce (59:48) 4 - 4 - 10 - 18
Power Plays:SHU: 0 for 4ND: 1 for 7