Oct. 10, 2009
Notre Dame, Ind. – It would appear that teams from College Hockey America conference have Notre Dame’s number.
After dropping their first round game to Bemidji State in the NCAA Tournament last March, the Irish got another taste of CHA cooking on Friday night as they dropped their home opener to another CHA team, falling to Alabama-Huntsville, 3-2, in front of a sold out Joyce Center crowd of 2,994.
Sophomore Cody Campbell scored a power-play goal with just five seconds left on the third-period clock to give the Chargers a 3-2 victory. Campbell’s goal came just 32 seconds after Ryan Thang was called for tripping in the neutral zone.
Chargers’ goaltender Cameron Talbot made 39 saves in the game, including six on a five-minute Irish power play late in the second stanza. Brad Phillips, making his first start since January 19, 2008, stopped 28-of-31 shots on the night in the Notre Dame goal.
“Once they scored that tying goal they got a lot of momentum and it just built for them,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
“They played hard, (Charger head coach) Danton (Cole) had them ready to play. They came in here wanting to make a statement and they did.”
The night started strong for the Irish as they capitalized on an Alabama-Huntsville penalty with Sheahan scoring his first collegiate goal on his first career shot.
“I thought Riley (Sheahan) played great tonight,” said Thang following the game.
“I thought our line really generated some quality chances in the first couple periods. For his first game, he had some big faceoff wins and the big goal. It was good to see.”
Despite out shooting the Chargers, 12-10, in the first period, the Irish only led 1-0 after one period of play thanks to Talbot.
“We knew he was a good goaltender,” said Jackson of Talbot.
“He played well against us a couple of years ago in the R.P.I. Tournament. He’s big and athletic and he played well for them tonight.”
The Chargers would tie the game at the 13:13 mark of the second period when Tom Train beat Phillips in front, depositing a the rebound of a Vince Bruni shot behind the Irish goaltender for his first of the season and a 1-1 score.
Notre Dame would retake the lead at 15:50 on their third power-play chance of the game. This time it was Palmieri who one-timed a Calle Ridderwall pass from the right circle past Talbot for his first collegiate goal. The freshman from Montvale, N.J., had five shots in the game; trailing Sheahan’s seven on the night.
With 2:34 left in the second period, Alabama-Huntsville’s Keenan Desmet was called for a checking from behind penalty against Patrick Gaul that resulted in a five-minute power play that carried over to the third period, but the Irish could not improve on their 2-1 lead.
The Chargers would get the equalizer at 8:01 of the final period as Cseter whipped the rebound of a shot by Train past Phillips to even the score at 2-2.
“I didn’t think we did a good job defensively in front of Brad (Phillips),” said Jackson.
“I thought we were cheating a little too much offensively. We expect to score a lot of goals and we played like that tonight. Instead of doing the little things we have to do to be successful like finishing checks, playing on the defensive side of people, we were trying to poke and go. It allowed them to generate scoring chances.”
Late in the period, Thang was called for two consecutive penalties with the second for tripping at 19:23. On that chance, the Chargers converted.
Andrew Coburn’s shot from the right side was stopped by Phillips. Matt Baxter tried to tuck the rebound past him the Irish netminder but the junior stopped that with the rebound left free in front where Campbell fired it home at 19:55 for the game winner to hand the Irish their first loss of the season.
“We know we have some things to smooth out,” said the Irish captain.
“The guys don’t accept the way we played tonight. I think that’s the last time you’ll see us play like this. It’s a good wake-up call for us. It was unacceptable the way we played tonight.”
Notre Dame and Alabama-Huntsville will meet tonight at the Joyce Center with opening faceoff set for 7:05 p.m.
*** IRISH NOTES ***
* Sheahan joins Billy Maday and Tim Wallace `06 as Notre Dame players who have scored on their first collegiate shots in their first collegiate game. Maday did it last season at Denver and Wallace did it in his first career game at Minnesota-Duluth in 2002.
* With the loss, Notre Dame’s record falls to 20-20-2 in season openers. The Irish are 23-18-1 in home openers in this the 42nd year of the program’s history.
* Sophomore Kyle Murphy (Fairhaven, N.J.) saw his first career action for Notre Dame. The Shattuck St. Mary’s graduate did not play in any games last season. He had one shot on goal in the game.
* The Joyce Center crowd of 2,994 was the 10th consecutive sellout crowd for Notre Dame dating back to Dec. 13, 2008 versus Bowling Green. Thirteen of Notre Dame’s 18 home games last season were sellouts.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - FAlabama-Huntsville (1-0-0) 0 1 2 - 3#5/#5 Notre Dame (0-1-0) 1 1 0 - 2
First Period: ND: Riley Sheahan 1 (Billy Maday, Ryan Thang), PPG, 3:02.
Penalties: UAH: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Second Period: UAH: Tom Train 1 (Vince Bruni, Chris Fairbanks), 13:13; ND: Kyle Palmieri 1 (Calle Ridderwall, Kevin Deeth), PPG, 15:50.
Penalties: UAH: 3 for 17 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: UAH: Justin Cseter 1 (Train, Brennan Barker), 8:01; UAH: Cody Campbell 1 (Matt Baxter, Andrew Coburn), PPG, 19:55.
Penalties: UAH: 0 for 0 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Alabama-Huntsville 10 - 9 - 12 - 31Notre Dame 12 - 15 - 14 - 41
Goaltender Saves:UAH: Cameron Talbot (60:00) 11 - 14 - 14 - 39ND: Brad Phillips (59:29) 10 - 9 - 12 - 28
Power Plays:UAH: 1 for 5ND: 2 for 4
Attendance: 2,994 (sellout)