Mario Lucia's first-period goal staked Notre Dame to a 1-0 lead

Irish Drop 3-2 Decision To Rensselaer In First Round Of ice Breaker Tournament

Oct. 10, 2014

October 10, 2014

Junior center Mark Miller tucked the rebound of a Zach Schroeder shot past University of Notre Dame netminder Chad Katunar at 4:32 of the third period to snap a 2-2 tie and give Rensselaer a 3-2 win in the second semifinal game of the Ice Breaker Tournament Friday night.

The win propels the Engineers to the Ice Breaker title game at 12:05 p.m., on Sunday, Oct. 12, at the Compton Family Ice Arena against the University of Minnesota. Notre Dame will play Minnesota Duluth in the third-place game at 3:35 p.m. Minnesota edged Duluth 4-3 in the opening game of the tournament Friday afternoon.

Miller’s goal came 51 seconds after Irish freshman defenseman Jordan Gross had tied the game at 2-2 in the final stanza in front of a sellout crowd of 5,022. Mario Lucia scored his first of the season in the opening period to stake Notre Dame to a 1-0 lead. Viktor Liljegren and Jacob Laliberte put Rensselaer ahead 2-1 with second period goals.

Katunar made a career-high 26 saves on the night in just his fourth career start. Jason Kasdorf stopped 31 of 33 shots in the RPI goal.

The loss drops the 13th-ranked Irish to 0-1-0 on the year while the Engineers win their season opener.

“I thought we came out strong and had a good first period and we weren’t as good in the second period,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.

“There were a lot of similarities to the exhibition game.”

Jackson added, “The difference in the game was between the blue lines. They contested us well. They play a 1-3-1 in the neutral zone and that’s a tough, neutral zone forecheck to play against. It makes it challenging to get through the neutral zone.”

The two teams played just over 17 minutes when Lucia put Notre Dame ahead with a goal scorer’s goal when left wing Sam Herr’s spinning shot in the slot went off Lucia’s skate and deflected past Kasdorf for his first of the year at 17:07.

A late penalty in the first period to the Irish led to a Rensselaer power-play goal just 42 seconds into the second stanza. Right wing Jimmy DeVito fired a shot that Katunar was able to stop, but the rebound came in front where Liljegren tucked it past the sophomore for the first goal of his career and a 1-1 tie.

RPI took the lead for the first time at 14:17 when Laliberte was able to split through the Notre Dame defense to lift a shot over Katunar’s left shoulder to make it 2-1.

The score stayed that way until the 3:41 mark of the third period. With the two teams skating four-on-four, Gross notched his first career goal when he jumped on a rebound to the left of Kasdorf and put it over the sprawling goaltender. The goal followed a shot by senior defenseman Robbie Russo that Kasdorf was able to stop but not control.

The tie lasted less than a minute when Miller pounced on a loose puck to the right of Katunar who got a pad on Schroeder’s first shot but lost the rebound to Miller skating through the slot.

The Irish were able to apply pressure during the third period, out shooting RPI by a 15-10 margin but could not get another shot behind Kasdorf.

Notre Dame was zero for five on the power play while the Engineers were one for three.

“I’ve said it all along that this was going to be a work in progress,” said Jackson.

“We have the potential to be a really good team. But it’s all about experience, working to gain experience.”

In the opening game of the tournament, Minnesota jumped out to 2-0 and 4-1 leads and then held off a late Minnesota Duluth rally for a 4-2 win. Kyle Rau had a goal and two assists to lead the Gophers, scoring just 30 seconds into the game as they built a 2-0 lead after one period. Sam Warning and Hudson Fasching scored single goals for Minnesota while Dominic Toninato had a pair for the Bulldogs and Andy Welinski added a solo tally in the loss. Adam Wilcox made 24 saves for Minnesota while Kasimir Kaskisuo, playing his first collegiate game, made 18 saves.

GAME SUMMARY                  1     2     3     -   FRensselaer (1-0-0)        0     2     1     -   3#13/#12 Notre Dame (0-1-0)    1     0     1    -    2

Scoring 1st Period: ND: Mario Lucia 1 (Sam Herr, Vince Hinostroza), 17:07. Penalties: RPI: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.

2nd Period: RPI: Viktor Liljegren 1 (Jimmy DeVito, Riley Bourbonnais), PPG, 00:42; RPI: Jacob Laliberte 1 (Matt Neal), 5:43. Penalties: RPI: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 0 for 0 minutes.

3rd Period: ND: Jordan Gross 1 (Robbie Russo, Thomas DiPauli), 3:41; RPI: Mark Miller 1 (Zach Schroeder), 4:32. Penalties: RPI: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.

Shots On Goal:Rensselaer      8 - 9 - 12 - 29Notre Dame         10 - 8 - 15 - 33
Goaltender Saves:RPI: Jason Kasdorf (60:00) 9 - 8 - 14 - 31ND: Chad Katunar (58:57) 8 - 7 - 11 - 26
Power Plays:RPI: 1 for 3ND: 0 for 5
Attendance: 5,022 (sellout)