Jan. 6, 2007
Pittsburgh, Pa. – Freshman center Kevin Deeth scored the first hat trick of his career and sophomore linemate Erik Condra added a goal and four assists for the first five-point game of his career to lead second-ranked Notre Dame to a 5-2 win over the Robert Morris Colonials Friday night in front of 3,420 fans at Mellon Arena.
The win extended Notre Dame’s current winning streak to seven straight and improved the Irish to 17-3-1 overall. Robert Morris, of College Hockey America (CHA), falls to 6-10-1 in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Irish goaltender David Brown made 17 saves in playing his first game at Mellon Arena, the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team that drafted him in the eighth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
The Irish wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as they took advantage of a Robert Morris penalty at 1:26 of the opening period. Condra and Deeth carried in on a 2-on-1 with Condra carrying the puck around a Colonial defenseman. He slid the puck across to Deeth on the left side of the goal and the freshman center redirected it behind goaltender Christian Boucher for his ninth goal of the season.
Condra made it 2-0 at 7:14 when he scored on a short-handed goal for his eighth of the season. With Robert Morris on the power play, defenseman Brett Blatchford flipped the puck out of the Irish zone to a streaking Condra who beat Boucher through his pads to give the Irish the two-goal lead.
The Colonials broke through at 17:09 while skating on their third power play of the period. Ryan Caruthers worked the puck loose in the left wing corner and his centering pass went off the skate of Sean Berkstresser right to Bittle alone in front of the Irish goal. Bittle stuffed it between Brown’s pads for his second goal of the season to cut the led to 2-1.
Deeth would get his second goal of the game at 1:28 of the second period to build the lead to 3-1. Condra put Deeth in all alone in the slot and he made a nice move to beat Boucher for his 10th of the year.
The feisty Colonials got back in the game at 8:43 when Boguslawski fired a shot from the slot that beat Brown through the pads for his seventh goal of the season.
Notre Dame got that goal back with less than three minutes left in the period. Michael Bartlett’s pass from the right wing boards found Sciba all alone in front. The senior left wing got off a first shot that Boucher stopped but Sciba tracked down the rebound and back-handed it over Boucher’s blocker for his sixth goal of the campaign to give the Irish a 4-2 lead at the intermission.
Deeth capped his hat trick at 8:16 of the third period when Condra again fed him in the slot. The slick center showed the puck on his forehand and then flipped a backhander over Boucher for his 11th goal of the year.
Thang closed the scoring with a power-play goal at 18:33 as he ripped a shot from the slot past Boucher for his 10th of the season. Condra picked up his fourth assist and fifth point of the game with Blatchford also getting his second assist of the night. Condra’s five-point night was the first by an Irish player since Dec. 20, 2000 when Brett Lebda had a goal and four assists in a win at Nebraska-Omaha.
On the night, Notre Dame out shot Robert Morris by a 30-19 margin. Boucher finished with 24 saves for the Colonials. Robert Morris was 1-for-5 on the power play while the Irish were 2-for-3.
Notre Dame and Robert Morris will meet again on Sunday, Jan. 7 at the Joyce Center. Game time is 4:05 p.m.
** With the Pittsburgh Penguins playing on the road on Friday night, Penguins’ goaltending coach Gilles Meloche stayed behind to watch David Brown in action.
** The crowd of 3,420 was the largest to ever watch a Robert Morris hockey game. It was also the second-largest crowd ever to watch any Robert Morris home sporting event. The only other larger crowd was one of 8,000 for a Robert Morris-Duquesne University football game in 1994.
** Earlier in the day on Friday, Irish freshman defenseman Kyle Lawson and Team USA won the bronze medal at the 2007 World Junior Championships in Sweden. Lawson, an alternate captain for the United States team, will return to action for the Irish next weekend at Lake Superior.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - FNotre Dame (17-3-1) 2 2 2 - 6Robert Morris (6-10-1) 1 1 0 - 2
Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes; RMU: 3 for 6 minutes.
ND: Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; RMU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: ND: Deeth 11 (Condra, Brock Sheahan), 8:16; ND: Thang 10 (Blatchford, Condra), PPG, 18:33.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; RMU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 9 - 12 - 9 - 30Robert Morris 6 - 6 - 7 - 19
Goaltender Saves:ND – David Brown (60:00) 5 – 5 – 7 – 17RMU – Christian Boucher (60:00) 7 – 10 – 7 – 24
Power Plays:ND: 2 for 3RMU: 1 for 5