Jan. 10, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame hockey team (9-11-2) led Western Michigan (9-9-2) on two occasions, but Colton Hargrove lit the lamp with just 1:06 remaining in regulation to lift the Broncos to a 4-3 win on Saturday night at Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena.
The Irish scored first with a tally on the power play just 6:13 into the game, taking a 1-0 advantage. Mario Lucia controlled the puck behind the net in the corner and fed Thomas DiPauli in the slot of just Notre Dame’s sixth power play goal of the year. Jordan Gross picked up the second assist on the play. Both Gross and Lucia extended point-scoring streaks to six games with their helpers. Notre Dame doubled its lead at 15:04 with the teams skating four-aside.
The Broncos would level the score at 2-2 before the end of the opening stanza. Justin Kovacs scored the first one at 15:16 with a long wrist shot while the teams skated four-aside. Will Kessel notched the second Bronco goal on a power play when he fought his way through a scrum in front of the Irish net to knock the puck past netminder Chad Katunar.
Notre Dame opened the second period on the offensive and regained the lead just 2:05 into the frame. Hinostroza shot high to the far post, handcuffing Bronco goalie Lukas Hafner who left a juicy rebound off of his blocker. Lucia swooped in to deposit that rebound in the Western Michigan net for his team-high 13th goal of the year and second in as many nights. The Broncos got that goal back on the power play at the 10:27 mark of the period when Nolan LaPorte powered his way to the slot and lifted a shot up and over Katunar to again knot the score, this time at 3-3.
The Broncos held a slight edge in the third period but neither team could score a goal for nearly 19 minutes. Western Michigan broke through with the game-winner at the 18:54 mark. The Irish turned the puck over in their own defensive zone and Colton Hargrove was the beneficiary, collecting the puck and snapping a shot past Cal Petersen.
Notre Dame could not find an equalizer in the final 1:06 as Western Michigan swept the weekend home-and-home series, the final non-conference games of 2014-15 for the Irish.
Each team took 24 shots on the night. Western Michigan scored twice on five power play attempts while the Irish were 1-for-7 with a man advantage. Hafner earned the win after making 21 saves in the Bronco net. Katunar made 12 stops in his 40 minutes of work for the Irish. Petersen made eight saves in the third period, but picked up the loss.
Notre Dame, Hockey East’s second-newest member, welcomes the latest addition to the league, Connecticut, for a 7:35 p.m. ET faceoff on Friday, Jan. 16, at the Compton Family Ice Arena. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the game live. It will be the first meeting between the Irish and Huskies on the ice.