March 4, 2013
Notre Dame, Ind. – University of Notre Dame freshman left wing Mario Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.) has been named the CCHA Postgame offensive player of the week for the week ending March 3. The rookie forward scored one game-winning goal and set up the second in the Irish weekend sweep of Bowling Green.
Lucia had two goals and one assist in the weekend series, scoring a power-play goal and a game winner while getting five shots on goal and was +1 for the weekend as the Irish defeated Bowling Green, 4-3, on Friday night and 4-1 on Saturday. With the two wins, Notre Dame moved into second place in the final CCHA standings.
In Friday’s 4-3 win over the Falcons, Lucia scored on the power play at 7:24 of the second period to give Notre Dame a 4-1 lead. He took a pass from defenseman Sam Calabrese (Sr., Park Ridge, Ill.) at the top of the right circle and one-timed a shot that beat Bowling Green goaltender Andrew Hammond low to his stick side and inside the left post for his 11th goal of the season and the game winner. He had two shots in the game and was even for the night.
On Saturday, in the 4-1 win by the Irish, Lucia scored the first goal of the game and then set up David Gerths’ (Jr., Ankeny, Iowa) game winner in the second period. He had three shots and was +1 in the game. The freshman standout staked Notre Dame to a 1-0 lead at 5:31 of the first when took a centering pass from defenseman Robbie Russo (So., Westmont, Ill.) and deflected it on goaltender Andrew Hammond. He then followed the shot and jammed the rebound between Hammond’s pads for his 12th of the year to give the Irish a 1-0 lead.
In the second period, with the game tied 1-1, Lucia became the playmaker as he set up Gerths’ ninth goal of the season with a pass behind the goal from the right side to Gerths on the left goal line. The junior spun and fired into the open net to give Notre Dame the 2-1 lead on the way to the 4-1 victory.
For the season, Lucia has played in 27 games after missing the first nine due to a broken leg. He is fifth in team scoring with 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points and is -1 on the season with five power-play goals and one game winner. His 12 goals tie him for second on the squad and he leads the team with his five power-play goals. Twice this season, Lucia has been named the CCHA Gongshow rookie of the week (Dec. 2 and 9) and was the Gongshow rookie of the month for December.
The Irish are currently ranked 12th by USA Today/U.S Hockey Magazine and 11th by USCHO.com and finished the regular season with a 21-12-3 overall record and a 17-8-3-2 record in the CCHA, good for 56 points and second place in the conference, three points behind first-place Miami.
By finishing second, Notre Dame receives a bye in the first week of the CCHA playoffs (March 8-10) and will host a best-of-three quarterfinal series, next week versus an opponent to be determined.