Mario Lucia scored his third goal of the season during the first period of Notre Dame's Shillelagh Tournament opening game against Harvard on Friday

No. 18 Irish Fall To No. 8 Harvard 4-1 In Shillelagh Opener

Nov. 27, 2015

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By Dan Colleran

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A first period goal from Mario Lucia gave No. 18 Notre Dame a 1-0 lead, but No. 8 Harvard responded with a pair of power-play goals by Kyle Crisculo late in the second period to take a 3-1 lead. The Crimson went on to post a 4-1 win in the opening round of the sixth-annual Shillelagh Tournament at the Compton Family Ice Arena (5,379).

Lucia’s second power-play goal of the season put the Irish up 1-0 at 10:30 of the first, capping off an extended period of offensive pressure for the Irish.

“I thought Mario played with a lot more energy, a lot more edge to him,” Head Coach Jeff Jackson said after the game. “He was stronger over the puck, I was glad to see him score that first goal. I’m sure it gave him more confidence as well.”

But Lewis Zerter-Gossage tied the game, 1-1, at the 15:08 mark in the first period when he converted off a Notre Dame turnover in the defensive zone.

“In the first period, I thought we matched [Harvard’s speed] fine,” Irish Head Coach Jeff Jackson said. “In the second period, I didn’t think we were as good. I didn’t think we were supporting the puck as well. When you’re playing a team that has good speed, they’re not just fast offensively but defensively, too, so you have to have puck support.”

Near the end of the second period, Harvard took advantage of a two minute 5-on-3 power play chance as Criscuolo netted a 5-on-3 goal followed by a 5-on-4 tally at 18:44 and 19:27.

“They do a good job of moving the puck,” Jackson said of the Harvard power play. “They have five big-time forwards on that top unit, when they move the puck, they have good instincts.”

Jimmy Vesey scored Harvard’s third power-play goal of the night at 5:03 of the third for the final 4-1 score.

Notre Dame (5-4-4, 3-1-2 HEA) held the edge in the final shot count by a 30-26 margin over Harvard (5-1-1, 5-1-1 ECAC), including a 16-10 mark in the third period.

Harvard goaltender Merrick Madsen finished with 29 saves for the Crimson, while Cal Petersen (19) and Chad Katunar (3) combined for 22 saves for the Irish.

Harvard was 3-for-9 on the power play, while the Irish were 1-for-5.

In Friday’s first game of the 2015 Shillelagh Tournament, RPI defeated Western Michigan 4-1. Harvard and RPI will now play in the championship game of the 2015 Shillelagh Tournament at 4:05 p.m. tomorrow afternoon (Nov. 28), while Western Michigan and Notre Dame will play in the consolation game at 7:35 p.m.


— The Irish took a 1-0 lead at 10:30 of the first period when Mario Lucia one-timed a Bobby Nardella pass to the far post past Harvard goaltender Merrick Madsen for his second power-play goal of the season. Jake Evans also earned his team-leading 11th-assist of the season on the play.

— Harvard tied it 1-1 at 15:08 of the first period when Lewis Zerter-Gossage picked up a loose puck in the low slot and beat Petersen low for the first goal of his career.

— Near the end of the second period, the Crimson took advantage of a two minute 5-on-3 power play chance as Kyle Criscuolo netted back-to-back power play goals at 18:44 and 19:27. He scored the first one from in close on a backhander, with assists going to Victor Newell and Alexander Kerfoot. Criscuolo’s second was scored off a rebound in front, with assists to Kerfoot and Jimmy Vesey.

— The Crimson power play struck again at 5:03 of the third period when Vesey one-timed a shot from the low slot high past Petersen for his sixth goal of the season, with assists to Kerfoot and Newell to make it a 4-1 game.


— Harvard and Notre Dame played for the first time since Dec. 23, 1978 (a 9-5 Harvard win in Boston, Mass.).

— Notre Dame played a top-10 opponent for the third-straight game, coming off a 0-1-1 series at then fifth-ranked UMass Lowell (the River Hawks are now ranked fourth).

Cal Petersen made his 13th-consecutive start in the Irish goal to open the 2015-16 season.

— Harvard spent an elapsed game time of 11:18 on the power play (Notre Dame was on the power play for 4:45).

Mario Lucia netted his second power-play goal of the season–the 18th of his Irish career.

Chad Katunar made his first appearance of the season in the Irish net, playing the final 6:08 and recording three saves.

— ND —

Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and men’s golf programs. A native Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Prior to Providence, Colleran spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League. He is a 2006 graduate of Providence College, where he also earned an MBA in 2008.