No. 8/9 Irish Earn Season-Opening Sweep

Theisen scores twice in 6-1 victory over Air Force

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — With a four-goal third period, the #8/9 Notre Dame Hockey team earned a commanding 6-1 win over the Air Force Academy on Sunday evening to open the season with a series sweep. 

Colin Theisen (2G, 1A) and Mike O’Leary (3A) each recorded three points to lead the Irish, while Cal Burke (1G, 1A) and Tory Dello (2A) also notched two-point nights.

The Irish converted on two of three power play opportunities, including goals from Matt Hellickson and Theisen, while the Irish penalty kill was 2-for-2.

Ryan Bischel earned his second collegiate victory with 22 saves.

How It Happened
Just three minutes into the first period, the Irish scored on their first shot of the game when Cam Morrison broke up a play in the neutral zone, skated down the far wing and buried a wrist shot low past Air Force goaltender Zach LaRocque for his second goal of the weekend.

Max Harper evened the score with 2:13 left in the frame and the teams carried a 1-1 tie into the first intermission.

Matt Hellickson’s one-timer from the top of the circle at 2:54 of the second restored the one-goal Notre Dame lead. The power-play tally came after a nice passing sequence from the Irish, which included assists for Dello and O’Leary.

Bischel stopped all seven shots he faced in the stanza as the Irish held a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. 

The Irish took advantage of another power-play opportunity early in the third when Theisen’s chip in front eluded LaRocque for the junior’s second goal of the weekend, with the assists going to Spencer Stastney and O’Leary just 35 seconds into the period. 

Cal Burke made it a 4-1 game when he fired a one-timer from the slot high past LaRocque for his second goal of the weekend, with O’Leary earning his third assist of the game on the play. Theisen had the second assist on the goal, which was scored at 4:20 of the third. 

Just over two minutes later, Theisen scored his second of the game when he buried a rebound to give the Irish the 5-1 lead. Dello and Cal Burke earned the assists on the score, which chased LaRoque from the Falcon net in favor of Alex Schilling.

With 0.9 seconds left in the game, Jake Pivonka recorded the final goal of the contest, pulling the final to 6-1 in favor of the Irish. Nick Leivermann and Graham Slaggert added their names to the assist tally on the play.

Up Next

  • The Irish are off next weekend and then return with a two-game series against Lake Superior State on Oct. 25 and 26 at the Compton Family Ice Arena
  • The first game of that series will be broadcast on the NBCSports Network (NBCSN), while game two will air on NBC Sports Chicago+. 
  • Click here for tickets

Notes

  • Dating back to last season, Cam Morrison has scored a goal in five of his last six games.
  • Sunday marked Colin Theisen’s first career three-point game.
  • Mike O’Leary posted his second career game with at least three assists (4 vs. Michigan State on 1/25/19).
  • Matt Hellickson and Jake Pivonka earned their first goals of the 2019-20 season.
  • Tory Dello and Spencer Stastney recorded their first assists of the season, while Dello (2A) notched his fourth career multi-point game.

—ND—