December 29, 1996

Notre Dame Hockey Drops Another Heartbreaker, 3-2, At Princeton

Bertoli’s overtime goal with 19 seconds remaining hands Irish seventh one-goal loss

Princeton, N.J. – Sophomore Scott Bertoli’s deflected shotwith 19 seconds remaining in overtime provided the game-winning goal asPrinceton defeated visiting Notre Dame, 3-2, in non-conference hockeyaction Sunday afternoon at Hobey Baker Arena.

The game marked Notre Dame’s seventh one-goal loss of the season and itsthird defeat in the final minute. The Irish – who lost 5-2 to Princeton onSaturday after a 20 day break from competition – fell to 5-12-1 and returnto conference play at home on Jan. 3 vs. Miami University.

Bertoli scored the game-winner in transition, taking an outlet passfrom linemate Casson Masters and firing a shot from the center of theblueline. Notre Dame sophomore defenseman Benoit Cotnoir was skating intoposition between the circles to deflect the shot but inadvertingly sweptthe puck into the net.

The Irish had their best chance of the overtime just seconds beforeBertoli’s goal. After a faceoff at the left circle in the Princeton end,Cotnoir chased down the puck near the rightside boards before firing a passacross the goalmouth. Junior center Lyle Andrusiak was filling the slot butcould not reach the puck for what could have been a game-winning flickshot.

Princeton’s third-string goalie Craig Bradley picked up the victory,making six saves after replacing sophomore starter Nick Rankin at thestart of the third period.

Notre Dame again played without freshman center Ben Simon, who Sundayhelped the U.S. junior national team defeat the Czech Republic, 2-1, atthe World Junior Championship tournament in Geneva, Switzerland.

Princeton (10-2), which was ranked as high as #9 in last weeks nationalpolls, enjoyed first-periad leads of 1-0 and 2-1 but the Irish scoredmidway through the second when senior center Terry Lorenz poked in acrossing pass from sophomore right wing Brian Urick.

Notre Dame sophomore goaltender Forrest Karr turned in another solidperformance while making his fifth start of the season. Karr finishedwith 33 saves, including 25 straight prior to Bertoli’s game-winningsoore, while lowering his season goals-against-average to 3.65.

Princeton jumped ahead five minutes into the game when Bertoli put backa rebounded shot by linemate Jeff Halpern.

The Irish answered two minutes later, as Urick picked up his firstassist of the day. Urick emerged with the puck behind the net and senta pass across the crease. Cotnoir was waiting near the inside edge ofthe right cirde and quickly flicked the puck past Rankin, a former prepteammate of Urick at Minnetonka (Minn.) High School

The hosts regained the lead heading into the first intermission, whensophomore defenseman Steven Shirreffs cranked a shot from inside theblueline that deflected off Notre Dame’s Tim Harberts before sneakinginside the right post (18:21).

The Insh again netted the equalizer at the 10:42 mark of the secondpenod when Urick took a pass from senior Steve Noble, manuevered nearthe right circle and sent a pass across the goalmouth. Lorenz was poisednear the left post and redirected the puck into the net, ultimatelyforcing the overtime.

Notre Dame lowered its season goals-against average to 3.59, which wouldbest the Irish’s previous eight season-ending marks. On the flip side,the Irish continue to struggle at the offensive end, converting on just9.4% of their shots on goal while averaging 10.6 shots per score.Sunday’s game marked the eighth time in 18 games this season the the Inshhave failed to score more than two goals.

                        1   2   3   OT      FNOTRE DAME (5-12-1)     1   1   0   0   -   2PRINCETON (11-3-2)      2   0   0   1   -   31st -  PU 1. Bertoli (Halpern, Masters) 4:31;  ND 1. Cotnoir (Urick Lorenz) 6:25. 2nd - ND 2. Lorenz (Urick, Noble) 10:42.  3rd -  No scoring.OT - Bertoli (Masters, Barber) 4:41.Shots on goal: ND 12-8-5-1/26, PU 10-14-7-5/36.  Saves: ND (Karr) 8-14-7-4/33, PU (Rankin) 11-7-x-x/18, PU (Bradley) x-x-5-1/6.  Power Play: ND 0-for-1, PU 0-for-2.    Penalties: ND 3 for 6:00, PU 2 for 4:00.