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Hockey: Irish start strong in exhibition victory

Chris Khorey | Monday, October 9, 2006

Sophomore right wing Erik Condra recorded a hat trick Friday as Notre Dame beat Windsor 9-0 in an exhibition contest.

The game was the first of the year for the Irish, who open the regular season Thursday against Minnesota State-Mankato at the Joyce Center.

“Tonight was about evaluation,” Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said. “It was good for me to see something tonight, but I’ll see more on film later tonight.”

Two of Condra’s goals came shorthanded on turnovers that happened while he was “concentrating on defense.”

“The bounce went my way and I found myself on a breakaway,” he said.

Condra’s first shorthanded tally came at 10:56 of the first period. During the Windsor power play, Condra intercepted a pass at center ice and skated in untouched on Lancers goalie Reese Kalleitner and beat him top shelf.

Six minutes later, Condra added his second shorthanded goal of the night off another turnover, this time at the Notre Dame blue line. Condra skated down ice and again beat Kalleitner over his shoulder to make the score 2-0.

Condra’s third goal came six minutes into the second period. To his dismay, no hats flew onto the ice.

“We have to teach our fans some of the classics of the game, I guess,” he said.

Senior Dave Brown, returning for his second season as Notre Dame’s starting goalie, made eight saves in two periods before he was replaced by sophomore Jordan Pearce.

Freshmen Dan Kissel, Ryan Thang and Kyle Lawson got their first career starts Friday. Fellow first years Kevin Deeth and Brett Blatchford also saw playing time. Kissel and Thang scored goals.

“The things that are important [for freshmen] are, number one, understanding the game, number two, competing, and number three, skating skills,” Jackson said. “I saw a lot of positives tonight.”

Sophomore Justin White also scored his first goal in an Irish uniform, but it won’t count in the stats because the contest was an exhibition.

Jackson said the ice quality was poor Friday due to the relatively warm weather outside, a football luncheon earlier in the day and a mechanical problem in the Joyce Center’s cooling system.

“The doors were open all day, but I understand there was a compressor problem,” Jackson said. “Some of the machinery broke down. This place is getting too old.”

Sophomore left wing Garrett Regan extended the Irish lead to 3-0 5:07 into the second period with Notre Dame’s first even-strength score of the young season.

Just a little over a minute later, the Irish crashed the net on a rebound, and Condra put in his third goal of the night. Kalleitner was pulled immediately after in favor of sophomore Jeff Cutter.

Cutter fared no better than his predecessor. Less than five minutes later, Irish defenseman Dan VeNard took a pass on the right side and chipped the puck over Cutter’s pad to give Notre Dame a 5-0 advantage.

Kissel scored his first collegiate goal with a little over a minute left in the second period, punching home a rebound on an Irish power play to put Notre Dame up 6-0.

Five minutes into the third period, Thang intercepted a pass and beat Cutter for his first goal in an Irish uniform to extend the lead to 7-0.

Barely a minute later, Notre Dame was up by eight on White’s first Irish goal.

With 9:40 left in the game, Notre Dame scored its ninth goal on power play shot by Kissel. The score resulted in the second goalie change of the night for the Lancers, who brought in junior Kris Gabriele.

Thursday’s contest with the Mavericks will begin at 7:30 in the Joyce Center.