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Hockey: Jackson pleased with 5-3 exhibition victory

Sam Werner | Monday, October 4, 2010

Editor’s note: The original version of this article was edited at 12:58 a.m. on October 5, 2010 to clarify a coach’s quote in the Notes section.

Prior to Sunday’s exhibition game against the University of Guelph, Irish coach Jeff Jackson admitted that his team would be forced to rely on freshmen more than usual this season.

If Notre Dame’s 5-3 win over the Gryphons was any indication, the Irish will be just fine.

Rookies scored four of five Irish goals, and tallied a total of nine points as the Irish downed Guelph in their only tune-up game before beginning the regular season. Freshman T.J. Tynan led the Irish in scoring with three assists, and classmates David Gerths, Mike Voran, Jeff Costello and Anders Lee lit the lamp for Notre Dame, as did senior Calle Ridderwall.

“Obviously our veterans are the key to our team, but with so many freshmen, if we don’t have production from those young kids, we’re not going to be a very good team,” Jackson said. “I mean, I know that they’re all capable, and it bodes well for us and our future.”

Notre Dame appeared to overpower the Gryphons in the first period, taking a 2-0 lead before 10 minutes had ticked off the clock. Gerths opened the scoring 6:45 into the game on a delayed Gryphon penalty, taking a feed from Tynan in the slot and firing the puck past Guelph goalie Andrew Loverock.

Under a new CCHA rule this season, the Irish were still granted a power play even after scoring with the extra attacker. On the ensuing power play, Voran took a feed from Tynan and made a nice individual move down the right side before stuffing the puck past Loverock to give the Irish a 2-0 lead.

“We had two in the first, which is probably good for being the first game,” Ridderwall said. “Obviously we’d like to score more, but in a game like this it’s really about finding the groove for the season.”

The Gryphons answered back at the tail end of the first period. With the seconds winding down, Guelph’s J.T. Macdonald appeared to fire the puck in after a scrum in front of the net. The referee signaled that it was a goal, but the red light did not go on. After video review, officials confirmed that the goal was scored before time expired.

Guelph then tied the game 14:00 into the second period on an unassisted power-play goal from Ken Peroff.

It took less than four minutes for Notre Dame to pull ahead, though. With freshman Bryan Rust and sophomore Riley Sheahan forechecking behind the Gryphon net, Sheahan was able to feed the puck to Ridderwall at the right circle, where the senior fired a one-timer past Loverock’s glove side.

“Rust and Sheahan did a great job forechecking,” Ridderwall said. “The puck just came out in front and I just took a slapshot. I just wanted to put it through the net.”

Jackson said he thought his team battled well in the offensive zone all night, but that there was still work to be done.

“I thought our forecheck at times was very aggressive, caused turnovers and opportunities, scored a goal off of it. But I think we’ve got to get a lot better through the neutral zone, both offensively and defensively.”

The Gryphons tied the game once again on a shorthanded goal just 31 seconds into the final period, but the Irish replied with another goal from a freshman. This time it was Jeff Costello, who took a feed from Tynan and found himself in a 2-on-1 with classmate Kevin Lind. Costello took the shot himself and beat Loverock with a wrister to the short side. The goal gave Tynan his third assist of the game.

“[Tynan]’s very subtle with some of the decisions he makes with the puck