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Notre Dame fails to upset Harvard, defeats Western Michigan

| Tuesday, December 1, 2015

No. 20 Notre Dame took to the ice twice over Thanksgiving weekend in the Shillelagh Tournament against No. 8 Harvard and Western Michigan, finishing the weekend with a 1-1 split.

The Irish (6-4-4, 3-1-2 Hockey East) fell to the Crimson (6-1-1, 4-1-1 ECAC) Friday by a final score of 4-1 in the first meeting between Notre Dame and Harvard since December of 1978.

Senior left wing Mario Lucia was responsible for the lone Irish score on the night, which came halfway through the first period at the 10:30 mark. Lucia’s shot came off of a pass from freshman defenseman Bobby Nardella and slipped past Crimson sophomore goaltender Merrick Madsen.

Just five minutes later, the Crimson answered the Irish with a goal from Harvard freshman forward Lewis Zerter-Gossage, the first of his career. Notre Dame and Harvard entered the second period tied at 1-1, and for much of the second period the score remained the same as the Irish and Crimson were going back and forth for much of the time. However, at the 18:44 mark, senior forward Kyle Criscuolo netted a power play goal for the Crimson, and less than a minute later at 19:27, Criscuolo beat Irish sophomore goaltender Cal Peterson to once again score on a power play, giving the Crimson a 3-1 lead going into the third period.

The Irish struggled to keep up with the Crimson, falling further behind in the third period after Harvard senior forward Jimmy Vesey notched his sixth goal of the season, extending their lead to three goals with a score of 4-1.

Harvard, who went on to win the Shillelagh Tournament, was able to preserve their three-goal lead through the end of the game, taking the Irish down Friday night.

The Irish returned to action Saturday against Western Michigan. The Broncos (4-8-1, 2-4-0 NCAC) were coming off of a 4-1 defeat against Rensselaer on Friday night.

The Irish struck first against the Broncos, netting the first of their three goals in the second period. Irish sophomore center Dawson Cook scored his first goal of the season off of assists from senior defenseman Andy Ryan and freshman left wing Joe Wegwerth with under seven minutes to go in the second period.

Five minutes later, the Broncos evened the score off of a goal by Western Michigan sophomore center Frederik Tiffels with a minute and thirty seconds left in the second period.

The score remained tied for much of the third period until Notre Dame senior left wing Sam Herr with under six minutes remaining in regulation, putting the Irish ahead by one goal. With less than one minute remaining, senior center Thomas DiPauli sealed the victory for the Irish by slipping past Broncos senior goaltender Lukas Hafner for his sixth goal of the season and sealing the 3-1 Irish victory.

Notre Dame returns to action this weekend as Hockey East rival Massachusetts comes to town for a two-game set. The puck will drop on Friday at 7:35 p.m.

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