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Irish fall in finals of Shillelagh Tournament

| Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Over Thanksgiving break, the Irish hosted the seventh Shillelagh Tournament at Compton Family Ice Arena. On Friday, No. 12 Notre Dame cruised to a 5-3 win over Holy Cross, but fell to Clarkson in the championship on Saturday, losing 2-0.

Irish junior forward Connor Hurley hustles up the ice during Notre Dame’s 4-1 loss to UMass-Lowell on Nov. 17.Mackenzi Marinovich | The Observer
Irish junior forward Connor Hurley hustles up the ice during Notre Dame’s 4-1 loss to UMass-Lowell on Nov. 17.

The Irish (7-5-2, 3-2-1 Hockey East) offense exploded in the first game of the tournament, as five different players tallied goals in the win. Junior captain Anders Bjork led the way with a goal and two assists, while junior forward Connor Hurley also had a goal and an assist. Hurley broke the deadlock just 3:46 into the first, as Bjork sparked a chance with a cross-ice pass to sophomore forward Dylan Malmquist. Malmquist, in turn, dished it to Hurley, who flipped it over the glove of Crusader goalie Paul Berrafato for the early lead.

Holy Cross (5-5-2, 2-2-2 Atlantic Hockey Conference) responded, however, as the Crusaders tied it up at 12:37 in the first period, thanks to Peter Crinella’s goal, and then took the lead off of junior forward T.J. Moore’s goal right at the start of the second. Notre Dame responded a little over 10 minutes later, as sophomore forward Joe Wegwerth slotted home a shot off assists from junior Jake Evans forward and freshman defenseman Tory Dello. The Irish then took the lead off of a power play a little over two minutes into the second period, when freshman forward Cam Morrison deflected a long range effort from junior defender Jordan Gross in.

In the third period, Bjork added an insurance goal at 4:40 with a moment of magic. Ducking and weaving his way through three defenders, the forward skated to the bottom left circle, then ripped a shot across goal to give the Irish a 4-2 lead. Holy Cross pulled one back through power play halfway through the third, but were unable to find the equalizer, and sophomore forward Andrew Oglevie’s empty-netter with five seconds remaining, cemented Notre Dame’s trip to the championship of the tournament.

It was a much different affair in the game against Clarkson, however. Although the Irish outshot the Golden Knights (8-5-3, 4-1-1 Eastern College Athletic Conference) 35-27, the offense could not find the back of the net, and Notre Dame went 0-7 on the power play. Clarkson grabbed a goal early in the first when freshman forward Devin Brosseau beat junior defenseman Luke Ripley and scored.

The second goal came from 4-on-4 action with 13:34 left in the second, as the Irish turned the puck over in their own zone, and Clarkson freshman forward Sheldon Rempal brought the puck around Irish junior captain Cal Petersen off of an assist from senior forward Troy Josephs. Notre Dame pushed to get on the board, and had a great chance with a 5-on-3 late in the third, but Clarkson freshman goalie Jake Kielly was stout throughout, making 35 saves on his way to being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and picking up a shutout versus the Irish.

Notre Dame next plays this weekend as it travels to Amherst, Massachusetts, to take on UMass this coming Friday and Saturday.

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