Irish take two games against Lake Superior State
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, October 30, 2019
The No. 5 Notre Dame men’s hockey squad were able to tally two wins against Lake Superior State last weekend. The pair of victories bring them up to four wins on the year after they defeated Air Force in a two-game series earlier this month.
The Irish were able to take the first game of the series 5-2 over the Lakers on Friday in the Compton Family Ice Arena. Senior captain and forward Cal Burke played a role in four of the five goals scored on the night, notching one goal and dishing out three assists on the evening.
The Irish were able to jump out to an early lead just under eight minutes into the first period, when senior forward Mike O’Leary scored a wraparound goal, with the assists credited to Burke and fellow senior forward Cam Morrison.
Burke managed to extend the Irish lead to 2-0 when sophomore defenseman Nick Leivermann sent a pass to O’Leary, who was waiting in the neutral zone and tapped the puck to Burke. Burke took off and fired a shot from right above the right circle, which found its way past two Lake Superior defenders and into the back of the net.
Lake Superior State was not out of it quite yet, however. A team once led by current Irish head coach Jeff Jackson, the Lakers were determined not to cave in. Just 36 seconds after Burke’s goal, the Lakers worked the puck down to the Irish side of the ice and found Lakers junior forward Max Humitz for the goal to send the game to 2-1 after the first 20 minutes of play.
Six minutes into the second period and during a power play, Burke fired a pass from behind goal and found junior defenseman Matt Hellickson, who one-timed a shot into the goal. Both teams got several more shots in the period, but the second intermission came with a two-goal lead for Notre Dame.
The next goal for the Irish came only 16 seconds into the third period when South Bend native and sophomore forward Graham Slaggert tallied his first goal of the season, inching the puck in past Lakers sophomore goaltender Mareks Mitens with a shot from the left goal line, a back-breaker for Lake Superior.
The Lakers came within two again with a goal five minutes later, but the Irish sealed the match with a goal scored on an empty net by O’Leary.
In the second game Saturday, the Lakers were the ones to jump out early, with a score from junior defenseman Collin Saccoman, nearly 10 minutes into the opening frame.
Cal Burke wasn’t going to let his head coach’s old team get the better of him, however, and he responded with a goal on a power play with 1:44 remaining in the first period. The period wasn’t over yet, and just 16 seconds later Irish freshman forward Trevor Janicke would knock in the first goal of his collegiate career.
There were 50 seconds remaining in the first, but the period still wasn’t over. Perhaps catching the Irish slacking off before intermission, Lakers sophomore forward Yuki Miura fired a shot that found twine after it made its way past senior goalkeeper Cale Morris, evening the score at 2-2 at the close of the first frame.
The Irish were able to regain the lead less than a minute into the second period when sophomore defenseman Spencer Stastney scored his first goal of the season.
The Lakers, not down and out quite yet, replied with another Saccoman goal coming off of a power play, levelling the score 3-3. The Irish jumped in front again when sophomore forward Jake Pivonka netted his second goal of the season, putting the Irish up 4-3 heading into the final frame.
O’Leary would put the Lakers defenders in his back pocket in the final stanza, scoring two goals en route to the 6-3 Irish victory.
Next up, the Irish will be heading to Minnesota for an away series this weekend to open conference play. The first drop of the puck will take place Friday at 8:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. The second game will kick off Saturday at 5 p.m.