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    December 29, 1996

    Notre Dame Hockey Drops Another Heartbreaker, 3-2, At Princeton

    Bertoli's overtime goal with 19 seconds remaining hands Irish seventh one-goal loss

    Princeton, N.J. - Sophomore Scott Bertoli's deflected shot with 19 seconds remaining in overtime provided the game-winning goal as Princeton defeated visiting Notre Dame, 3-2, in non-conference hockey action Sunday afternoon at Hobey Baker Arena.

    The game marked Notre Dame's seventh one-goal loss of the season and its third defeat in the final minute. The Irish - who lost 5-2 to Princeton on Saturday after a 20 day break from competition - fell to 5-12-1 and return to conference play at home on Jan. 3 vs. Miami University.

    Bertoli scored the game-winner in transition, taking an outlet pass from linemate Casson Masters and firing a shot from the center of the blueline. Notre Dame sophomore defenseman Benoit Cotnoir was skating into position between the circles to deflect the shot but inadvertingly swept the puck into the net.

    The Irish had their best chance of the overtime just seconds before Bertoli's goal. After a faceoff at the left circle in the Princeton end, Cotnoir chased down the puck near the rightside boards before firing a pass across the goalmouth. Junior center Lyle Andrusiak was filling the slot but could not reach the puck for what could have been a game-winning flick shot.

    Princeton's third-string goalie Craig Bradley picked up the victory, making six saves after replacing sophomore starter Nick Rankin at the start of the third period.

    Notre Dame again played without freshman center Ben Simon, who Sunday helped the U.S. junior national team defeat the Czech Republic, 2-1, at the World Junior Championship tournament in Geneva, Switzerland.

    Princeton (10-2), which was ranked as high as #9 in last weeks national polls, enjoyed first-periad leads of 1-0 and 2-1 but the Irish scored midway through the second when senior center Terry Lorenz poked in a crossing pass from sophomore right wing Brian Urick.

    Notre Dame sophomore goaltender Forrest Karr turned in another solid performance while making his fifth start of the season. Karr finished with 33 saves, including 25 straight prior to Bertoli's game-winning soore, while lowering his season goals-against-average to 3.65.

    Princeton jumped ahead five minutes into the game when Bertoli put back a rebounded shot by linemate Jeff Halpern.

    The Irish answered two minutes later, as Urick picked up his first assist of the day. Urick emerged with the puck behind the net and sent a pass across the crease. Cotnoir was waiting near the inside edge of the right cirde and quickly flicked the puck past Rankin, a former prep teammate of Urick at Minnetonka (Minn.) High School

    The hosts regained the lead heading into the first intermission, when sophomore defenseman Steven Shirreffs cranked a shot from inside the blueline that deflected off Notre Dame's Tim Harberts before sneaking inside the right post (18:21).

    The Insh again netted the equalizer at the 10:42 mark of the second penod when Urick took a pass from senior Steve Noble, manuevered near the right circle and sent a pass across the goalmouth. Lorenz was poised near the left post and redirected the puck into the net, ultimately forcing the overtime.

    Notre Dame lowered its season goals-against average to 3.59, which would best the Irish's previous eight season-ending marks. On the flip side, the Irish continue to struggle at the offensive end, converting on just 9.4% of their shots on goal while averaging 10.6 shots per score. Sunday's game marked the eighth time in 18 games this season the the Insh have failed to score more than two goals.

                            1   2   3   OT      F
    NOTRE DAME (5-12-1)     1   1   0   0   -   2
    PRINCETON (11-3-2)      2   0   0   1   -   3
    1st -  PU 1. Bertoli (Halpern, Masters) 4:31;  ND 1. Cotnoir (Urick Lorenz) 6:25. 
    2nd - ND 2. Lorenz (Urick, Noble) 10:42.  
    3rd -  No scoring.
    OT - Bertoli (Masters, Barber) 4:41.
    Shots on goal: ND 12-8-5-1/26, PU 10-14-7-5/36.  
    Saves: ND (Karr) 8-14-7-4/33, PU (Rankin) 11-7-x-x/18, PU (Bradley) x-x-5-1/6.  
    Power Play: ND 0-for-1, PU 0-for-2.    
    Penalties: ND 3 for 6:00, PU 2 for 4:00.
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