Oct. 1, 2017
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Behind third period goals from Joe Wegwerth and Colin Theisen, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish opened the 2017-18 season with a 4-3 exhibition win over the U.S. National Team Development Program (U18) on Sunday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena (2,697).
In the Notre Dame net, sophomore Cale Morris started and stopped 13 of the 15 shots he faced in 30:48 of work. Freshman Dylan St. Cyr played the final 29:07 and turned aside 10 of the 11 shots he faced to earn the win.
Oliver Wahlstrom had a goal and an assist to lead Team USA.
COACH JACKSON'S TAKE
On the game overall ...
"I thought the positives were just working on some of our system. I thought we came out really well in the third period so that's a great game for us to play. They are a skilled team and they really force you to work defensively because of their speed and skill level. We came out in the third period with more energy and established the tempo and a big part of that was the one line [with Theisen, Eisenmenger and Holmberg]."
On the goaltending situation ...
"I thought they both played well. I think it is going to be a period of time before we lock in somewhere, I thought they both did some good things. It is always good to have hard decisions."
NOTRE DAME SCORING PLAYS
1-0 | Cam Morrison got the Irish on the board first with a 2-on-1 goal at 7:42 of the first. Morrison took a pass at the left faceoff circle from Jake Evans and fired the puck on goal to give the Irish a 1-0 lead.
2-2| Just 28 seconds after falling behind 2-1, the Irish responded with a snapshot by Tory Dello from the top of the slot to tie the game 2-2 at 4:35 of the second. Jake Evans and Cam Morrison assisted on the play, while Colin Theisen provided the screen in front.
3-2 & 4-2 | Within the first three minutes of the third period, the Irish took a 4-2 lead on back-to-back goals by Joe Wegwerth (1:32) and Theisen (3:11). Wegwerth's goal was assisted by Cal Burke and Jordan Gross, while Max Eisenmneger and Felix Holmberg assisted on the Theisen tally.
Notre Dame finished 0-for-3 on the power play, while the USNTDP were 1-for-4 and also added an extra attacker goal at 18:56 of the third period.
- Cam Morrison, who had nine points (5-4-9) over the final nine games last season, picked up where he left off by scoring a goal in the first period and adding an assist on Dello's game-tying tally.
- Jake Evans, who had a career high 29 assists last season as a junior, notched a pair of assists in the game.
- Twenty-two skaters and two goaltenders were used by head coach Jeff Jackson, including Irish debuts for Colin Theisen, Pierce Crawford, Matt Steeves, Max Eisenmenger, Felix Holmberg, Matt Hellickson and Dylan St. Cyr.
The Irish will open the 2017-18 regular season this weekend with a home series against Alabama Huntsville (Oct. 6-7). To purchase tickets, click here.
-- ND --
Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men's hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College ('06 & '08G).