Oct. 22, 2011
Notre Dame, Ind. - Sophomore left wing Anders Lee scored three goals - the second hat trick of his career - to lead Notre Dame to a 5-2 win over Rensselaer in the opening game at the Compton Family Ice Arena on Friday night.
In front of the largest crowd ever to see the Irish play in South Bend - 5,022, capacity at the new home of Irish hockey - Lee scored once in each period, and had a fourth goal waved off due to a high stick to run his season-opening point streak to five games. Senior defenseman Sean Lorenz and junior center Riley Sheahan added the other goals for Notre Dame.
Joel Malchuk and Johnny Rogic scored for RPI in the loss.
The win lifted the fifth-ranked Irish to 3-2-0 on the season while the Engineers fell to 1-4-0 for the year.
The Engineers tied the game at 13:25 when Malchuk converted a pass from Alex Angers-Goulet, beating Irish goaltender Mike Johnson with a quick shot inside the left post for his second goal of the season to make it a 1-1 game.
Lee was back at it just 1:09 into the middle period when he combined with Tynan and Calabrese again to put Notre Dame ahead to stay at 2-1. Calabrese broke up an RPI passing play in the slot and Tynan grabbed the puck and raced through center, leaving the puck for the 6-3, 227-pound portsider who whipped the shot past Merriam to break the tie.
Lorenz made it a two-goal came when he controlled a bouncing puck in the high slot and drilled a shot over Merriam's left shoulder to make it 3-1 at 14:37. Lorenz took a pass from Billy Maday and tried to stick handle past an Engineer defender. The puck came loose in Lorenz' skates and he got back on his feet to whip a shot past the Engineer goaltender for his second of the season.
Notre Dame took advantage of a Rensselaer penalty to build the lead to 4-1 at 1:39 of the third period when Sheahan drilled a shot from the top of the west wing circle past Merriam for his first goal of the season.
The Engineers made things interesting at 15:36 of the third when Rogic scored his first of the season when his turning shot from the left wing circle snuck through Johnson's pads to cut the Notre Dame lead in half at 4-2.
Any hopes RPI had of getting closer came to an end at 18:40 as Lee completed his hat trick when he scored into an empty net as the Engineers pulled their goaltender for a sixth attacker. Freshman Austin Wuthrich picked up his second assist of the game on the goal.
On the night, the Irish out shot Rensselaer, 26-17. Johnson finished with 15 saves in the win, his second of the season. Merriam made 21 saves in the loss.
Notre Dame is now off for the rest of this weekend and returns to CCHA action next weekend, Oct. 28-29 when the Irish visit Bowling Green, Ohio for a pair of games with the Falcons.
** IRISH NOTES **
* With his hat trick, Lee leads the nation in goals with eight and is tied for the national lead in scoring with 11 points (8g, 3a). He is tied with Erik Haula of Minnesota and teammate T.J. Tynan with the 11 points.
** The crowd of 5,022 was the largest to see the Irish play hockey in South Bend. The previous high was 4,816 and was set on March 10, 1973 versus Wisconsin in a 4-3 loss in the WCHA playoffs.
** Junior center Sam Calabrese recorded the first three-point game of his career with three assists in the victory.
** Following the game, during the postgame press conference a fire alarm went off that forced evacuation of the Compton Center for over a half an hour. Members of the media and building workers were allowed to return later in the evening.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F Rensselaer (1-4-0) 1 0 1 - 2 #5/#6 Notre Dame (3-2-0) 1 2 2 - 5Scoring First Period: ND: Anders Lee 6 (T.J. Tynan, Sam Calabrese), 9:21; RPI: Joel Malchuk 2 (Alex Angers-Goulet), 13:25.
Penalties: RPI: 0 for 0 minutes; ND: 0 for 0 minutes.
Penalties: RPI: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: RPI: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal: Rensselaer 7 - 2 - 8 - 17 Notre Dame 6 - 14 - 6 -26