Nov. 1, 2013
Burlington, Vt. -
Notre Dame's first-ever Hockey East game didn't quite have the ending that the Irish were hoping for on Friday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse in front of a sellout crowd of 4,007.
Freshman Mario Puskarich got the game-winning goal on the power play at 18:16 of the third period to snap a 1-1 tie to give the Catamounts the 2-1 win.
Vermont's Chris McCarthy and Irish senior Bryan Rust scored in the first and second period respectively to make it a 1-1 game.
Notre Dame out shot the Cats by a 21-19 margin. Steven Summerhays took the loss, making 17 saves while freshman Mike Santaguida had 20 saves for the victory.
The loss, the second in a row for Notre Dame, drops the second-ranked Irish to 5-2-0 on the year and 0-1-0 in Hockey East. Vermont is now 2-1-1 overall and 1-0-0 in conference play.
"I give Vermont a lot of credit tonight. They played well, they played hard and I thought they played a real smart game," said Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson.
"They forced us to turn pucks over and they capitalized on the power play late in the game, something that we didn't do, so I give them (Vermont) credit for the way they played."
The Catamounts got on the scoreboard first, scoring off a face off at 18:18 of the opening period. Center Jake Fallon won a draw back to Connor Brickley who fed it to McCarthy on the inside of the right circle. Vermont's leading scorer last season, McCarthy drilled a shot past Summerhays to give the Catamounts the 1-0 lead. The goal was his second of the season.
Notre Dame tied the game just 1:52 into the middle stanza and did it while killing a penalty.
With Steven Fogarty off for a hitting from behind penalty just 49 seconds into the second, Rust scooped up a Jeff Costello blocked shot and carried the puck down the left wing boards. After getting around the defense on his backhand, Rust cut to the front and pulled the puck from his backhand to his forehand and tucked a shot through Santaguida's pads for his first of the season to make it 1-1.
"Jeff (Costello) had a great blocked shot on the penalty kill," said Rust.
"I was able to get the puck out of our zone with relatively no pressure. I went to the weak side of the ice, made a move on their defenseman and then went hard to the net and got a shot off that squeaked through the goalie."
The score remained tied until late in the third period when the Catamounts struck on the power play at 18:16 as Puskarich scored his first of the year, lifting a shot from the goal line over Summerhays' shoulder for the 2-1 lead.
The freshman right wing got the puck in the right corner and was able to carry it towards the Irish goal. He caught Summerhays leaning towards the far post and was able to tuck the shot over the senior goaltender for the game-winning goal.
Notre Dame was able to get Summerhays off the ice with just under a minute left in favor of a sixth attacker and got a couple of chances on Santaguida but could not come up with the equalizer.
For the night, the Irish were 0-for-6 on the power play while Vermont was 1-for-4.The win was the first ever for Vermont against Notre Dame and evened the all-time series at 1-1-1.
"We had some positives and some things that were concerning," said Jackson as he looked back on the game.
"We weren't as sharp as we've been. There were times that we played well. We were pretty good in the second period but we were average in the first and third. Every game is going to be like this. You have to be prepared to play every night, as this conference is really strong. Every night is going to be a challenge.
Game two of the series is set for 4:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The University of Vermont will celebrate hockey's 50th year at the University.
* Prior to the start of Friday night's game, a ceremonial first face off was held with Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna dropping the puck while being flanked by Notre Dame senior associate athletic director Tom Nevala and Vermont athletics director Robert Corran as the Irish were welcomed to Hockey East. The University of Vermont presented a commemorative plaque to Irish captain Jeff Costello in recognition of the first game for Notre Dame in the conference.
* For the first time this season, Notre Dame was shutout on the power play. The Irish had scored at least one power-play goal in each of the first six games.
* Rust's short-handed goal was the second of the season for Notre Dame. The Irish have not scored an even-strength goal since last Friday at Minnesota Duluth, a span of 142:01.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F
#2/#2 Notre Dame (5-2-0) 0 1 0 - 1
Vermont (2-1-1) 1 0 1 - 2
1st Period: UVM: Chris McCarthy 2 (Connor Brickley, Jake Fallon), 18:18.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UVM: 1 for 2 minutes.
2nd Period: ND: Bryan Rust 1 (Jeff Costello), SHG, 00:49.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UVM: 2 for 4 minutes.
3rd Period: UVM: Mario Puskarich 1 (McCarthy, Fallon), PPG, 18:16.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; UVM: 2 for 4 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 7 - 9 - 5 - 21
Vermont 8 - 1 - 10 - 19
ND: Steven Summerhays (60:00) 7 - 1 - 9 - 17
UVM: Mike Santaguida (60:00) 7 - 8 - 5 - 20
ND: 0 for 6
UVM: 1 for 4
Attendance: 4,007 (sellout)