Dec. 3, 2012
Notre Dame, ind. - December 3, 2012 //FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE// University of Notre Dame hockey freshman left wing Mario Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.) has been selected as the CCHA Gongshow Rookie of the Week for his play during the week ending December 3. Lucia, who scored three goals on the weekend, helped the Irish to a series sweep versus Lake Superior State.
Lucia, who missed the first nine games of the season due to a broken leg, is definitely making up for lost time as he now has four goals and an assist for five points in his first six games back from the injury. He returned to the lineup on Nov. 15 at Michigan.
Versus Lake Superior, Lucia scored three goals with two of them coming on the power play. He fired six shots in the two games and was even for the weekend that saw the Irish win 3-2 on Nov. 30 and then 6-1 on Dec. 1.
The two wins give Notre Dame three straight overall and fifth consecutive in CCHA play and improved the Irish to 11-4-0 overall and 7-1-0-0 in conference play, good for 21 points and a tie for second place. They are now ranked fourth in the nation in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and fifth in the USCHO.com rankings.
In Friday's 3-2 win, Lucia scored his first power play of the weekend just 35 seconds into the second period to give the Irish a 2-0 lead. Defenseman Robbie Russo (Jr., Westmont, Ill.) rifled a shot off the cross bar from the right point and the rebound came to Lucia on the right side who lifted it over goaltender Kevin Murdock for his third goal of the year. The former Penticton Vee of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) finished the night with four shots on goal and was -1 in the game.
The following night, Lucia helped Notre Dame build a 4-0 first-period lead when he finished off a pretty passing play from defenseman Shayne Taker (Jr., Surrey, B.C.) at 14:48. Taker took a drop pass from Mike Voran (Jr., Livonia, Mich.) at the top of the left circle and looked like he would shoot. At the same time, Lucia drove to the net where Taker's pass went off his skate and then his stick inside the left post to make it 3-0. The goal was Lucia's third of the season.
In the second period, the former Wayzata High School standout scored his second power-play goal of the weekend at 14:50 when he knocked the rebound of a T.J. Tynan (Jr., Orland Park, Ill.) shot out of the air past Murdock to make it a 5-1 game with his fourth goal of the season. Lucia finished the night with two shots on goal and was +1 for the evening.
Lucia and his teammates close out a six-game home stand with a pair of 7:05 p.m. games on Dec. 7-8 at the Compton Family Ice Arena versus Michigan State. The Spartans are 4-8-2 overall and are 3-6-1-0 in the CCHA, good for 10 points and are tied for ninth place with Northern Michigan.