Notre Dame hockey earns season-opening victory

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The #8/9 University of Notre Dame Hockey team overcame a 2-0 deficit to earn its first victory of the season 4-3 over the Air Force Academy on Friday night.

In front of a sold-out crowd at Compton Family Ice Arena (4,977), Coach Jeff Jackson earned his eighth home-opening victory with the Irish.

Cal Burke (1G, 1A), Alex Steeves (1G, 1A), Mike O’Leary (2A) and Michael Graham (2A) each recorded multi-point nights to lead the Irish offensively.

The Irish penalty kill was a perfect 3-for-3 on the night.

Freshman Ryan Bischel stopped 33 shots earn his first collegiate victory in net.

How It Happened
Air Force took a 1-0 lead at 7:55 of the first period when Brady Tomlak was able to put a carom off the end boards into an open net. Notre Dame kept the Air Force power play off the board right after the Falcon goal to keep it a 1-0 game.

Several good looks by the Irish were turned aside by Zach LaRocque, who finished with seven saves in the first stanza for Air Force, and then Matt Pulver put a rebound in at 2:58 left for a 2-0 Air Force lead after 20 minutes.

At 5:05 of the second, Colin Theisen redirected O’Leary’s snapshot from the point to make it a 2-1 game. Burke earned the second assist on the play.

The Irish then tied it up with 6:38 remaining in the middle frame when Graham sent a centering feed to Alex Steeves, who converted for his first goal of the season. Clurman had the second assist, connecting on a stretch pass with Graham.

Cam Morrison gave the Irish a 3-2 lead 5:03 into the third period when he put home a rebound in front after Alex Steeves forced LaRocque into a save. Graham notched his second assist of the night on the marker as well.

Burke buried an empty-net goal from the Irish zone with 2:09 remaining to give the Irish a 4-2 advantage.

Tomlak netted his second goal of the night for Air Force with 0.1 seconds left in the game, accounting for the 4-3 final.

Up Next

The Irish and Falcons close out their weekend series at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13.

Television coverage for the finale will include the NHL Network as well as NBC Sports Chicago/Philadelphia+.
Click here for tickets.

Notre Dame is now 8-6-1 in season-openers under Head Coach Jeff Jackson.

With a goal and an assist, sophomore Alex Steeves notched the third multi-point game of his Irish career.

Steeves scored his first goal of the season in game one of the season, while last season he scored his first goal in his ninth game (a two-goal game at Michigan on Nov. 9).

With a pair of assists, sophomore Michael Graham recorded his sixth career multi-point game and it was his second career two-assist game to tie his career high.

With a goal and an assist, Senior Cal Burke posted his 12th multi-point game.

With two assists, Senior Mike O’Leary notched his sixth career multi-point game.

Freshman Trevor Janicke, Jesse Lansdell and Ryan Bischel as well as sophomore Charlie Raith played their first career games.