Five players score as new goalie Galajda prevails in Irish debut against LIU, 5-2

By John Fineran
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND – Five different players scored goals and 12 players scored points, making grad transfer goalie Matthew Galajda’s debut for No. 19 Notre Dame an easy one in a 5-2 victory Saturday night over Long Island University at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

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Galajda, who transferred with his undergraduate degree from Cornell after twice being a finalist for the Mike Richter Goalie of the Year Award, made just 15 saves as Jeff Jackson’s 17th season behind the Irish bench began solidly.

The Fighting Irish (1-0) outshot the Sharks (0-3) by a 30-17 margin, including 14-4 in the second period during which they scored three goals in a span of 5:35 to break open the game which had been 2-1 Notre Dame after the first 20 minutes.

Defenseman Nick Leivermann opened the night’s scoring 54 seconds into the game as most of the 3,156 fans were just settling into their seats. Landon Slaggert made it 2-0 and then Cam Burke, Hunter Strand and Solag Bakich made it 5-1 after two periods.

Leivermann and Bakich each added an assist to have two-point nights which were matched by center Trevor Janicke’s two assists.

Jackson was pleased with the team’s performance after it came up short 4-3 last Sunday afternoon in an exhibition loss to the visiting USNTDP Under-18 team.

“I thought we were much better than a week ago in giving up odd-man rushes,” Jackson said. “Our special teams had one power play goal and did a good job penalty killing, and each line scored a goal. Having balance scoring in our lines is important. We have some holes right now because of injuries. It’s good to see guys be able to elevate and play important roles, and that’s encouraging. And Matthew did a good job – he did what he needed to do to help us win and that’s all you can ask your goaltender to do.”

Billy Jerry, one of 10 transfers playing on the second-year LIU roster for head coach Brett Riley, had two goals for the Sharks. Senior goalie Vince Purpura, a senior transfer from Boston University, finished with 25 saves. 

Trevor Janicke took the first shot of the game and collided accidentally with Purpura, who couldn’t get back to the net. The puck came to defenseman Leivermann, who put it into the empty net 54 seconds into the game.

The Irish had a pair of power-play chances early in the period. Max Ellis had a wide-open net but hit the post on the first, while Purpura stopped both Justin Janicke and Leivermann on the second. Then with Justin Janicke off for tripping, Galajda stopped Jordan Di Cicco at 16:32.

The Irish went up 2-0 when Graham Slaggert fed brother Landon, who tipped the puck over Purpura’s right shoulder at 18:26 with Leivermann also receiving an assist. But the Irish got careless and Long Island made it a 2-1 when former Rensselaer forward Jerry tipped home a pass from Max Balinson at 19:02.

Notre Dame dominated the second period, scoring three goals in the first 11:03 while outshooting the Sharks 10-1 at one point. 

Burke made it 3-1 at 5:28 off feeds from Rolston and Jake Boltmann. Then with Long Island’s Carson Musser off for slashing at 8:06, freshman Strand scored his first career goal beating Purpura from inside the faceoff circle after feeds from grad transfer Jack Adams and defenseman Spencer Stastney at 8:34. Bakich completed the three-goal outburst at 11:03 off assists from Ellis and Janicke.

Notre Dame had a 6-1 shot advantage to start the third period, but Long Island came on late to close the Irish edge to 8-7, with Jerry completing the game’s scoring at 4:52.

Notre Dame travels to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula next weekend to play a pair of old Central Collegiate Hockey Association rivals. The Irish visit Michigan Tech in Houghton Friday at 7 p.m. and then travel down U.S. 41 to Marquette to play Northern Michigan at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

NOTRE DAME 5, LONG ISLAND 2

At Lefty Smith Rink in Compton Family Ice Arena, South Bend

Long Island   1-0-1—2

Notre Dame  2-3-0—5

First Period—Scoring: 1. Notre Dame, Nick Leivermann 1 (Trevor Janicke, Solag Bakich) EV 0:54. 2. Notre Dame, Landon Slaggert 1 (Graham Slaggert, Nick Leivermann) EV 18:26. 3. Long Island, Bill Jerry 1 (Max Balinson, Jake Stevens) EV 19:02. Penalties: Long Island 2-4, Notre Dame 1-2.

Second Period—Scoring: 4. Notre Dame, Cam Burke 1 (Ryder Rolston, Jake Boltmann) EV 5:28. 5. Notre Dame, Hunter Strand 1 (Jack Adams, Spencer Stastney) PPG 8:34. 6. Notre Dame, Solag Bakich 1 (Trevor Janicke, Max Ellis) EV 11:03. Penalties (total): Long Island 2-4 (4-8), Notre Dame 1-2 (2-4).

Third Period—Scoring: 7. Long Island, Billy Jerry 2 (Jack Quinn) EV 4:52. Penalties (total): Long Island 1-5 (5-13), Notre Dame 5-21 (7-25).

 Shots on goal: Long Island 17 (6-4-7), Notre Dame 30 (8-14-8). Goalie saves: Long Island, Vinnie Purpura 25 (6-11-8), Notre Dame, Matthew Galajda 15 (5-4-6). Power-play opportunities: Long Island 0 of 5, Notre Dame 1 of 4. Faceoffs won: Long Island 24 (8-8-8), Notre Dame 39 (11-17-11). Blocked shots: Long Island 10 (4-4-2), Notre Dame 14 (5-3-6).

Records: Long Island 0-3, Notre Dame 1-0.

            Referees: Tom DellaFranco and Ian McCambridge.

            Linesmen: Nick Huff and Dan Cohen.

            Attendance: 3,156 (5,022).