Sacred Heart surprises Irish hockey

John Fineran Tribune Correspondent
ND Insider

SOUTH BEND – Not even the nation’s top power-play unit could save face for Notre Dame’s fifth-ranked hockey team Thursday night.

Andrew Oglevie and Joe Wegwerth scored on two of the three 5-on-4 advantages the Irish enjoyed, but Sacred Heart sophomore Vito Bavaro – no relation to former Notre Dame All-America tight end Mark Bavaro – scored a hat trick and the Pioneers scored four times in the third period for a stunning 6-4 comeback victory at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

Coming six days after battling another Pioneers team – defending NCAA champion Denver – the Irish (2-2-1) weren’t as sharp as they needed to be against the Pioneers (2-2-0) from Atlantic Hockey.

“We got outworked,” Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said. “I knew they were going to be a tough team. We didn’t have the discipline with the puck that we needed to have against a defensive system like that, but they outworked us. That’s the biggest point, and that’s on me.”

Sacred Heart earned the victory by outshooting Notre Dame 14-7 in the final 20 minutes after Notre Dame had a 26-14 advantage in the first two periods. Freshman goalie Dylan St. Cyr finished with 22 saves for Notre Dame while his Sacred Heart counterpart, senior Brett Magnus, turned away 29.

Sophomore Cal Burke scored his first goal of the season for the Irish at 1:02 into the game. Bavaro’s first goal, on a breakaway, tied it at 6:24 of the second period before Notre Dame senior Dawson Cook scored at 8:21. That lead lasted until 14:17 when Liam Clare’s wrist shot from the point beat a screen St. Cyr to tie the game at 2-2.

Oglevie then converted off passes from Cam Morrison and Jordan Gross on the power play at 17:33 for a 3-2 Irish lead that lasted into the third period when Bavaro (2:56) and Zach Tsekos (7:30) gave the Pioneers a 4-3 lead. Wegwerth tied it with another power-play goal at 12:18, making Notre Dame 7-of-16 (43.8 percent) with the man-advantage this season.

But Bavaro got the game-winner at 13:24 and Jordan Kaplan added an empty-net goal at 19:59.

Notre Dame hockey player Andrew Oglevie. (Photo courtesy of Notre Dame)