Irish struggle against Omaha

John Fineran Tribune Correspondent
ND Insider

SOUTH BEND – On a Thursday night the struggling Notre Dame hockey team needed some blessings, a Pope wasn’t on the Irish side at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

Senior forward David Pope scored a pair of goals and assisted on another and teammate Steven Spinner added two goals as visiting Omaha withstood an Irish rally for a 6-4 victory before an announced crowd of 3,834.

Trailing 5-1 late in the second period, the eighth-ranked Irish (3-3-1) scored three times in 2:33 spanning the second and third periods on goals by forward Cal Burke (18:36) and defensemen Andrew Peeke (19:38) and Jordan Gross (1:09) but could not complete the comeback.

Another defenseman, Bobby Nardella, had the first goal for Notre Dame, which got a four-assist night from senior captain Jake Evans.

“We shot ourselves in the foot several times early in the game,” Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said. “Primarily it was the play of our defensemen not reading situations very well, making bad decisions, especially off the rush.”

Jackson started freshman Dylan St. Cyr, who surrendered five goals in two periods while making 25 saves. Sophomore Cale Morris made five saves in the third period but was pulled for an extra skater before Spinner’s empty-netter at 19:54 clinched the victory.