Burke hat trick sparks Irish hockey team to 13th straight win
Sophomore right wing Cal Burke recorded his first career hat trick as fourth-ranked Notre Dame ran the nation’s longest winning streak to 13 games with a 6-2 Big Ten Conference victory over 12th-ranked Wisconsin Saturday before 11,934 at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.
Junior defenseman Dennis Gilbert had the first two-goal game of his career and sophomore goaltender Cale Morris turned away 39 shots for the Irish.
The victory – a day after Notre Dame scored three straight goals in the third period for a 3-2 victory – completed the first two-game sweep on the Badgers’ home ice in Irish hockey history.
It also kept the 16-3-1 Irish unbeaten in their inaugural season as an affiliate Big Ten member at 10-0-0-0, their 30 points being 14 more than second-place Ohio State, which also has played 10 league contests. At 8-0, Notre Dame also is the only team in the country that has not lost on the road.
The Irish and Badgers (10-9-2, 4-5-1-1 Big Ten) traded the first four goals before Burke’s eventual game-winner at 14:16 of the second period was the first of four straight Irish goals against Wisconsin goalie Kyle Hayton, who made 23 saves.
Burke opened the game’s scoring with a power-play goal at 5:27. Cam Morrison and Andrew Oglevie, who each finished with two assists, set up the goal. Morrison’s shot from the slot, coming off a feed from Oglevie, was turned aside but Burke fired home the rebound. But Wisconsin’s Peter Tischke tied it at 10:15.
In the second period, Gilbert scored his first career shorthanded goal at 4:46 after picking off a Wisconsin pass in his own zone and starting off a 3-on-2 break with Jack Jenkins and Jake Evans. Jenkins left the pick for Gilbert, who beat Hayton high with a wrist shot. But the Badgers responded again when Ryan Wagner scored a power-play goal at 8:25.
Burke scored the game-winner at 14:16 when he picked up a loose puck below the Wisconsin goal line and wrapped it around Hayton for his 11th goal of the season.
In the third period, Gilbert made it 4-2 when he fired home a rebound from the top of the left circle at 10:55 following a Dylan Malmquist shot. Oglevie also assisted.
Burke completed his hat trick on a breakaway at 15:23 after Morrison created a turnover. Mike O’Leary iced the game with an unassisted empty-net goal at 17:40.
Morris, who has played every minute of the winning streak, made 10 saves in the first period, 12 in the second and 17 in the third for the Irish. He is now 15-1 in games he has started.
Notre Dame now takes a break for first-semester final exams and the holidays. The Irish return Friday, Jan. 5 to play at Michigan. Faceoff at the Yost Ice Arena is 6:30 p.m.