Notre Dame offense erupts on Nebraska Omaha
OMAHA, Neb. – No. 2 Notre Dame had a fearsome foursome that Nebraska Omaha’s hockey team couldn’t handle Saturday night.
The Irish got two goals each from its top line of left wing Joe Wegwerth, center Dylan Malmquist and right wing Cal Burke and two more from senior defenseman Bobby Nardella in an 8-2 victory Saturday night at the Baxter Arena.
Burke had a five-point night (two second-period goals and three assists) as did Nardella with his pair of third-period goals and three first-period assists.
Burke and Nardella each had a short-handed goal as the Irish, 3-0-1, killed off eight of nine power-play opportunities by the Mavericks (0-3-1) while scoring their two short-handed goals.
The victory sets up the possibility that coach Jeff Jackson’s team will move to the top spot in the national polls when they are released Monday. No. 1 Ohio State split a two-game home series with Massachusetts, dropping a 6-3 decision Friday before winning 3-1 Saturday.
The last time the Irish held the No. 1 ranking was last April just before they dropped a 2-1 decision to Minnesota Duluth in the NCAA Frozen Four championship game in Saint Paul, Minn. The No. 3 Bulldogs visit the Lefty Smith Rink at the Compton Family Ice Arena this Friday night at 7:30 and Saturday at 5 p.m.
Burke had the first short-handed goal in the second period to give Notre Dame a 5-0 lead heading into the third period. Then after Malmquist and Nardella scored goals 21 seconds apart in the first 1:18 of the third period to give Notre Dame a 7-0 lead, Nardella’s short-handed goal – on a 5-on-3 Maverick power-play – made it 8-1 Irish at 8:59.
Omaha got third-period goals at 7:14 by Mason Morelli and at 9:53 on the power play by Chayse Primeau to ruin a second straight shutout bid by junior All-America goalie Cale Morris. Morris, who blanked Providence last week, sat out Friday’s 4-1 victory as Jackson started sophomore Dylan St. Cyr, who stopped 21 of 22 shots for his first victory in almost a year.
Morris finished with 31 saves Saturday night in lowering his goals-against average to 2.59.
Wegwerth scored his third goal of the season at 3:26 off a feed from Nardella.
Less than three minutes later, Malmquist made it 2-0 on the power play with his second goal of the season as Nardella and Burke got assists on the goal at 6:17. Malmquist made it 3-0 at 17:25 on a tip-in off feeds from Nardella and Burke.
The Irish went up 4-0 when the speedy Burke scored his fourth goal of the season on a semi-breakaway at 1:13 into the second period, and the lead reached 5-0 when Burke scored a short-handed breakaway goal at 10:24.