U.S. Under-18 team pulls away from Irish for 5-3 exhibition hockey victory

Staff Report

SOUTH BEND — A talented U.S. Under-18 hockey team showed No. 8/9 Notre Dame it has plenty of homework to do before the Fighting Irish open their 2022-23 hockey season against defending NCAA champion Denver in the Ice Breaker Tournament.

Gabe Perreault scored a pair of goals, including the go-ahead goal to break a 3-3 tie in the third period, and Ryan Leonard had a goal and two assists for the Under-18 team in a 5-3 victory over coach Jeff Jackson’s squad Sunday evening on the Lefty Smith Rink in the Compton Family Ice Arena.

More:Notre Dame hockey feels underrated heading into exhibition with USA Under-18 team

More:100% loyal: Notre Dame football recruits look past 0-2 start, pledging to stay together

Coming off a 4-3 victory at Michigan State Saturday night, the Under-18 team improved to 4-0 for the season by outshooting the Irish 30-28, including 17-6 in the first period, and scoring a pair of power-play goals in four attempts totaling 11 minutes. Notre Dame, meanwhile, went 0-for-1 on the power play.

“The game of hockey is all about momentum,” Jackson said. “When you give the other team that many minutes on the power play, it changes the whole momentum of the game.”

Notre Dame's Ryder Rolston during the Wisconsin-Notre Dame Big Ten hockey tournament game on Sunday, March 06, 2022, at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana.

Notre Dame looked like it had the early momentum when junior Ryder Rolston scored off feeds from Jake Boltmann and grad transfer Jackson Pierson, a former standout at Culver Military Academy, 59 seconds into the game.

But Team USA tied it at 7:42 with the first of its two power-play goals. With Irish defenseman Chase Blackmun serving a five-minute major for a hit from behind, Team USA’s Austin Burnevik beat Irish goaltender Ryan Bischel after assists from Oliver Moore and Alex Weiermair.

Notre Dame’s Tyler Carpenter made it 2-1 at 11:35 of the first period when he beat USA goalie Carsen Musser off feeds from captain Nick Leivermann and Solag Bakich. But Team USA again answered on the first of Perreault’s two goals just 30 seconds before the end of the first period during which the visitors outshot the Irish 17-6.

Grad student Jack Adams put the Irish up 3-2 at 6:23 of the second period, but Team USA responded at 17:02 when Will Vote beat Bischel, sending the game into the third period tied at 3-all.

Perreault’s second goal of the game, the game-winner, came at 1:22 of the third period on another power-play opportunity with Notre Dame’s Zach Plucinski off for an indirect hit to the head at 1:01. Leonard, who had assists on Perreault’s first goal and Vote’s tally in the second period, scored into an empty net at 19:59.

Eight different players got into the scoring column for the Irish. Grad defenseman Ben Brinkman, a transfer from Frozen Four finalist Minnesota, had three of Notre Dame’s 12 blocked shots on the evening. Bischel, meanwhile, went the distance and finished with 25 saves, the same number as Musser.

“It’s the first game and that’s why we like playing this team (Team USA) early on,” Jackson said. “They’re fast, they’re hard to play against.”

So should be the Pioneers, who are ranked No. 1 in both the (media) and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) polls. Faceoff in Denver Friday is 9 p.m. Eastern time. The Irish then conclude the Ice Breaker Tournament Saturday night when they venture down Interstate 25 to Colorado Springs to play the Air Force Academy. 


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

USNTDP Under-18      2-1-2—5

Notre Dame                2-1-0—3          

First Period—Scoring: 1. Notre Dame, Ryder Rolston (Jake Boltmann, Jackson Pierson) EV 0:59. 2. USNTDP Under 18, Austin Burnevik (Oliver Moore, Alex Weiermair) PP 7:42. 3. Notre Dame, Tyler Carpenter (Nick Leivermann, Solag Bakich) EV 11:35. 4. USNTDP Under-18, Gabe Perreault (Ryan Leonard, Kai Janviriya) EV 19:30. Penalties: USNTDP Under-18 0-0, Notre Dame 2-7.

Second Period—Scoring: 5. Notre Dame, Jack Adams (Justin Janicke) EV 6:23. 6. USNTDP Under-18, Will Vote (Oliver Moore, Ryan Leonard) EV 17:02.

 Penalties (total): USNTDP Under-18 1-2 (1-2), Notre Dame 0-0 (2-7).

 Third Period—Scoring: 7. USNTDP Under-18, Gabe Perreault 2 (Will Smith, Zeev Buium) PP 1:22. 8. USNTDP Under-18, Ryan Leonard (Carsen Musser) EN 19:59.

Penalties (total): USNTDP Under-18 0-0 (1-2), Notre Dame 2-4 (4-11).

 Shots on goal—USNTDP Under 18 30 (17-7-6), Notre Dame 28 (6-10-12). Goalie saves, USNTDP Under-18, Carsen Musser 25 (4-9-12), Notre Dame, Ryan Bischel 25 (15-6-4). 

Power-play opportunities: USNTDP Under-18 2 of 4, Notre Dame 0 of 1. Faceoffs won: USNTDP Under 18 16 (9-4-3), Notre Dame 33 (9-11-13). Blocked shots: USNTDP Under-18 (Kai Janviriya 3), Notre Dame 12 (Ben Brinkman 3). 

Referees: Brian Aaron and Colin Kronforst. Linesmen: Jonathan Sladek and Bill Hancock.