Notre Dame hockey fails to catch up to Omaha

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Notre Dame and Omaha face off towards the end of the 1st period on Oct. 26, 2017. (Tom Franklin/95.3 MNC)

Jake Evans had a four-assist night, but it wasn’t enough to help erase a four-goal hole as the No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-3-1) lost 5-4 to the Omaha Mavericks (3-1-0) at the Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend Thursday night.

Omaha would strike first just 15 seconds into a game when Omaha’s David Pope wristed in what looked like a harmless shot past Irish goalie Dylan St. Cyr. About five minutes later, Omaha’s Jake Randolph slid one under St. Cyr to give the Mavericks a 2-0 lead.

The second period started off much like the first, with Omaha’s Steven Spinner scoring within the first minute to bury the Irish further. Then the Irish would finally answer when Bobby Nardella would put the Irish on the board exactly four minutes into the second period. Omaha would answer yet again as Pope put a wrister over St. Cyr’s left shoulder to get his second of the game, then Zach Jordan extended it even further just over a minute later. Notre Dame’s Cal Burke and Andrew Peeke were able to get two goals by Omaha’s Evan Weninger to make it 5-3 at the 2nd intermission.

Notre Dame’s Jordan Gross pulled the Irish within one with a power-play goal just over a minute into the 3rd period. The Irish kept up the pressure, but couldn’t break through, with Spinner getting his second goal of the game to seal it for the Mavericks.

St. Cyr made 25 saves for the Irish, but was pulled after the fifth goal and replaced by Cale Morris, who made five saves. Omaha outshot Notre Dame 36-35.

The Irish wrap up their two-game set with Omaha at 7:35 p.m. Friday.

OMAHA 6, NOTRE DAME 4

At South Bend

O — David Pope (2nd of season), 00:15 1st

O — Jake Randolph (2nd) (Pope, Joel Messner), 05:10 1st

O — Steven Spinner (2nd) (Randolph, Fredrik Olofsson), 00:54 2nd

ND — Bobby Nardella (2nd) (Jake Evans, Luke Novak), 04:00 2nd

O — Pope 2 (3rd) (Randolph 2), 16:39 2nd

O — Zach Jordan (1st) (Tristan Keck), 17:55 2nd

ND — Cal Burke (1st) (Colin Theisen, Evans 2), 18:36 2nd

ND — Andrew Peeke (1st) (Matt Hellickson, Evans 3), 19:38 2nd

ND — Jordan Gross (1st) (Evans 4, Nardella), 01:09 3rd

O — Spinner 2 (3rd), 19:54 3rd

Shots: Omaha 36, ND 35; Penalties: Omaha 4-8, ND 3-6; Power Play: Omaha 0-3, ND 1-4; Faceoffs: Omaha 30, ND 36; Blocked shots: Omaha 23, ND 12; Saves: Omaha 36 (Weninger), ND 35 (St. Cyr 25, Morris 5).

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