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The Week in Notre Dame Athletics: Hockey Sweeps & Two New HCs

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The Fighting Irish earned wins this past week in hockey, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, track and field, and men’s and women’s basketball. It was a good week!

Jewell Loyd and no. 2 Irish women's basketball downed Maryland, but fell to UConn this past week.
Jewell Loyd and no. 2 Irish women's basketball downed Maryland, but fell to UConn this past week.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Two Irish teams, fencing and volleyball, also learned that they will have new head coaches heading into the offseason. Without further ado, we bring you the results of the last week's Irish match-ups.

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After a rough November, Irish hockey (8-8-2, 4-2-2) swept Massachusetts over the weekend in 2 high-scoring road affairs, first claiming a 7-5 win, then a 4-0 shutout victory over the Minutemen.

Friday night, Chad Katunar was in goal for the Irish, who scored 1st midway through the opening stanza only to allow a tying goal less than 4 minutes later. In the 2nd period, UMass went ahead, 2-1, to be tied by Notre Dame, then pull ahead again, 3-2, short-handed. The 3rd period saw the Irish break the game open with 4 consecutive goals in the 1st 8 minutes. UMass scored twice in a row to stem the onslaught, bringing the score to 6-5, before ND scored their final shot in an empty net with less than 30 seconds remaining. Irish goals came from Connor Hurley, Austin Wuthrich, Mario Lucia, Jordan Gross, Peter Schneider (2g), and Luke Ripley. Notre Dame edged UMass in shots on goal, 29-25. Both teams were blanked on power plays, though ND surrendered a short-handed goal.

Saturday, the Irish ended the fall half of their season with a 4-0 shutout road win. With Cal Peterson in goal, the Irish fought through a scoreless opening stanza before netting 3 unanswered 2nd-period goals from Robbie Russo, Austin Wuthrich, and Mario Lucia, all within the 1st 9 minutes. Russo scored again late in the 3rd on a power play to bring the score to 4-0. Notre Dame dominated UMass in shots on goal, 33-14, and the Irish benefitted from 10 power play opportunities (though they only scored on 1 of them). UMass was 0-for-3.

After a bit of time off, the Irish will next play Miami, Ohio on December 28th at a tournament in Estero, Florida (4:05 p.m. ET, WatchND). Their ensuing match the following day is TBA (WatchND).

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Men's swimming and diving competed in the Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City this past weekend. The Irish fell by a hair to a talented Iowa squad, 918.5 to 918, but set 2 school records (including in platform diving) and earned 14 NCAA B cuts.

The women's squad split their weekend between the Texas Invitational in Austin and the Iowa City-based Hawkeye Invitational. In Iowa City, Irish divers swept the 3-meter event and earned 1st in the 1-meter. In Austin, Irish swimmers earned 13 NCAA B cuts and a smattering of top-12 finishes.

Meanwhile, senior Emma Reaney is currently competing internationally with Team USA. She earned a silver medal and broke another American record in the 200m medley relay at the FINA Short Course World Championships in Doha, Qatar over the past week. She was also the lone American to make the semifinals or finals in the 50m breaststroke, in which she finished 6th overall.

Both Irish squads break for the holidays until a January 9th-10th dual meet with Michigan and Northwestern in Ann Arbor, MI.

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Fencing is in the midst of the North American Cup in Dallas right now. While we can tell you that freshman foilist Erin Dietsche claimed bronze, we'll be able to bring you more news from the tournament next week.

The team will be back at it when the new year arrives at the North American Cup - Juniors.

One more note: after leading the Irish to 3 NCAA titles, head coach Janusz Bednarski announced his retirement. Bednarski will be replaced by 8-year assistant and 3-year associate head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia.

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Track & field got started this Friday with their indoor season-opening Blue & Gold Invitational. The team earned victories in an impressive 22 of 30 events, setting school records in the women's indoor 1000m (2:46.47) and women's indoor shot put (16.03m).

The Irish reconvene for the Simmons-Harvey Invitational in Ann Arbor, MI, in mid-January.

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Over the past week, no. 25 men's basketball (8-1) downed no. 19 Michigan State, 79-78, in an overtime thriller and Fairleigh Dickinson, 75-57 on Saturday. Check out our game review (with video highlights) of the Michigan State victory here.

Here are highlights from the win over Fairleigh Dickinson:

The team hosts Mount St. Mary's this Tuesday (7:00 p.m. ET, WatchND, Watch ESPN), then Florida State on Saturday (8:00 p.m. ET, WatchND, ESPN2).

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Last Wednesday night, no. 2/1 women's basketball (8-1) bested no. 15 Maryland, 92-72, as Taya Reimer put up 21 points and Jewell Loyd put up 27.

Saturday, with star freshman Brianna Turner on the bench, Notre Dame fell to no. 3 UConn, 76-58, despite seizing a ten-point lead late in the first half and Jewell Loyd putting up 31 points, tying her career high.

This Wednesday, the Irish face DePaul in Chicago (9:00 p.m. ET, WatchND, Fox Sports 2). They host Michigan on Saturday (1:00 p.m. ET, WatchND).

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A quick note for you on Irish volleyball (6-23, 3-15 ACC): after their difficult and 2nd consecutive losing season came to an end a little over a week ago, 24-year head coach Debbie Brown was let go by the athletics department. The Irish are in the hunt for a new head coach this off-season. Here's hoping for a great off-season and a strong return in 2015.

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We'll bring you updates next week on Notre Dame's Olympic sports. For now, go Irish. Beat everybody.