Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey kicked off with a blue and gold victory against the United States Air Force Academy Falcons Friday. The matchup resulted in a 4-3 victory to start Notre Dame’s season on a high note.
The Falcons seemed to set the tone straight from the puck drop, at one point surpassing the 6 Irish shots on goal with 11. They became the first ones on the board straight away as Falcons forward Brady Tomlak scored the first goal of the game. His teammate Matt Pulver chalked another one up later in the period as the Irish struggled to find their flow.
In the second twenty minutes, the Irish picked up that cohesion that carried them to the playoffs last season. Colin Theisen responded to the frustration of the first period with the first Irish goal of the game. Irish forward Alex Steeves then brought the game to a tie with a goal of his own.
As Notre Dame got back into the swing of things in the final period, Irish forward Cam Morrison scored to take the lead. It was Notre Dame’s Cal Burke who then sealed the deal with an empty netter to confirm the win. The Falcons pulled goaltender Zach LaRocque one last time, but they couldn’t regain any of the control they were after. Air Force then managed to sneak in one last goal with a tenth of a second left on the clock, but the Irish had earned the W.
The Irish will take on the Falcons again at 3 on Sunday afternoon. To catch the game on television, tune into NHL Network, NMC Sports Chicago/Philadelphia+, or SNY. To stream online, go to nbcsports.com or use the NBC Sports app.
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Air Force: Brady Tomlak at 07:55 in the 1st with assists from Alex Mehnert and Jake Levin
Air Force: Matt Pulver at 17:02 in the 1st with assists from Blake Bride and Kieran Durgan
Notre Dame: Colin Theisen at 05:05 in the 2nd with assists from Mike O’Leary and Cal Burke
Notre Dame: Alex Steeves at 13:22 in the 2nd with assists from Michael Graham and Nate Clurman
Notre Dame: Cam Morrison at 05:03 in the 3rd with assists from Alex Steeves and Michael Graham
Notre Dame: Cal Burke at 17:51 in the 3rd with assist from Mike O’Leary
Air Force: Matt Pulver at 19:59 in the 3rd with assists from Brady Tomlak and Trevor Stone
Notre Dame: Ryan Bischel, 33 saves
Air Force: Zach LaRocque, 25 saves
Air Force: Dalton Weigel for interference at 04:44 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Alex Steeves for interference at 08:21 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Colin Theisen for interference at 08:13 in the 2nd
Air Force: Luke Manning for interference at 10:10 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Mike O’Leary for hooking at 06:12 in the 3rd
Air Force: Zach Mirageas for roughing at 09:42 in the 3rd
Air Force: Blake Bride for slashing at 14:59 in the 3rd