Oct 9, 2012, 4:26 PM EDT
The Irish may not have run the score up against the USA National Under-18 team, but they definitely looked more than promising. Big hits, phenomenal passing, and highlight reel moves were some of the high points of Sunday night’s game. Freshmen Peter Schneider was one of the more impressive players in the exhibition game. Early in the first period, he put beautiful a move on a USA defender which had the crowd cheering on its feet. Unfortunately, Schneider could not convert on the scoring chance—a prevalent theme for the Irish Sunday night. The Irish had many high percentage chances which they just could not seem to cash in on.
As it turned out, Team USA was the first to capitalize and get on the scoreboard despite the Irish leading in shots on goal for the entire game. Shane Eiserman of Team USA buried a goal in front of the net, set up by a pass from behind the net by USA’s Michael McCarron. Although the Irish fell behind, there never seemed to be a look of worry or panic in their play. They knew they were getting their chances and that the odds would turn in their favor eventually—and so they did.
As the Irish were breaking into the offensive zone in the third period, Mike Voran found David Gerths wide open in the slot where Gerths put a snap shot by USA goaltender Thatcher Demko, who had been a stone wall up until that point.
After regulation and a scoreless overtime, the exhibition went to a shootout. Through four rounds, the USA U-18 squad and the Irish matched one another. It wasn’t until the fifth round of the shootout that junior Bryan Rust of the Irish scored a SportsCenter-worthy goal to give the Fighting Irish the victory.
Notre Dame walked out of the Compton Family Ice Arena with high hopes and expectations for the season. Hopefully the Irish can build off this victory, and carry the momentum into next week’s games against Minnesota-Duluth.
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