Hockey: Notre Dame vs. Alabama-Huntsville LIVE

That’s right, it’s already hockey season in South Bend. Follow along here as the Irish take on Alabama-Huntsville in both teams’ season opener.

Final: 3-2 Alabama-Huntsville. Not quite as important as the Bemidji State game six months ago, but disappointing nonetheless. Notre Dame outshot the Chargers 42-29, but some fantastic goaltending by Talbot as well as some sloppy defensive play in the final seconds allowed UAH to take the win. One thing Jordan Pearce had trouble with last year, and it looks like Phillips is, too, is controlling rebounds. At least two goals tonight could have been prevented with better rebound control.
Ryan Thang is still talking with the officials after the whistle and, to be honest, both penalties on him were borderline at best. Tough calls in the final minutes of a tie hockey game.

0:05.4 – Ugh. Goal Alabama-Huntsville. 3-2 on another rebound goal on a skirmish in front of the net. Credit the goal to Cody Campbell.

0:36.4 3rd period – Ryan Thang just can’t keep himself out of the box. On his way back to the bench after the Irish killed his initial penalty, he gets called for another borderline penalty, this time tripping.

2:44 3rd period – Well if Notre Dame wants to win this game in regulation, it just got a lot more difficult, as Ryan Thang is whistled for a two-minute penalty on a, ahem, questionable interference call. UAH hits the post about 10 seconds into the powerplay.

3:53 3rd period – Kyle Palmieri just came close to giving the Irish a 3-2 lead, but was denied by a great save by Talbot sliding across the crease. After the play, Palmieri brought his hands up to his head in disbelief. Still tied 2-2.

6:45 3rd period – Play is getting just a little bit more physical with each team trying to get that game-winner.

11:59 3rd period – Justin Cseter ties the game for Alabama-Huntsville 2-2 on a rebound. After the initial shot by Tom Train, Phillips left a fat rebound and a wide open net for Cseter on the right side, and the Charger freshman punched it home.

13:15 3rd period – UAH is putting some pressure on Phillips trying to tie this game again. So far, though, the junior has been solid.

17:34 3rd period – Alabama-Huntsville successfully kills off the major penalty. The real difference in this game so far has been special teams, as the Chargers have been playing with the Irish 5-on-5. Big penalty kill right there.

End of 2nd period – Well this game may be a little bit closer than it should be, but the Irish take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. It’s clear that both teams are stilling trying to get their legs under them at the beginning of the season, but both goalies have been playing some superb hockey, and Talbot is the only reason this game is still close. Notre Dame still has 2:26 remaining in the major penalty, so they’ve got that going for them. Which is nice. The penalty all but negates any hope that the Chargers could come out to a fast start in the third. Trough two periods, the shots are 27-19 in favor of the Irish.

2:34 2nd period – On a dangerous play skating down the ice, Charger Keenan Desmet knocks down Patrick Gaul from behind and receives a five-minute major, as well as a game misconduct. This could be Notre Dame’s opportunity to put this game away.

4:10 2nd period – Call it freshman night here at the Joyce Center, Kyle Palmieri nets the first goal of his Irish career to give Notre Dame a 2-1 lead. On a beautiful cross-ice feed from Calle Ridderwall, Palmieri fires a one-timer from the lower left circle that blows past Talbot’s glove.

4:43 2nd period – UAH’s Cale Tanaka gets sent to the box for hooking. This powerplay could the just what the Irish needed to reclaim the lead.

6:47 2nd period – Alabama-Huntsville ties the game 1-1 on a goal from Tom Train. After a few initial shots and a crowd in front of the net, Train pushed a rebound past Phillips. The goal was the culmination of a long wave of building Charger momentum.

10:47 2nd period – As Calle Ridderwall blasts a shot from long range on Talbot, Cole gets booked for holding well behind the play, giving Alabama-Huntsville another powerplay. Just five seconds in, the Chargers come dangerously close to evening the game, with a puck bouncing off the crossbar.

12:56 2nd period – A beautiful chance for Kevin Deeth shorthanded. On a long feed from Ian Cole, Deeth found himself all alone bearing down on Talbot, but the junior made a nice save to keep the Irish lead at one.

14:09 2nd period – The Chargers will get their second powerplay chance of the night as Kissel gets called for boarding.

16:35 2nd period – Much as he did two years ago against Notre Dame in the RPI Tournament, Charger netminder Cameron Talbot is almost single-handedly keeping the Chargers in this game. After nifty saves on Maday and Palmieri, Talbot stuffs Dan Kissel from point-blank range.

18:32 2nd period – Two good scoring chances to open the period for Notre Dame. The first was on an absolutely gorgeous give-and-go between Maday and Sheahan, the second when Palmieri found himself all alone right on the doorstep but couldn’t punch it in.

20:00 2nd period – Once again it’s Maday/Sheahan/Thang and Cole/Lorenz out to start the period. First period shots were 12-10 Irish, by the way, with most of the Chargers’ shots coming late in the stanza.

End of 1st period – The Irish head to the locker room with a 1-0 lead. Both teams had additional scoring chances, but nothing too close. Sheahan’s goal is obviously the big play, but fellow freshman Kyle Palmieri has looked very impressive, every bit like the NHL first-round pick that he is. The future Anaheim Duck had a couple of nice dekes and some big hits. It only seems a matter of time before he gets on the board.
On another note, I just got a text from a friend saying over a hundred students were turned away at the gate due to the full student section. On the one hand, I’d like to congratulate the Notre Dame student body for showing up like this, and hope it continues for the rest of the season. On the other hand, man, I can’t wait for the Lefty Smith Rink.

3:00 1st period – Phillips covers up on a couple of scrums in front of the net. The junior has looked good so far, and as he told me yesterday, these type of games can be difficult since he’s not seeing a consistent amount of shots to get in a good rhythm. It’s a bit of a challenge for a goalie to stay mentally focused when Notre Dame is controlling the playing like it is.

8:27 1st period – The Irish kill off the brief four-on-four and look downright pretty on their powerplay, cycling the puck around well and getting good chances. It may have something to do with the quality of opposition, but if Notre Dame can keep looking like this with the man advantage they won’t have any trouble scoring. Unfortunately here, the Irish come away with nothing but a few good chances.

9:28 – After one of the longest delayed penalty calls I’ve ever seen, Alabama-Huntsville’s Brandon Roshko is sent to the box for slashing. So we’ll have six seconds of four-on-four and then a 1:54 Notre Dame powerplay.

11:23 1st period – Kevin Deeth takes Notre Dame’s first penalty of the night on a, well, pretty obvious elbowing call. Deeth was trying to get to a puck in the offensive zone and just got a little overzealous with his check.

17:18 1st period – We have our first penalty of the game as Alabama-Huntsville’s Justin Cseter is called for cross-checking. And it doesn’t take long for Notre Dame to capitalize, as Riley Sheahan gets a goal in the first game of his Notre Dame career on a scrum in front of the net. Sheahan’s goal comes from Maday and Thang at 3:02 of the first.

18:45 1st period – UAH gets the first decent scoring chance when Cale Tanaka gets in almost alone of Phillips, but isn’t able to do anything with the puck.

3:50 to faceoff – Maday/Sheahan/Thang line announced as the starting line. Playing alongside Maday and Thang, Sheahan is going to get a ton of playing time. Cole and Lorenz starting on defense.

12:40 to faceoff – Student section already completely packed. I kind of expected an early season malaise among the student body, but I guess hockey fever has hit Notre Dame harder than swine flu. Too soon?

24:19 to faceoff – A few quick pregame lineup notes to start things off:

  • Junior defenseman Teddy Ruth is scratched with a “lower body injury.” First I’ve heard of anything, but we’ll see what Irish coach Jeff Jackson says after the game.
  • If you listened to our pre-season podcast (at, please ignore any predictions Matt and I made regarding lines and defensive pairings. Notre Dame’s starting lineup is as follows:

LW                                C                                            RW
Dan Kissel                Ben Ryan                       Christiaan Minella
Billy Maday           Riley Sheahan                  Ryan Thang (C)
Calle Ridderwall    Kevin Deeth (A)              Kyle Palmieri
Kyle Murphy           Patrick Gaul                    Ryan Guentzel

The defensive pairings are Brett Blatchford/Eric Ringel, Nick Condon/Kyle Lawson (A) and Ian Cole/Sean Lorenz with Brad Phillips between the pipes.


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