Notre Dame Hockey: Irish fall one comeback short of becoming National Champs

ST PAUL, MN - APRIL 07: Blake Young
ST PAUL, MN - APRIL 07: Blake Young /

The cardiac kids of Notre Dame hockey fell one comeback short of becoming National Champions

Notre Dame put together a dominant season but ended up one game short of their goal. The Irish fell to Minnesota Duluth 2-1 in the National Championship Saturday night. It was the story of Cinderella, the last at-large bid, and the cardiac kids, who seemingly couldn’t lose in crunch time.

There was no better way for a National Championship game to be played than the way Notre Dame and Minnesota Duluth started off. It was what every player dreams of, a chance for all the marbles. And these two teams came out ready to play.

It was a physical game right from the start. UMD started off attacking early and often, but Cale Morris continued to show why he is the best goalie in the nation.

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A turnover in the neutral zone left no time to react for Morris as Karson Kuhlman came away with the short side goal at 9:06 in the first.

While the Bulldogs have been accustomed to scoring first, Notre Dame has earned the title of comeback kids this postseason. The Irish trailed in all four NCAA Tournament games leading up to this point.

The deficit would grow off of yet another poor turnover. Jared Thomas from the corner squeezed one around the poll for a 2-0 lead.

Even once the Irish were giving their first power play of the game, they couldn’t capitalize. The Bulldogs were able to keep a good amount of offensive pressure despite being shorthanded.

But when given a second chance with the one-man advantage, the Irish capitalized. Andrew Oglevie netted his 15th goal of the season with 12:20 left in the second period.

The Irish regained life.

While UMD had the support of the fans in their home state, the Irish grabbed the momentum. The well-coached Irish kept their composer regardless of the stage they were playing on.

Notre Dame was giving UMD’s Hunter Shepard all he could handle in the net. The question soon changed from if the Irish could find the equalizer, to when the Irish would?

But time was ticking. Not on Cinderella, but on the cardiac kids.

Down by one with 1:28 left in the game, head coach Jeff Jackson pulled Morris for the extra attacker.

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Notre Dame fell one comeback short of a National Championship. After an extremely successful season, Notre Dame would fall to Minnesota Duluth 2-1. With so much to hang their hats on, Notre Dame hockey has created a dominant program that fell one game short.