The Notre Dame hockey team lost its first game of the season on Saturday, falling 7-4 to the Spencerport Rangers. The Irish trailed, 3-0, at the end of the first period and never recovered. ND fell behind by as many as four goals in the third period and lost by three.
“This was a classic trap game,” said Notre Dame head coach Marc Staley. “We had three big wins in a row against undefeated teams, and we were way too confident tonight.”
With the loss, the Irish fall to 6-1, while Spencerport is now 3-3.
“We out-shot them 16 to seven in the first period and were down three nothing,” said Staley. “Then the individual play started and the penalties. We needed more mental toughness tonight, and we just didn’t have it.”
The Irish committed six penalties and allowed the Rangers to go 2-of-6 on the power play. ND finished the game 1-of-4 on the man advantage. Scoring for the Irish in the loss were Gavin Schrader (two goals), Vincent DiRisio and Joe DiRisio. For the Rangers, A.J. Giannavola recorded a hat trick and Chris Hammerle recorded a couple of tallies.
“We can learn from this loss,” added Staley. “We’ve had a heck of a run to start the season. Sometimes a loss that stings helps us get back on track.”
With the loss, the Irish remain the top Class A team in Sunday’s Section V Power Seedings. Since the program’s inception, Notre Dame has played in Class B but was moved midseason to Class A. The move likely came due to an influx of talent at ND this year, which helped lead the Irish to a 2-0 start that saw them outscore their two opponents 19-7. Notre Dame’s top-four scorers this year all played with the Genesee Ice Devils last season.
“From the kids’ standpoint, we’re excited about it,” said Staley. “I told the kids, ‘they think we’re so good that we’re going to play in A’. There’s nothing we can do about it now. We’re going to play it out.”
Next up for Notre Dame will be Aquinas on Thursday, as a previously scheduled matchup with the Ice Devils was canceled due to Genesee’s recent bout with COVID-19.
“We could use the rest,” said Staley about the four-day break between games. “We need to get back on track next week.”