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Notre Dame Upends RPI

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Sophomore goaltender Dylan St. Cyr stopped all 33 shots he faced to lead the eighth-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s hockey team to a 3-0 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), on Saturday night at Compton Family Ice Arena. With the win, the Fighting Irish improve to 10-4-2 overall, while the Engineers drop to 4-9-0.

RPI freshman netminder Owen Savory (Guelph, ON/St. Catharines Falcons) matched St. Cyr (Northville, MI/U.S. National Dev. Team) throughout, turning away a career-high 38, including all 17 shots he faced in the second.

The Engineers nearly scored in the opening minute, when junior Todd Burgess (Phoenix, AZ/Fairbanks Ice Dogs) found himself on a breakaway, but his shot found the left shoulder of St. Cyr.

Senior Cam Morrison (Aurora, ON/Youngstown Phantoms) got the hosts on the board just over three minutes later, taking a pass off the right boards from junior Mike O’Leary (Halifax, NS/Dubuque Fighting Saints) and sticking a shot past Savory for his fourth goal of the year.

Later in the first, RPI turned in a pair of chances on the power play, including a redirection off the stick of sophomore Donovan Ott (Lebanon, PA/Johnstown Tomahawks), but St. Cyr was able to get in front of the attempt.

A back-and-forth second period saw the Fighting Irish outshoot RPI, 17-7. Engineers junior Patrick Polino (Buffalo, NY/Lincoln Stars) stickhandled his way into a scoring chance at the midway point of the frame, but his shot from the right circle was kicked away by St. Cyr.

Two minutes later, Notre Dame had an opportunity to double its lead, but Savory was to make a sprawling left pad stop to deny freshman Alex Steeves (Bedford, NH/Dubuque Fighting Saints) on the tail-end of a 3-on-1 passing play. Working the puck back from the left side of the rush, the trailing Steeves ripped one-time from the right side that Savory got to and kept out.

The Engineers came out firing in the third period, holding an 8-1 shot advantage at one point during the frame, before finishing with a 17-10 edge.

Freshman Jake Johnson (Bloomington, MN/Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) turned RPI’s best chance to equalize with eight minutes to play, but his shot at the end of a 3-on-2 rush rang off the right pipe. Carrying the puck out his own zone, Johnson worked a pass to junior Jacob Hayhurst (Mississauga, ON/Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), whose return feed found Johnson in the middle of the slot for a one-time effort that came inches from pulling the Engineers even.

Notre Dame capitalized on its next chance at 13:36 of the period, when sophomore Colin Theisen (Monroe, MI/Dubuque Fighting Saints) corralled his own rebound and stuck it under the left pad of Savory for a 2-0 lead. Theisen’s fifth goal of the season drew assists from freshman Jake Pivonka (Naperville, IL/U.S. National Dev. Team) and Morrison.

The Fighting Irish added an empty-netter with 2:46 to play, scored by senior Dylan Malmquist (Edina, MN/Edina High Schoo). He navigated his way up the right wing boards before slotting home his fifth goal of the year into the vacated net.

RPI finished 0 for 3 on the power play, while the Fighting Irish were 0 for 2. The hosts had a 41-33 shot advantage for the game, led by eight from Steeves. Burgess led Rensselaer with five shots.

The Engineers are back in action next weekend, when they visit ECAC Hockey foes Yale University and Brown University on Friday (7pm) and Saturday (7pm), respectively. Notre Dame travels to No. 6 Penn State University for a pair next weekend.

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