ND, UNO to Meet for Ice Breaker Title
Notre Dame and Nebraska-Omaha will face off in Saturday’s Ice Breaker Tournament championship game after posting wins Friday night at Sprint Center in Kansas City.
NBC Sports Network will carry the championship game live at 7:30 p.m. ET. Fans in the Kansas City area can get tickets at the Sprint Center box office for a doubleheader that begins with Army facing Maine in the third-place game.
Notre Dame overcame a terrific effort from Maine goaltender Dan Sullivan to post a 1-0 victory in the tournament opener. T.J. Tynan scored the game’s only goal while Steve Summerhays stopped 19 shots to earn the shutout.
“Everyone talked about our goaltending being an issue last year, but after Christmas Steve was really strong,” head coach Jeff Jackson said. “You see that in the second half of the sophomore year for a lot of goalies. He had to make some big saves because we broke down a few times.”
Summerhays robbed Maine’s Joey Diamond – the nation’s top returning goal scorer – twice at the doorstep.
Tynan scored on a similar opportunity at the other end 2:59 into the third period. Sullivan stopped Tynan’s first shot but he put the rebound under the goalie’s pad.
“I missed the first opportunity, the kid made a nice save,” Tynan said. “[After that] desperation is the best way to describe it.”
Nebraska-Omaha scored twice in each of the first two periods en route to a 5-1 victory in the nightcap. The Mavericks’ line of Dominic Zombo, Brock Montpetit and Zahn Raubenheimer carried the play early, producing each of the first three goals.
Raubenheimer, who started the scoring, had three points on the night – matching his season total from 2011-12.
“Last weekend [in an exhibition vs. Lethbridge], me, Brock and Zombo were just clicking,” he said. “Us three work together and get to the net and that’s how we will be successful. Zombo’s a little beast, and Brock is so smart, it’s good to play with both of them.”
John Faulkner stopped 17 of 18 shots as the Mavericks outshot the Black Knights, 38-18.
“We knew they would work hard, and they did,” Raubenheimer said. “We knew they would have speed and we just had to match them with our speed, right from the start.”
Maine head coach Tim Whitehead: “Clearly Notre Dame deserved to win. Dan Sullivan was tremendous for us and gave us every opportunity to win it. Danny was our best player for sure.”
“This is a tremendous facility. The event is first class, extremely well run by the Kansas City Sports Commission and College Hockey, Inc. The arena is fabulous, and I’ve been in a lot of them.”
UNO’s Zahn Raubenheimer: “I never thought I’d be in Omaha, never thought I’d have the chance to play for Dean Blais. Growing up in Alberta the mindset is all WHL. I had a lot of good coaches growing up in Alberta who steered me toward college hockey and it has been amazing. Omaha, strangely enough, is a hockey town. College isn’t as big at home, but I want to get the word out there and hopefully more young hockey players will take advantage of this route.”