Last week’s game against Penn State was all Ryan Hoff for the Irish, this week it was Duncan Swezey, who scored four times, three of them being solo scores. The Irish had run rampant over Penn State in the first quarter and Albany refused to let that happen. The Albany starting defense of Garrett Pedley, Mark Phelan and Mike Banks kept Notre Dame from any good looks for half of the first quarter. Constant pressure by the Danes forced four of Notre Dame’s first five shots off their mark. Swezey was unable to connect with any good feed passes into the middle or up top as well and Albany’s Brett Queener in the nets made a great stuff of Swezey at the 11:57 mark as Swezey pushed in from the right side and used an inside roll to sit 5 yards off the crease. Queener, a senior, was not afraid of running out of the crease to shag down ground balls and he wound up with 5 of Albany’s 23 ground balls. Queener initiated 5 clears by running the ball well past the midfield. Twice he was jumped and had to evade the Irish and in one of those jumps in the second half, the Irish picked the ball clean and Mike Podgajny had a 25 yard shot on an open goal, but pushed the ball well wide of the net. Queener finished with 11 saves.
Notre Dame’s defense played well, especially in the midfield, denying Albany any close drives until mid-quarter. Overall the Irish once again blanked their opponent in the first quarter, but Kemp registered 4 of his 11 saves int eh first quarter. Albany was able to get close, running mostly out of a 3-2-1 and 2-2-2 , getting the ball to a man up top on the center and then driving the net and looking for a cutter on the post. At 8:54 Podgajny scored for the Irish by standing 15 yards up top and taking a pass from Grant Krebs, and then rolling quickly to his right, stopping and firing to beat Queener. Albany’s Chris Schongar was shuting down Notre dame’s Zach Brennenman in the quarter, picking his pocket as Brennenman drove at the goal from 10 yards out to kill a Irish drive. At 3:51, Swezey scored the first of his four goals, moving defender Banks, a freshman, out with him, then switching hands and shooting around Banks. Taylor Clagett won the faceoff getting 12 of 16 and picked up the ball and dumped it to Swezey, who again used an inside roll. This time to beat Albany’s Brendan Gleason to give the Irish a 3-0 advantage.
Notre Dame ruled the first half of the second quarter, with Kemp making two good saves on jordan Levine and Corey Small. The Irish were very patient for the remainder of the quarter, rotating the ball waiting for a good look and taking up time on their possessions. Hoff was singled out by the Albany defense and managed only to get off two shots and only one of them on the goal. Grant Krebs put the Irish up 4-0 with a solo shot. Albany came back, owning the last eight minutes of the half and converting when they were two men up as Hoff and Podgajny were flagged for tripping and holding. Kyle Brunk converted for the Danes at 8:01 and Matt Johnson was fed by Derek Dale from behind at 6:24 to cut the lead to 4-2, Notre Dame. Levine beat Clagett on the faceoff and the Danes worked the bal up top brought it down on the wing to dale, who passed to Mike Ammann, to cut the gap to 4-3. Notre Dame called a timeout to regroup and Clagett won the faceoff on a procedure call, and Grant Krebs was stoned by Queener. Corey Small was fed by Tyler Endres on a neat lead-trail combo with Endres leading the way and stopping about 10 yards out. Small moved forward on the right and cut Endres’ pass and beat Kemp on his left to tie it up at 4-4.
The Irish held the Danes scoreless in the third quarter and could only manage one goal, Swezey’s third of the day at the 7:01 mark to break the tie, 5-4. Swezey charged down the center and leaned forward and appeared to have been tripped but stayed horizontal enough to push the bal past Queener and avoid the crease, executing a perfect dive shot. For the first four minutes of the quarter, the Irish held the ball and peppered Queener with five shots but four of them wide. These were good looks but the Irish shooters were hurried and off the mark. At 9:33, Queener again decided to run the ball down in the box on the clear but was doubled and jumped hard at midfield by Notre Dame, Podgajny managed to come out of the pile-up with the ball and made it 5 yards north of the restraining line and shot hurriedly on an open net. The ball sailed wide left and the Irish lost an easy score. For the rest of the quarter, the teams traded possessions and two good saves by Quener against Alex Wharton and Podgajny kept the score close.
Albany started the fourth quarter with the ball and Levine went wid on the goal and then Crotty was fed from the right and Kemp stepped out and up and stopped what should have been a gimme goal. Queener likewise stuffed Brennenman and Notre Dame again patient and hit Queener with two shots and missed on three others until Wharton fed Swezey for his fourth goal. A minute later, Dale and Small teamed up with a bump and run play that opened Small on the right side off the crease to beat Kemp to narrow it to 6-5, Notre Dame. At 8:07, Note Dame was in the extra man opportunity again and failed to convert. The were left hanging on 5 EMO opportunities today, far off their average. Again, a sustained possession by Notre Dame left them scoreless, and walking away with only three wide shots for the stat books. Albany’s Mike Finnegan cam close to tying the game, but he nailed the post at 2:29. Joe Pompo tried an overhand from close in, but telegraphed it to Kemp who stepped up to it and snatched the ball and flipped it out right for the clear. Notre Dame’s Dan Gibson had the ball checked out of his stick to give the Danes another chance, and with 50 seconds left on the clock, Small hit his third goal on a feed from Ammann across the crease.
Clagett popped the ball out on the faceoff and it was picked up by Podgajny and two passes later, Peter Christman charged the right side and left his feet to shoot and beat Queener to put Notre Dame up 7-6 at 0:23. Albany recovered and brought the ball down but Jordan Levine’s shot was blocked by the Irish defense.
Notre Dame starts off 3-0 for the first time since 2003 and travels to Villanova on Tuesday.
|Duncan Swezey||(4, 0)|
|Grant Krebs||(1, 1)|
|Peter Christman||(1, 0)|
|Alex Wharton||(0, 1)|
|Michael Podgajny||(1, 0)|
|Joey Kemp||11 (0.647)|