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Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame settles for tie with UMass Lowell after video replay

A controversial overturned goal was the main story of the weekend as Notre Dame and No. 5 UMass Lowell tied 2-2 Friday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

Irish junior winger Sam Herr shields the puck during Notre Dame’s 5-3 win over Lake Superior State on Oct. 17.
Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer
Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer
Irish junior winger Sam Herr shields the puck during Notre Dame’s 5-3 win over Lake Superior State on Oct. 17.
With the teams tied 2-2 and just more than six minutes to play, it appeared the Irish (6-6-2, 2-2-2 Hockey East) went ahead on a goal that would have been credited to senior winger Austin Wuthrich. However, after a lengthy review, the officials waved off the goal as junior center Thomas DiPauli was in the crease.

"I've never seen a ref call it that close, especially because I never touched the goalie," DiPauli said. "So that was a little bit soft, but at the same time, we kind of knew they were looking for something the whole game.

"It is what it is; you can't do anything about it, but it kind of sucks."

Rule 73.1 in the NCAA hockey rule book states that "if an attacking player enters the goal crease and, by these actions, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to defend the goal either visually or physically, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed."

While DiPauli did not physically make contact with River Hawks junior goaltender Kevin Boyle, it was ruled that he obstructed the goalie's vision while entering the goal crease. Irish coach Jeff Jackson disagreed with the call.

"[The referee] wouldn't talk to me about it," Jackson said. "I got a chance to watch it too. ... I saw a power-play goal."

The waved-off goal was not the only — or first — source of frustration for the Irish on the evening. UMass Lowell's first goal came directly following what could have been an offside call against the River Hawks.

Video replay may be used "to determine if a goal was scored as the result of an offside play"; however, the play was not reviewed, and River Hawks freshman center John Edwardh's goal stood to cut the Irish lead to 2-1 with 1:23 to play in the second period.

Jackson said he tried to get the play reviewed, but the official did not acknowledge his desire.

"[The referee] wouldn't look at me," Jackson said. "I tried to call a timeout so they could review it, but he wouldn't look at me."

Unlike in Thursday's 3-1 loss to UMass Lowell, Notre Dame struck first Friday as junior winger Mario Lucia broke a five-game scoreless streak with his ninth goal of the season.

The River Hawks botched a clearance attempt that fell straight to Lucia, who one-timed the puck past Boyle to give the Irish a 1-0 lead just 1:52 into the game.

Notre Dame got some assistance from video replay to go 2-0 up in the game when junior winger Sam Herr deflected the puck just over the line for his fifth goal of the season.

The goal was initially waved off on the ice, but the officials later deemed that the puck did in fact fully cross the goal line. Freshman winger Jake Evans picked up an assist on the goal as did freshman defenseman Luke Ripley — the first point of his collegiate career.

UMass Lowell closed the gap to 2-1 with just 83 seconds remaining in the period when Edwardh poked home a shot that Irish sophomore goaltender Chad Katunar seemed to save. After the initial stop, the puck trickled behind Katunar, and Edwardh was in prime position to put secure the score.

The visitors leveled the score just 3:23 into the third period when sophomore center Joe Gambadella beat Katunar for his sixth goal of the season.

After neither team could find a goal in the rest of the third period, the two teams headed for a five-minute, five-on-five, sudden-death overtime period. In the final seconds, the Irish nearly gave the game away.

A turnover in the attacking zone sent Gambardello off on a breakaway with a chance to bag his second goal of the game and the win for the River Hawks, but Katunar came away victorious in the one-on-one battle, saving Gambardello's shot with his left toe in the game's final 10 seconds.

"You want to back your teammates up, you know, my guys played their [butts] off tonight," Katunar said. "An unlucky play like that at the end? I don't want that to determine the outcome of the game."

The sophomore goaltender finished with 32 saves on the night.

"[Katunar] played extremely well," Jackson said. "You don't shut a top power play in the country without great goaltending."

Notre Dame is back in action this weekend as the Irish host the Shillelagh Tournament at Compton Family Ice Arena. Friday's first-round game will pit the Irish against No. 15 Union, the defending national champion. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:35 p.m.