PITTSBURGH — Kevin Deeth and Erik Condra had career nights for Notre Dame as the Irish handed Robert Morris a 6-2 loss at the Pittsburgh College Hockey Showcase at Mellon Arena Friday night.
Deeth recorded his first career hat trick and Condra pitched in a goal and four assists as the second-ranked Fighting Irish improved to 17-3-1 on the season. Robert Morris got single goals from juniors Logan Bittle and David Boguslawski as the Colonials fell to 6-10-1 on the season.
The Colonials played in front their largest-ever home crowd and the second largest crowd to witness a RMU home event as 3,420 fans filed into Mellon Arena.
Notre Dame got on the board just 1:26 in, taking advantage of a interference penalty on junior defenseman Andrew Bonello. Condra and Deeth were set on a 2-on-1 breakaway by a long outlet from Noah Babin, and Condra skated down the right side and flipped a pass across to Deeth, who one-timed it into the empty net.
The Fighting Irish stretched the lead to 2-0 at 7:14 with a shorthanded score by Condra, his eighth of the year. Condra chased down a clearance by Brett Blatchford and beat RMU netminder Christian Boucher to the glove side on a breakaway.
The Colonials cut the lead to 2-1 with a power-play goal by Logan Bittle at 17:09. Junior forward Ryan Cruthers won the puck in the Notre Dame corner and fed out front to Sean Berkstresser, who found Bittle cutting from behind the net. Bittle shoveled a backhand through Irish goaltender David Brown’s five-hole for his second of the year.
Deeth tallied his second of the night 1:28 into the second period with a good one-on-one move. Deeth dragged the puck across the slot and found room between Boucher’s pads to run the score to 3-1. Condra and Ryan Thang earned the assists.
Again the Colonials cut the margin to one goal, as David Boguslawski beat Brown through the legs from the left circle with 8:43 into the middle frame. The goal was set up by a backhand pass from Jason Towsley as RMU broke into the zone on a 3-on-2.
Notre Dame pushed the lead to 4-2 with 3:42 left in the second period when Josh Sciba collected his own rebound and beat Boucher with a backhand under the blocker on the short side.
All of the third scoring belonged to the Irish with Deeth registering his first career hat trick and Thang chipping in a power-play goal, his 10th marker of the year.
Brown, a 2004 draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins, tallied 17 saves for the win while Boucher finished with 23.
Notre Dame held a 29-19 advantage in shots and converted on two of its three power-play chances. Robert Morris was 1-5 on the power play.
These two teams meet again in South Bend, Ind., Sunday, January 7, in a 4:00 p.m. contest.