St. John's upends No. 2 Notre Dame
McArdle tallies three goals to lead Red Storm into Big East finals
PHILADELPHIA -- No. 4 seed St. John’s upset top seed and second-ranked Notre Dame 8-7 in a Big East semifinal game at Villanova Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
The Red Storm jumped out to a big lead -- taking an 8-3 advantage into the fourth quarter -- but the Irish mounted a comeback, storming into the fourth quarter with four goals to make it a game. Kieran McArdle, who led the league in scoring during the regular season with 49 points, had three goals and four points to lead the Red Storm in the victory.
St. John’s improves to 8-6 on the season. Notre Dame went undefeated in league play this season, posting a 6-0 record during the regular season. The loss is the Irish’s second of the season, as they fall to 11-2.
Colin Keegan put St. John’s on the board first, as he scored the first goal of the game three minutes in, off an assist from McArdle. Three minutes later, McCardle scored to put the Red Storm ahead by two.
After a Notre Dame timeout, the Irish responded as Pat Cotter netted a pass from Tyler Brenneman to put ND on the board. Conor Doyle scored 30 seconds into the second quarter to knot the score.
St. John’s took only a minute to move back into the lead as McArdle scored his second goal of the game. Adding his third shortly after, he gave the Red Storm a 4-2 lead. His first goal came off an assist from Terence Leach. Harry Kutner scored as well to complete the Red Storm’s 3-0 run, giving St. John’s a 5-2 lead heading into the locker room for halftime.
McArdle kept the run going in the second half, scoring two minutes in to make it four consecutive goals from St. John’s for a 6-2 advantage.
The Irish broke the scoring draught with a goal from Westy Hopkins, who cut the deficit to three, but Ryan Fitzgerald and Leach each scored goals to put St. John’s ahead 8-3 heading into the final quarter.
Notre Dame's Ryan Foley and Hopkins found the back of the net with two quick goals in the fourth, cutting the Red Storm lead to 8-5 with just over 12 minutes remaining.
With 5:04 remaining, Doyle made it a two-goal game and Hopkins scored his third goal of the game with just under three minutes left to bring Notre Dame within one.
Bobby Smith had a fast break down the field off the faceoff, but his shot was stopped by St. John’s goalie Jeff Lowman.
Notre Dame’s John Kemp made seven saves in a losing effort for the Fighting Irish while his counterpart Lowman stopped 13 shots to help lift the Red Storm to victory.
Notre Dame held the advantage in ground balls 32-24 and shots 33-27. The Red Storm were 4-of-18 in faceoffs, while Notre Dame was 14-of-18.
“Obviously this is very exciting for us,” St. John’s head coach Jason Miller said. “I give my guys all the credit in word for coming in and believing that they could win. I thought we played a great first half and a great third quarter. To their credit, Notre Dame made it interesting in the end. They have a way of doing that so it was to be expected for a little bit, but it was the first time that we have hung on. We’re real excited.”