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by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
            In the first game of the 2007 Lightning College Hockey Classic, No. 9 University of Massachusetts dethroned defending champion No. 6 Notre Dame, 4-3, at the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday night.  The game was in doubt for the duration of the 60 minutes as the teams combined for three lead changes and no team ever trailed by more than one goal.

            UMass defenseman Michael Kostka opened the scoring with a power-play goal less than five minutes into the first period, assisted by center Cory Quirk and left wing P.J. Fenton. Notre Dame rallied to tie the game with 53 seconds remaining in the period on a power-play goal by right wing Erik Condra.

            The scoring picked up in the second period as Quirk scored 30 seconds into the frame to give UMass the lead once again. Notre Dame tied the game barely a minute later on a goal from center Christian Hanson. The Fighting Irish would take their first lead of the game a little more than seven minutes later when defenseman Luke Lucyk found the back of the net to make it 3-2. UMass capitalized on another Notre Dame penalty with just more than two minutes remaining in the period on a power-play goal from defenseman Justin Braun. The period ended in a 3-3 tie.

            The only goal in the final period proved to be the game-winner, as right wing James Marcou carried the puck to the front of the net and roofed the puck over Fighting Irish goaltender Jordan Pearce as he stacked the pads.

            Quirk and Fenton lead all scorers with three points each with a goal and two assists and three assists respectively.  UMass converted on three of five power-play opportunities while killing four of five Notre Dame chances.

            UMass advances to play in the Lightning College Hockey Classic Championship Game Sunday at 8 p.m.

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