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by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
tbl.commentator Melanie Formentin

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish skated off with the inaugural Lightning College Hockey Classic championship on Saturday evening at the St. Pete Times Forum after defeating the Air Force Falcons, 2-0. The second day of play at the Lightning College Hockey Classic, presented by the Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown, was also highlighted by an Alabama-Huntsville Chargers victory over the Army Black Knights in the afternoon consolation game.

The afternoon kicked off with the consolation match-up between Alabama-Huntsville and Army. Lead by sophomore forward Josh Murray's two point effort, the Chargers won the game, 2-1.

After a scoreless first period, Army jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by sophomore defenseman Zach McKelvie. For McKelvie, the goal was his second of the season.

Midway through the final period Alabama-Huntsville tied the game on Murray's third goal in seven games. The Chargers then pulled ahead at 12:50 of the third on a short-handed goal by Tyler Hilbert. For Hilbert, the goal was his second of the season. Murray collected an assist on the goal for his second point of the evening.

The puck dropped for the Championship game at 8:05p.m. for a match-up between Notre Dame and the Air Force Falcons.

Coming off a shutout win by goaltender Jordan Pearce, the Fighting Irish came into the match-up with team record-holder David Brown between the pipes.

The second game was marked by a scoreless first period before Notre Dame scored twice in the second. The goals by Christian Hanson and Jason Paige were all they would need to seal the championship victory for the Fighting Irish.

David Brown posted the shutout making 19 saves in the game. Notre Dame finished the tournament having stopped all 26 shots they faced, between the two netminders.

For Hanson, the goal was his second of the season, and his performance was good enough to earn him the Most Valuable Player honor of the tournament.

All-Tournament team honors went to Air Force forward Eric Ehn, who had six points in the Falcons' opening game against Alabama-Huntsville, as well as Alabama-Huntsville forward Tyler Hilbert and Notre Dame forward Hanson. Notre Dame's Brock Sheahan and Army's Zach McKelvie earned the defensive spots All-Tournament team and Brown was named to the goaltending spot.

Tournament champion Notre Dame returns to Indiana with an overall record of 5-1-0 through their first six games.
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