WEST HAVEN — Following a win over Xavier to advance to the finals of the West Haven Christmas Tournament, Notre Dame senior Matt Dumas was pretty emphatic about his team’s goal for the week — win the tournament for the third straight year.
Consider Dumas and his teammates’ mission accomplished.
Scoring a natural hat trick in the first and second periods, Dumas helped the Green Knights defeat Glastonbury 5-1 in the title game at the Edward L. Bennett Rink Saturday night.
“There was a Christmas tournament back when I played at Notre Dame and it kind of went away for a while,” Notre Dame coach Tim Belcher said. “Now that it is back, I just told the guys before the game you don’t get many opportunities in your sports lives to win a championship. I just told them to give any extra effort they had out there.
“There was a buzz in the locker room before the game. What is good sometimes as a coach is you don’t have to motivate the guys. They can do that on their own. They wanted to win this tournament.”
The Green Knights (4-1) followed Dumas’ lead, taking an early advantage in the contest and never looking back.
In a first period that was sloppy for Notre Dame, the Green Knights scored the lone goal to take a 1-0 lead.
Dumas was just getting started as his goal past Glastonbury goaltender Kyle Thibodeaux, off assists from Kyle Lynch and Jim Davins, with 4:39 left in the opening period gave the Green Knights a 1-0 lead at the intermission.
“We had a sloppy first period,” Belcher said. “We got off to another slow start, which is a concern. We rebounded in the second period and were able to pour a lot of shots on goal.
“I did not think it was one of our best efforts. But, if you can come off the ice with a 5-1 win and not have your best effort, that’s pretty good. That just shows the type of team we can be when we play as a unit.”
The Green Knights then took over in the second period, scoring three times to take a 4-0 lead before Glastonbury answered.
Notre Dame struck early, in the middle and late in the period. Ryan Lynch set up Dumas for a 2-0 lead 4:09 into the middle period and Dumas scored an unassisted goal 3:43 later to complete the hat trick and give Notre Dame a 3-0 lead.
“Matt Dumas, Ryan Lynch and Kyle Lynch played very well,” Belcher said. “Matt Dumas had a great game, but Kyle and Ryan were right there with him feeding him the passes. Matt was able to finish.”
The Green Knights looked like they took the steam out of Glastonbury when Alec Andreucci set up Casey Hoban with a short-handed goal with 23 seconds left in the middle period for a 4-0 lead.
To its credit, Glastonbury responded on the power play just 15 seconds later when Isaac Ward set up Parsa Entezarian to cut the deficit to 4-1.
“I told the guys any time you come out of a power play even, it is a win,” Belcher said. “We would have rather just had the short-handed goal and not give up the power-play goal, but at that point in the game, it was an even situation.”
The Lynch brothers, Kyle and Ryan, made sure there would be no comeback for Glastonbury.
With both picking up assists, Patrick Francis scored 6:13 into the final period to give the Green Knights a 5-1 lead.
Junior Wade Conlan was strong in goal for Notre Dame, making 26 saves and coming within 8 seconds of the second period of posting a shutout.
“I thought he (Conlan) played very well,” Belcher said. “He made some key saves. The defense did a good job helping keep the shots to the outside. I was happy with that.”
Kyle Lynch and Ryan Lynch each had two assists for the Green Knights.