Scoring early and slowing down the game.
That was the plan for Marc Staley and the Notre Dame hockey team, which was facing an experienced Batavia squad with a lot more wins Thursday night at Faletti Ice Arena.
The Fighting Irish scored twice in the first period and then shut down Batavia's powerful scoring line en route to a 3-1 victory. It was the first time Notre Dame has beaten its cross-town rival in a decade.
"We've been the underdog every time we've played Batavia High for the last 10 years," said ND coach Marc Staley. "We played that role. But the kid do understand that we are improving and we showed that tonight."
Freshman Jack Nenni had his second career two goal game, opening the scoring mid-way through the first period. It was his fourth goal of the season.
"We are two different teams," Staley said. "When we play from the lead, we are tough to play against. When we score first we are 7-2-1. We knew that if we scored first it would be big, we can play our game plan as we have it laid out. If we fall behind we have to make adjustments."
Nenni added an empty-net goal in the third period after Batavia had scored to make the game interesting. His first time scoring two goals in a game came as an eighth grader last season.
"He has been struggling and we told him to just come out firing," Staley said. "I was thrilled that he had a big game on a big night."
Batavia's other first period goal came from Jason Harasimowicz, who also had an assist.
Ivan Madaferri had two assists for the Fighting Irish.
The defensive game plan was to shut down Batavia's potent first line of Erik Pokornowski, Pat Finnell and and Cory Kocent, and Notre Dame did just that. All three are in the top 10 scoring in Section 5, but didn't manage a goal Thursday night.
Will Mulcahy had Batavia's goal.
"All four of our defensemen played great," Staley said. "We worked on clearing the puck. It sounds simple, but if we had to take some icing calls, we were fine. We wanted to slow the game down. They have speed so we backed them all into the middle and we knew Thomas (Dehr) would stop all the shots from the outside."
Dehr stopped 17 shots for the Fighting Irish, who improve to 8-8-2.
Notre Dame had not defeated Batavia (13-8) in 10 years, but took the Blue Devils to overtime twice last season.