March 11, 2016
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Northeastern scored two first-period goals and added an empty-net score in the final minute of regulation Friday night in game one of a best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal series, defeating 10th-ranked and third-seeded Notre Dame 3-1 at the Compton Family Ice Arena (3,698).
Sophomore defenseman Jordan Gross tallied the only Irish goal at 7:35 of the first period, making the score 2-1.
After Gross’ goal, the Irish had a five-minute power play following a major penalty to Northeastern’s Dustin Darou. Though that power play gave the Irish several scoring chances, including Steven Fogarty hitting the post, the Norteastern penalty kill unit held.
“We needed to score on that power play,” Head Coach Jeff Jackson stated. “That was a huge factor not taking advantage of the five minutes, you want to at least get one.”
In the second period, Justin Wade also hit the post with a snapshot from the point.
“We hit the pipe a couple times,” Steven Fogarty said after the game. “We just have to put more pucks on the goalie and get bodies to the net. At this point of the season you just have to get pucks to the net and score off rebounds or score through traffic.”
As the game wore on both teams limited the amount of scoring chances at each end and the Irish finished with 17 blocked shots on the night, while the Huskies came up with 16.
“They blocked a lot of shots and we tried to prepare for that but we didn’t really execute the things we needed to do to get pucks to the net,” Jackson added. “We have to play a little bit more physical, with a little bit more edge, not just defensively but offensively, battling for pucks along the walls – those are areas we are going to have to be better in if we’re going to win tomorrow night.”
Notre Dame (19-9-7, 15-5-2 HEA) took 21 shots on frame to the Huskies’ 22 and sophomore goaltender Cal Petersen made 19 saves for the Irish. Northeastern (19-13-5, 10-8-4 HEA) goaltender Ryan Ruck finished with 20 saves.
The Notre Dame power play was 0-for-2, while Northeastern was 0-for-1.
The Irish and Huskies will resume their best-of-three series tomorrow night (March 12) in a 7:05 p.m. game at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
— Northeastern took a 1-0 lead at 2:29 of the first period when Lincoln Griffin sent a shot from in tight high past Petersen after a broken play behind the Irish net.
— The Huskies took a 2-0 lead at 6:26 of the first when John Stevens finished off a pass from Nolan Stevens for his 10th goal of the season, with Zach Aston-Reese earning the second assist on the play.
— Tanner Pond added an empty net goal from the neutral zone at 19:25 of the third period.
— Cal Petersen made his 35th-consecutive start in the Notre Dame goal this season and his 48th in a row dating back to the 2014-15 season.
— In three games against Northeastern this season, Jordan Gross has tallied three goals and an assist for four points.
— Gross now has a four-game point streak (1-3-4).
— ND —
Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and men’s golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College (’06 & ’08G).