March 8, 2017
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — After earning a first round bye and the No. 4 seed in the Hockey East playoffs, the 12th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish return to action this weekend when they play host to 10th-ranked Providence College in the Hockey East quarterfinals.
The best-of-three series will begin at 7:35 p.m. on Friday, March 10 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
It will mark the first postseason meetings between the two teams, who most recently played on February 17-18 at the Compton Family Ice Arena in a series the Irish won, 1-0-1.
“It’s the nature of this time of year, you are going to be playing good teams,” Irish head coach Jeff Jackson said. “Once you get to the playoffs everything is magnified. A turnover, a lost faceoff, all those little things add up. When you get to this point in the season you hope your team is doing all the little things well and for the most part over the last several weeks we have been doing a lot of detailed work better.”
The Fighting Irish are 6-2-2 over their last 10 games, while the Friars are 13-1-1 over their last 15 games, with the lone loss and lone tie coming against Notre Dame.
“I think in the series earlier, we just learned how simple and how hard we are going to have to play to beat Providence,” junior forward Jake Evans added.
Last season, the Irish also earned a first round bye in the Hockey East playoffs, but were then swept at home versus eventual tournament champion Northeastern. That feeling has not been lost on the Irish and serves as further motivation heading into this weekend.
“Hopefully it (losing in the playoffs) drives you for an entire season. You like to believe that our guys, after that tough loss to Michigan in the NCAA tournament, used that as motivation to get back to where we are today. Now, we have to play. We have to remember what we learned from those experiences and build on what we did well.”
Evans echoed his head coach’s sentiments.
“We hopefully learned from this last year. Now we are in the same boat, having that week off and then playing one of the hottest teams in the country at home. I like to think we’ve grown up a lot. We just want to keep playing the way we have been playing and keep focused. You take that feeling (after losing to Northeastern) and use it as fuel. It still sticks with a lot of guys so we are paying attention to details and just working really hard.”
Matchup: Providence College at Notre Dame
Date: Friday, March 10 – Sunday, March 12
Time: 7:35 p.m. (ET) | 7:05 p.m. (ET) | 7:05 p.m. (ET)
Site: Notre Dame, Indiana
Arena: Compton Family Ice Arena
Live Streaming: hockeyeastonline.tv
Live Radio | Audio: WZOC 94.3 FM | WatchND
Play-by-Play: Darin Pritchett
Live Stats: und.comLive Updates: @NDHockey
Series History: ND leads, 6-5-2 (13 games)
Notes To Know
- Junior goaltender Cal Petersen has started 84 consecutive games in the Irish net dating back to a 5-1 win over Maine on Feb. 7, 2015, marking the fourth-longest streak in NCAA history.
- In six career games against Providence (2-3-1), Petersen has a .940 save percentage and a 2.15 goals against average. The Friars have been ranked in the Top-10 for all six meetings.
- In a trend that will continue this weekend, seven of Notre Dame’s final nine games of the regular season came against teams ranked #13 or better in the national polls.
- The Irish (ninth in the country at 2.24) and Friars (sixth in the country at 2.19) enter the weekend as Hockey East’s top two teams in goals against average.
- Two of Luke Ripley’s three career goals (111 games played) have come in the Hockey East playoffs.
- Ben Ostlie (1-1-2) has an active two-game point streak, the first point streak of his career.
- Dating back to Dec. 2, Jake Evans has notched at least one point in 17 of Notre Dame’s last 20 games (9-14-23).
- The Irish are making a fourth-consecutive appearance in the Hockey East Quarterfinals.
- In 2014, Notre Dame was the No. 8 seed and defeated No. 9 Boston University, 3-2, to advance to the quarterfinals.
- In the 2014 quarterfinals, the Irish downed No. 1 seed Boston College, two games to one, to advance to the semifinals, where Notre Dame lost to UMass Lowell.
- Notre Dame is 30-26-0 in playoff games under 12th-year head coach Jeff Jackson, including trips to the 2008 and 2011 Frozen Fours.
- The Irish have won three Conference Tournament Championships, all of which came in the CCHA: 2006-07, 2008-09, 2012-13.
Regular-Season Series Recap Versus Providence
- Notre Dame hosted the Friars for a regular-season series on February 17-18 and won the series with a 1-0-1 record.
- The Irish won game one, 4-1, to snap Providence’s winning streak at nine games.
- Cal Burke scored the game winner early in the third period, while Anders Bjork went on to add a shorthanded goal and a power-play tally.
- In game two, Notre Dame erased one-goal deficits on three occasions and Cam Morrison tipped in the game-tying goal at 8:40 of the third period.
- Goaltender Cal Petersen was named the Hockey East’s Defensive Player of the Week after posting a 1.92 goals against average and a .947 save percentage in the series.
- In the game one win, Petersen turned aside 33 of the 34 shots he faced and then made 39 saves in game two.
— 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 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).