By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Freshman forward Andrew Oglevie scored two goals in the second period and later added and assist to help lead the 13th-ranked Notre Dame hockey team to a resounding 7-2 win over conference foe Merrimack on Friday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena (4,656).
With the victory, Notre Dame moved its unbeaten streak to nine games (6-0-3), dating back to Nov. 28. The Irish also improved to 11-4-7 on the season and to 7-1-2 in Hockey East play.
The freshman class accounted for three goals on the night as well as three assists.
“Our freshmen have been playing really well,” Mario Lucia said after the win. “It’s nice to get some scoring from them. From top to bottom, everyone’s contributing, that’s why our team is having so much success.”
The Irish took a 2-1 lead to the locker room after the first period of play on goals by Anders Bjork and Lucia. Oglevie’s two second-period tallies gave Notre Dame a 4-2 lead after two and then the Irish added third period goals by Gross, Nardella and Jake Evans for the final 7-2 score.
“Getting production and points from freshmen and sophomores makes a big difference,” Head Coach Jeff Jackson said after the game. “It gives us more depth. We still are a predominantly underclassman team and defensively, I think we can be a little better. But if we possess the puck that eliminates half of the problem.”
With a goal and an assist, Lucia became the 49th Notre Dame player to hit the 100-point plateau (54-46-100).
“It’s cool, definitely [to reach 100 points], but obviously I wouldn’t be there without my linemates,” Lucia added. “[T.J.] Tynan and Vinnie [Hinostroza] were obviously big contributors to that as well. It’s definitely an accomplishment, but I wouldn’t be there without my teammates.”
The Irish finished Friday’s game 2-for-3 on the power play, while Merrimack was 0-for-4.
Colin Delia went the distance in the Merrimack goal and made 21 saves. Cal Petersen stopped 24 shots in 55:48 of action for Notre Dame. He was relieved for the final 4:12 by senior Nick Stasack, who stopped the only Merrimack shot he faced in his first career appearance.
The Irish and Warriors close out their weekend series tomorrow night (Jan. 16) with a 7:10 p.m. game at the Compton Family Ice Arena, which will also be televised by the NBC Sports Network.
— Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead at 3:42 of the first period on an Anders Bjork power-play tally. After a wide shot from the point by Jordan Gross, Jake Evans corralled the puck down low to Delia’s right, where Bjork slotted home his eighth goal of the season.
— Merrimack got on the board at 8:28 of the first when Hampus Gustafsson’s pass from below the goal line hit a skate in front and found its way past Petersen to tie the game at 1-1. Brian Christie and Ben Bahe assisted on the play.
— The Irish pushed their lead to 3-1 on a goal by Andrew Oglevie, who was sent in with one Merrimack skater to beat on a stretch pass by Bobby Nardella. Oglevie deked around the Merrimack player and finished high past Delia for his fourth goal of the season at 7:39 of the second period.
— Oglevie buried his second goal of the period on a breakaway after he picked up a chip pass from Nardella just outside of Merrimack’s offensive zone and deked Delia down low for his first career two-goal game. Jordan Gross also assisted on the play.
— Merrimack’s Jared Kolquist made it a 4-2 game at 16:10 of the second period when he put home a rebound after a Brian Christie shot was blocked in front.
— Gross restored Notre Dame’s three-goal lead at 6:55 of the third period when he fired home his seventh goal of the season from the top of the faceoff circle after Steven Fogarty found him with a nice pass. Oglevie also had an assist on the play.
— Nardella made it a 6-2 Notre Dame lead at 14:25 of the third period when he snapped off a wrist shot from the slot. He was setup on the play by Lucia, who earned his 100th-career point with the primary assist. Fogarty had his second point of the night on the other assist.
— Evans iced the game with a power-play tally at 15:19 of the third, his second goal in as many games. Sam Herr and Bjork had the assists.
— Notre Dame moved its unbeaten streak to nine games (6-0-3), its longest unbeaten streak since the CCHA Championship run of 2013 when the Irish went 7-0-2 from Feb. 15 – March 24.
— Notre Dame scored first for the 18th time this season (out of 22 games) and is now 11-2-5 when doing so. The 18 first goals lead the country.
— Andrew Oglevie recorded his first career two-goal game an extended his career career-long point streak to three games (3-2-5). He added an assist on Jordan Gross’ goal for a career-high, three-point night.
— Cal Petersen made his 22nd-consecutive start in the Irish goal this season and his 34th in a row dating back to the 2014-15 season.
— With a goal and two assists, Anders Bjork extended his point streak to seven-games (5-5-10). Bjork’s goal was his eighth of the season, marking a career-high total for the sophomore (he scored seven goals in 41 games as a freshman).
— With a goal and an assist, Mario Lucia moved his career point total to 100 to become the 49th Notre Dame player to reach100-points and the first since the 2012-13 season when both Anders Lee and T.J. Tynan did so.
— The Irish improved to 8-0-2 this season when senior captain Steven Fogarty notches at least one point (he had a pair of assists in Friday’s win over Merrimack).
— 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 Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Prior to Providence, Colleran spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League. He is a 2006 graduate of Providence College, where he also earned an MBA in 2008.