Jan. 22, 2016
By Dan Colleran
DURHAM, N.H. – Led by Mario Lucia’s three-point night, 13th-ranked Notre Dame extended the nation’s longest unbeaten streak to 11 games with a 5-1 win at New Hampshire on Friday night at the Whittemore Center (4,292).
The Irish are now 8-0-3 over the last 11 games, dating back to a 3-1 win over Western Michigan on Nov. 28.
Connor Hurley and Lucia staked Notre Dame to a 2-0 lead just 6:42 into the first period and the Irish never looked back en route to the 5-1 win.
Lucia finished with two goals and an assist for a three-point night and the senior forward has now scored four goals over Notre Dame’s last five games.
“All of a sudden he [Lucia] has started to come on,” Head Coach Jeff Jackson said after the game. “That’s only going to make us a better hockey team because historically he’s been a 20-goal scorer. In the last three weeks he’s started to show that scoring touch.”
The Notre Dame special teams units were a key to the win. The Irish finished 2-for-4 on the power play, while limiting one of the nation’s top power plays to a 0-for-3 mark.
Anders Bjork scored Notre Dame’s third goal of the night to extend his point streak to nine games (7-7-14), and he has now scored a goal in five straight games since returning from the World Junior Championship.
Sam Herr also scored for the Irish, while Hurley finished with a goal and an assist.
In net, Cal Petersen stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced, with New Hampshire’s only goal coming on an Ara Nazarian penalty shot at the end of the second period.
In the New Hampshire net, Daniel Tirone made 16 saves in the first 31:47 before being relieved by Jamie Regan, who totaled 19 saves for the game. Regan stopped 16 of the 17 shots he faced in the third period.
Notre Dame improved to 13-4-7 on the season, including a 9-1-2 mark in Hockey East play.
“It’s not just a 60 minute hockey game, it’s a two-game series,” Jackson added after the win. “Whether you lose or win you have to have the ability to be prepared to play the next night so now what matters is tomorrow night.”
The Irish and Wildcats close out the series tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. at the Whittemore Center.
— Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead at 3:12 of the first period when Connor Hurley netted his fourth goal of the season. Mario Lucia kicked a deflected shot back to Hurley, who whipped the puck past Tirone at the far post. Bobby Nardella also assisted on the play to extend his point streak to six games.
— The Irish made it 2-0 at 6:42 of the first when Lucia fired a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle for his fourth goal in the last five games. Hurley won an offensive zone faceoff that Thomas DiPauli tipped back to setup Lucia.
— Notre Dame made it a 3-0 game at 8:39 of the second period when Anders Bjork one-timed a shot from the top of the circle high past Tirone for his third power-play goal of the season. Nardella and Jordan Gross picked up the assists.
— Lucia scored his second of the night at 11:47 of the second when he fired a shot high past Tirone’s blocker, chasing the sophomore from the game after the score moved to 4-0. Steven Fogarty, who broke up a New Hampshire clearing attempt, and DiPauli assisted on Lucia’s eighth of the season.
— New Hampshire got on the board at the 19:59 mark of the second period when Ara Nazarian converted on a penalty shot attempt after a Notre Dame penalty on a breakaway.
— Notre Dame closed out the scoring when Sam Herr hammered home a rebound in front off of his own shot on goal. The power-play strike was setup by quick passes from Jordan Gross and Jake Evans, who found Herr alone in front. Jamie Regan stopped Herr’s first shot, only to see the senior forward notch his third goal in the last two games on the follow up attempt.
— Notre Dame moved its unbeaten streak to 11 games (8-0-3), its longest unbeaten streak since going 8-0-3 from Oct. 21-Nov. 25, 2011. It ties for the fifth-longest unbeaten streak in program history.
— Notre Dame scored first for the 20th game this season (out of 24 games) and is now 13-2-5 when scoring first. The 20 first goals lead the country.
— Mario Lucia tied his career-high mark with three points, including his first two-goal game of the season as well as adding an assist. Lucia has scored in four of Notre Dame’s last five games (5-2-7) and he now has 21 multi-point games in an Irish uniform.
— Cal Petersen made his 24th-consecutive start in the Notre Dame goal this season and his 36th in a row dating back to the 2014-15 season.
— With a goal, Anders Bjork extended his career-long point streak to nine games (7-7-14). Bjork has also scored in five straight games since returning from the World Junior Championship.
— Bobby Nardella notched two assists to extend his point streak to six games (2-8-10).
— With an assist, Jake Evans extended his point streak to five games (2-7-9).
— Jordan Gross posted his seventh multi-point game of the season and the 12th of his career.
— Notre Dame is now unbeaten in the 11 games in which Steven Fogarty has notched at least one point (9-0-2).
— The Irish also improved to 9-0-3 this season when Sam Herr notches at least one point.
— 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).