By Dan Colleran
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Trailing 3-1 at 7:05 of the third period, No. 18 Notre Dame scored three straight goals to post a 4-3, come-from-behind win at third-ranked Boston College on Thursday night at Conte Forum (4,863).
Jordan Gross started the comeback, scoring his sixth goal of the season on a wrist shot from the point at 8:33 of the third, cutting Boston College’s lead to 3-2.
“I think our fourth line did a really good job giving us energy tonight and Jordan’s goal was the second goal they were on the ice for,” Head Coach Jeff Jackson said. “That really gave us some momentum to be able to come back.”
With 22 seconds left in the third and overtime looming, Dennis Gilbert sent a slap shot through traffic to hand the Irish the 4-3 win, snapping Boston College’s 13-game unbeaten streak. It was Gilbert’s first career game winner.
“There’s no question that was a signature win for us to close the first half,” Jackson said. “We’ve had a chance to play top teams like UMass Lowell and Harvard and now Boston College, so to get the win it was a good chance to prove that we can compete with top teams and that we are a top team, we just have to play at that level moving forward.”
The teams were knotted at 1-1 after the first period of play, including Jack Jenkins’ first career goal for the Irish.
Early in the second period, Petersen kept it a 1-1 game when he saved Colin White’s penalty shot with his left pad. It was the first penalty shot Petersen has faced in his Notre Dame career.
“Cal did a good job considering had some heavy traffic and people lurking around his net all night,” Jackson added. “Then the save on the penalty shot was a big save at that moment of the game.”
Early in the third, Austin Cangelosi scored back-to-back goals to stake the Eagles to a 3-1 lead, setting the stage for Notre Dame’s comeback.
“I can’t say enough about the resolve of our guys, not giving up after they [Boston College] scored those two quick goals in the third,” Jackson added.
Petersen finished with 23 saves for the Irish, while Demko totaled 35 saves for Boston College as Notre Dame out shot BC, 39-26.
Notre Dame (9-4-4, 6-1-2 HEA) was 0-for-2 on the power play, while the Eagles (13-2-1, 6-1-1 HEA) also finished 0-for-2.
The Irish will now break for final exams and then return to action on Jan. 1-2 at No. 11/12 Denver.
— Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead at 10:21 of the first period on Jack Jenkins’ first career goal. Boston College tried to break out of the defensive zone but Joe Wegwerth broke the play up and the puck went to Bobby Nardella at the point. Nardella put a shot on net that Demko saved, but Jenkins was there to put in the rebound for an all-freshman class tally.
— Boston College tied it at 1-1 on an Adam Gilmour goal at 15:04 of the first period when his wrist shot from the slot beat Petersen, with assists going to Austin Cangelosi and Zach Sanford, who combined to break into the offensive zone.
— After a scoreless second period, Cangelosi gave the Eagles a 2-1 lead at 3:48 of the third period when he tipped in a Teddy Doherty pass from just outside the crease to Petersen’s right. Sanford also assisted on the play.
— Cangelosi struck again at 7:05 of the third when he converted from in close after Doherty caromed a shot off the end boards. Sanford notched his third assist of the night on the play.
— Jordan Gross made it a 3-2 game at 8:33 of the third when his wrist shot from the point beat Demko high, with Anders Bjork setting the screen in front. Dennis Gilbert slid the puck across the top of the offensive zone after Dawson Cook was able to get the puck out to the point.
— Gilbert sent a blast from the point high past Demko with 22 seconds left in regulation to lift the Irish to the win. Gross picked up a pass from Anders Bjork and slid it across to his defensive partner, Gilbert, who waited for the puck to bounce back off the boards before sending his one-timer past Demko.
— With a goal and an assist, Gross tied his career-high mark for points in a game while posting his fifth multi-point game of the season and the 10th of his career.
— Dennis Gilbert scored his first career game-winning goal, and with a goal and an assist he posted the second career multi-point game.
— Cal Petersen made his 17th-consecutive start in the Irish goal to open the 2015-16 season, which was also his 50th career appearance for Notre Dame.
— Colin White’s penalty shot attempt in the second period was the first penalty shot Petersen has faced in his Irish career and it was the first faced by an Irish goaltender since BC’s Chris Kreider scored on Mike Johnson on Nov. 8, 2011).
— Jack Jenkins scored his first career goal and became Notre Dame’s 19th goal scorer this season – the top total in Hockey East.
— 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.