Feb. 20, 2016
By Dan Colleran
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Seventh-ranked Notre Dame and fifth-ranked Providence College played another close and exciting game on Saturday night at Schneider Arena (3,232) but behind goaltender Nick Ellis’ 34 saves, the Friars were able to hang on to defeat the Irish 3-1.
Steven Fogarty cut the Providence lead to 2-1 at 15:48 of the second period and then the Irish came out pressuring in the third but Ellis made 18 of his 35 saves in the final frame to deny Notre Dame of the comeback bid.
“I felt we played better tonight than last night,” Notre Dame Head Coach Jeff Jackson said. “I thought we played with a lot of character tonight ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ our guys answered the bell and competed better even though we didn’t win.”
With the Irish looking for the game-tying goal in the third, Thomas DiPauli forced Ellis into a big left pad save five minutes into the period.
The pressure continued throughout the third. With 6:30 left, Fogarty cut around a Friar defenseman to create an open chance down low but his shot was turned aside. Next, Jack Jenkins tipped one in front that tested Ellis again.
“[Ellis] Played really well and was the difference tonight, there’s no question,” Jackson added. “They did a good job though not allowing second shots.”
Kevin Rooney then made it a 3-1 game for Providence with just over four minutes left in the third, scoring from the low slot.
Notre Dame pulled goaltender Cal Petersen in favor of the extra attacker with 2:40 remaining the third and Anders Bjork and Dylan Malmquist, who hit the post with a short side bid, immediately generated chances.
“We needed to score a power-play goal, we needed to finish in front,” Jackson concluded. “Anything is possible with this team, we’ve shown signs this year – we just have to do it over 60 minutes.”
Cal Petersen finished with 28 saves in the Notre Dame net, including a breakaway stop on Nick Saracino five minutes into the contest and a big pad save on Connor MacPhee from the doorstep with time winding down in the second period.
Notre Dame (18-7-7, 14-4-2 HEA) finished 0-for-2 on the power play, while Providence (23-5-4, 14-3-3 HEA) was 1-for-5.
The Irish will head home to the Compton Family Ice Arena to play host to Boston University in the final regular-season series of the season (Feb. 26-27). The NBC Sports Network will televise both games.
— Erik Foley got the Friars on the board at 7:45 of the first period with a quick shot from the slot, with the assists going to Trevor Mingoia and Mark Jankowski.
— Brandon Tanev extended the lead to 2-0 at 5:14 of the second when he sent a shot from the faceoff dot to Petersen’s left through a screen in front while Providence was on the power play. Bryan Lemos and Josh Monk assisted on the play.
— Steven Fogarty scored his ninth goal of the season at 15:48 of the second to make it a 2-1 game. The play started when Fogarty win an offensive zone faceoff back to Justin Wade, who returned to puck to Fogarty along the half boards to Ellis’ right. Fogarty then snapped off a wrist shot that beat Ellis on the short side.
— Kevin Rooney scored at 15:52 of the third period to move to score to 3-1 when he picked up a loose puck and slid the puck low past Petersen from the low slot.
— Notre Dame can still finish between first and fifth-place in the Hockey East standings.
— Cal Petersen made his 32nd-consecutive start in the Notre Dame goal this season and his 45th in a row dating back to the 2014-15 season.
— With a goal, Steven Fogarty matched his career high, single-season goal total that he set last season (9) and set a career-high mark for points in a season (9-14-22).
— 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).