Oct. 7, 2016
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Behind two goal nights from Anders Bjork, Bobby Nardella and Bo Brauer, the No. 8/9 University of Notre Dame hockey team blew past Arizona State in a season-opening 9-2 victory at the Compton Family Ice Arena on Friday night (3,356).
It turned out to be a special teams laden game as Arizona racked up over 100 minutes in penalties and Notre Dame over 60. The Irish made the Sun Devils pay, scoring five power-play goals in the first two periods and six in the game.
All told, 13 Notre Dame players notched at least one point on the night. Bjork (two goals and an assist), Nardella (two goals and an assist), Jordan Gross (one goal and two assists) and Andrew Oglevie (one goal and two assists) each totaled three points in the win.
COACH JACKSON’S THOUGHTS
On Notre Dame’s speed forcing the issue…
“I thought we were using our speed really well, especially early in the game. I thought that was putting them on their heels, and that’s how we have to play. We want to play fast and push the puck out of our zone and into the neutral zone as quickly as possible.”
On what he liked about the team’s power play…
“When we stayed with our structure, I thought we were really good. In the second period, we got a little bit too creative and we weren’t as sharp passing the puck, but that’s what happens when you have a three-goal lead. I thought we were good moving the puck. Our guys were a threat, and that’s what a good power play does. It’s not just one guy — it has to be two or three guys.”
KEY TO VICTORY: START FAST & SCORE ON THE POWER PLAY
Bjork scored a tap-in goal off of pretty passes from Connor Hurley and Dylan Malmquist just 33 seconds into the game and the Irish were off and running. Notre Dame then finished the night with six power-play goals en route to the 9-2 win.
Bjork, whose second goal of the night proved to be the game winner, scored two first period goals and added an assist for a three-point night and first star honors. He also had six shots on goal.
Bjork on getting off to a good start…
“We just wanted to prove ourselves as a team and set the tone for the season. You do that by coming out on the first game and stepping on the gas right away.”.
On the power play units…
“We were shooting the puck well and we were attacking hard, which is what you need to do on the power play. We can attribute the energy to the confidence we had in the power play. We all knew what we were doing, and we have a lot of skilled players, so everyone is trying to get the best play. We’re all getting time, and the guys are really focused and dialed in on their responsibilities, which brought us a lot of success tonight.”
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Four players notched their first points in a Notre Dame uniform, including junior Bo Brauer (two goals) as well as freshmen Cam Morrison (two assists), Tory Dello (two assists) and Cal Burke. In addition, freshman Cale Morris saw his first action as he replaced starter Cal Petersen for the third period.
The Irish close out the weekend series against the Sun Devils tomorrow night in a 7:05 p.m. game at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
To purchase tickets visit UND.com/BuyTickets.
— ND —