Dec. 5, 2014
Amherst, Massachusetts – Senior right wing Peter Schneider scored twice in a five-goal third period to lead the University of Notre Dame to a 7-5 win over the University of Massachusetts Friday night at the Mullins Center.
Schneider paced the Irish offense while they got single goals from Connor Hurley, Austin Wuthrich, Mario Lucia, Jordan Gross and Luke Ripley in the victory. Defenseman Robbie Russo had three assists in the win. Frank Vatrano led the Minutemen with two goals, while Shane Walsh, Anthony Petrella and Troy Power added single goals in the game.
The win snaps Notre Dame’s five-game winless skid (0-4-1) and moves the overall record to 7-8-2 on the year and 3-2-2 in Hockey East. Massachusetts falls to 4-10-0 on the season and 1-8-0 in conference play.
The five-goal third period included four goals in a 6:26 span and wiped out a 3-2 Massachusetts’ lead after two periods.
“That was one of the better stretches of hockey we’ve played in recent weeks,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
“We did a good job in the offensive zone cycling the puck and making the plays that were there. UMass does a great job blocking shots, so you have to take advantage of the looks you get and I thought we did.”
The Irish got on the scoreboard first, taking a 1-0 lead at 10:26 of the first period when Hurley slipped a shot through Massachusetts’ goaltender Henry Dill’s pads from the bottom of the left circle for his third goal of the season. Freshman right wing Jake Evans set Hurley up with a quick pass from the high slot.
The Minutemen evened the score at 13:47 when Troy Power found Vatrano moving from the left boards across the top of the face-off circle. Vatrano snapped a wrist shot that beat Katunar to his glove side to make it a 1-1 game. The goal was Vatrano’s sixth of the season.
The two teams traded goals in the first minute of the second period with Massachusetts taking a 2-1 lead just 25 seconds into the middle stanza. Walsh converted a feed from Steven Iacobellis, beating Katunar with a shot over his glove for his second of the season.
It took Notre Dame just 37 seconds to tie the game at 1:02 when Wuthrich and Vince Hinostroza combined on a two-on-one. Hinostroza took a long lead pass from defenseman Jordan Gross and carried the puck in on goal. He waited until the last minute before sliding the puck across the crease to Wuthrich who tucked it inside the left post behind Dill for his fourth goal of the season.
Vatrano added to his night at 10:12 scoring a short-handed goal. The sophomore left wing intercepted an Irish pass at the Minutemen blue line and turned it into a two-on-one into the Irish zone. Using a linemate as a decory he drilled a shot from the left hash mark that beat Katunar to make it a 3-2 game. The goal was Vatrano’s second of the game and seventh of the season.
The Irish finally seemed to get their offense untracked in the third period.
“It’s December. We are done with November. Thank God,” said Jackson talking about the third-period rally.
“They came out with the right attitude and we got a break and momemtum. Once we tied the game we got the next one. Our team has the ability to score goals. We have just not gotten pucks to the net or bodies to the net. We did a better job of that tonight.”
Lucia tied the game at 3-3 just 1:13 into the final stanza off a nice set up by Vince Hinostroza who had a pair of assists on the night. The goal was Lucia’s 10th of the season.
Gross put the Irish ahead at 5:41 when he hammered a slap shot from the center point through a screen and past Minuteman goaltender Henry Dill to make it 4-3. DiPauli and Russo assisted on the goal.
Less than two minutes later, Schneider got his first of two goals in the game when he came off the left wing boards and whipped a wrist shot past Dill for his second of the year and a 5-3 lead. Again DiPauli and Russo set the play in motion, working the puck down the right boards and behind the goal to Schneider.
Ripley closed out the four-goal run at 7:39 when his shot from the left point deflected off a Massachusetts’ player past Dill for his first collegiate goal and the Irish had a 6-3 advantage.
“We have a lot of guys who have the ability to finish,” said Jackson.
Ripley’s goal chased Dill in favor of Mastalerz as Dill gave up six goals on 23 shots.
The Minutemen made their run at the lead in the final three minutes. Petrella jammed a loose puck inside the right post and goaltender Chad Katunar’s pad at 17:11 to cut the Notre Dame lead to 6-4.
With 1:50 left in the game, UMass pulled its goaltender in favor of a sixth attacker and got within a goal when Power scored his third of the season at 18:28 to make it 6-5.
After the ensuing face off, the Minutemen pulled the goaltender but this time, the Irish capitalized. Defenseman Justin Wade carried the puck up the left side of the Irish zone and banked it high off the boards. Schneider got behind the defense and tracked down the puck and sealed the win by firing it into an empty net with 26 seconds left in the game. The goal was his third of the season.
On the night, Notre Dame out shot Massachusetts by a 29-25 advantage. Katunar picked up the win, making 20 saves in the game. Mastalerz made five saves in 11:32 minutes. Dill played 47:39 of the game.
The Irish and the Minutemen meet in game two of the series at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at the Mullins Center.
Following that game, Notre Dame breaks for finals and the Christmas holidays before returning to action in the Florida College Hockey Classic at Estero, Florida on Dec. 28-29.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - FNotre Dame (7-8-2/3-2-2) 1 1 5 - 7Massachusetts (4-10-0/1-8-0) 1 2 2 - 5
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UMA: 1 for 2 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; UMA: 1 for 2 minutes.
3rd Period: ND: Mario Lucia 10 (Hinostroza, Robbie Russo), 1:13; ND: Jordan Gross 2 (Thomas DiPauli, Robbie Russo), 5:41; ND: Peter Schneider 2 (DiPauli, Russo), 6:53; ND: Luke Ripley 1 (Hurley, Sam Herr), 7:39; UMA: Anthony Petrella 1 (Brennan Baxandall), 17:11; UMA: Power 3 (Dennis Kravachenko), 18:28; ND: Schneider 3 (Justin Wade), ENG, 19:34.
Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; UMA: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 8 - 9 - 12 - 29Massachusetts 5 - 10 - 10 - 25
Goaltender Saves:ND: Chad Katunar (60:00) 4 - 8 - 8 - 20UM: Henry Dill (47:39) 7 - 8 - 2 - 17 Steve Mastalerz (11:32) x - x - 5 - 5
Power Plays:ND: 0 for 2UMA: 0 for 1