Oct. 28, 2016
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The No. 6/7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team built a 2-0 lead through two periods of play and then added four goals in the third on the way to a 6-2 win over Connecticut on Friday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena (4,065).
With the win, the Irish split the weekend series and improved to 4-3-1 (1-1-0 Hockey East) on the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish took a 1-0 lead just over four minutes into the game on a Joe Wegwerth power-play goal and then extended the lead to 2-0 at 3:44 of the second period when Cam Morrison notched his second of the season.
After UConn got on the board, Bjork netted his second of the night at 18:08 of the third to close out the scoring.
Irish goaltender Cal Petersen made 30 saves to earn the win. Connecticut (3-2-3, 1-1-0 Hockey East) goaltender Rob Nichols made 33 saves while suffering the loss.
On special teams, Notre Dame was 1-for-1 on the night, while UConn finished 1-for-2.
COACH JACKSON’S THOUGHTS
On Friday’s game overall …
“I thought the first period was a little, you know, tentative, but I thought after that we played really well. We had good shifts from each line. I was even more pleased, probably, after the first period with the play of our defense. I think to me that’s going to be the key for us is those guys making simple decisions and getting us out of the zone so we can utilize our speed.”
On getting the first goal …
“It was good for our power play, it was good for our bench, because yesterday when they scored that first goal there was a little bit of a let down or a gasp but we responded. We had as many or more good chances last night as we had tonight. The biggest difference was that we had the timely goals. Which helped us get the lead and even to finish it off even when they had that little spurt there in the third period.”
On the team’s progression …
“If we keep using our speed and utilizing our speed against teams it can wear them down but you have to do it consistently. That’s where I was getting back to the point about our defensemen moving the puck up. If our defensmen get the puck up to the forwards whether it’s on the break-out or whether it’s on transition that gives us a lot more speed up the ice and putting pressure on the opposing team’s defense. That’s what I thought we did better in the second or third periods tonight.”
NOTRE DAME SCORING
1-0 | Joe Wegwerth gave the Irish a 1-0 lead at 4:23 of the first period when he corralled a rebound following an Anders Bjork shot and beat Nichols inside his near post. It marked Wegwerth’s third power-play goal of the season (and third in the last three games). Tory Dello also earned an assist on the play.
2-0 | Cam Morrison pushed Notre Dame’s lead to 2-0 at 3:44 of the second period when he tapped home a cross-ice feed to the far post from Jake Evans. Andrew Oglevie also assisted on the goal, which was Morrison’s second of the season.
4-0 | Jack Jenkins scored his first goal of the season when he fired a rebound chance past Nichols from the slot at 8:41 of the third. He picked up the puck following shots from Dawson Cook and Andrew Peeke, who earned his first career point with an assist on the play.
5-0 | Anders Bjork netted his first goal of the night at 9:22 of the third, just 41 seconds after Jenkins had scored. Dennis Gilbert intercepted a UConn pass and got the puck to Bjork to earn an assist on the play.
6-2 | Bjork closed out the scoring at 18:08 of the third when he took a long pass from Hurley and then beat Nichols down low. Dennis Gilbert earned his second assist of the night on the play.
After a busy October, the Irish will have next weekend off before heading out on the road for a weekend Hockey East series at Northeastern (Nov. 12-13).
UCONN SERIES NOTES
- Cal Petersen made his 58th-consecutive start in goal for the Irish in game two of the weekend series.
- The Irish are now 4-1-1 all-time against UConn.
- Sophomore Andrew Oglevie extended his career-long point streak to six-games (3-5-8).
- Andrew Peeke notched his first point in an Irish uniform with an assist on Jack Jenkins’ goal.
- Dennis Gilbert notched his second career two-assist game.
- Anders Bjork, who has 16 points in eight games, tied his career high by posting his second four-point game of the season.
- It was also Bjork’s 16th career multi-point game (fourth of the season).
— 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 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).