Feb. 20, 2015
BOSTON – The Notre Dame hockey team has been heavy on freshmen nightly in 2014-15 and three of them came through with veteran poise on Friday night as goals by Jake Evans and Anders Bjork, along with 34 saves from Cal Petersen, boosted the Irish to a 2-2 tie at No. 2 Boston University.
“They’re not freshmen any more,” Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson said of Evans, Bjork and Petersen. “They’ve played a lot of minutes this year. We went through the early pains of having so many young guys. They’re playing with more confidence now which certainly makes us a better team.”
After a scoreless opening stanza in which the Terriers held a 14-5 shots on goal advantage and Petersen made several tremendous stops, the Irish found their footing in the second period and scored the game’s first goal as well. BU held the puck behind the Irish net but Ahti Oksanen’s centering pass was intercepted between the faceoff circles by Evans. The freshman skated the length of the ice down the right wing and scored his seventh goal of the year, unassisted, at 4:41, beating Matt O’Connor upstairs with a wrist shot.
BU picked up the equalizer at 9:46 of the second period. The Terriers rushed the puck up ice shortly after the conclusion of a Notre Dame power play and got off a series of shots in rapid succession. Petersen was able to save two for the Irish, but Nick Roberto scrapped and found a way to get the third attempts into the Notre Dame goal for the fourth-line winger’s third goal of the year. Notre Dame outshot the Terriers 8-7 in the second period.
BU didn’t waste much time after the puck dropped in the third period, taking a 2-1 lead just 31 seconds into the frame. Danny O’Regan drove to the net forcing Petersen to make a sprawling save, but Evan Rodrigues was in exactly the right spot for an easy rebound goal.
Undaunted, Notre Dame kept pressing and got the game-tying goal with 3:43 to play in regulation. Defenseman Andy Ryan broke up a Terrier breakout attempts and swatted the puck up to Bjork. The freshman draft pick of the Boston Bruins showed his future hometown some speed, dashing through the Terrier zone for his fifth goal of the year.
Neither side could score in the five-minute overtime period as the Irish and Terriers split the two points.
“I thought we played better after the first,” Jackson said. “I expected them to come out hard and that’s what we got. Getting through it without any goals against is a positive. (The first goal) gave us a little confidence. We started playing with a little bit more of our style.”
The Irish and Terriers will face off again on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.