Feb. 8, 2016
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” Sophomore defenseman Jordan Gross put together a four-point weekend to help lead the Notre Dame hockey team to a weekend sweep at Vermont (Feb. 5-6) and he was then named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week on Monday (Feb. 8).
At Vermont, Gross notched a pair of assists in Friday night’s 2-1 win and then added a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 3-1 victory. His goal put the Irish up 1-0, while he also had the primary assist on Jake Evans’ third period, game-winning goal.
On the season, Gross has a career-high eight goals to go along with 18 assists for 26 points. Among defensemen, his 26 points are tied for the second most in the country, as are his 18 assists. He has recorded nine multi-point games this season and 14 in his Irish career.
It marks Gross’ first career weekly Hockey East honor, while it is the fourth time a Notre Dame player has earned Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week honors this season (Cal Petersen: Nov. 2, Jan. 4, Jan. 25).
With the weekend sweep, the Fighting Irish also jumped up two spots to No. 8 in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
The No. 8 ranking is Notre Dame’s highest since being ranked No. 6 in the Nov. 18, 2013 releases of both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
The Irish are 11-1-3 over their last 15 games, dating back to a 3-1 win over Western Michigan on Nov. 28. During that stretch, Gross (3-14-17) and Anders Bjork (7-9-16) have led the Notre Dame offense.
Also over the 15-game stretch, goaltender Cal Petersen has posted a .946 save percentage to go along with a 1.67 goals-against average, while the Notre Dame penalty kill has gone 54-for-59 (92 percent).
With three weekends left to play in the regular season, Notre Dame (12-2-2, 26 points) has moved into a tie with Boston College (11-1-4, 26 points) for first place in the Hockey East standings.
This weekend, the Irish will play host to Maine for a pair of games at the Compton Family Ice Arena (Feb. 12-13). The NBC Sports Network will televise both games, with Friday’s series-opening game is slated to start at 6:40 p.m.
Hockey East Weekly Awards — Feb. 8, 2016
Warrior Hockey East Player of the Week – Max Letunov, UConn
Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week – Jordan Greenway, Boston University
HEA Defensive Player of the Week – Jordan Gross, Notre Dame
— 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).