With a pair of assists, Mario Lucia posted his 19th career multi-point game.

Herr Scores Third Period Game Winner as Irish Defeat UConn 2-1

Oct. 31, 2015

Box Score vs. UConn (10/31) Get Acrobat Reader

HARTFORD, Conn. – Midway through the third period, senior forward Sam Herr finished off a Steven Fogarty pass at the back post to lift the Notre Dame hockey team to a 2-1 win over UConn on Saturday afternoon at the XL Center (5,190).

After a scoreless first period, the teams traded goals early in the second period, including a Jordan Gross power-play tally.

Then, with just over five minutes left in the second period, Connecticut’s Derek Pratt was called for a five-minute major for kneeing Anders Bjork at center ice. Including a two minute 5-on-3 advantage in the middle of the major, the Irish were unable to capitalize as UConn goaltender Rob Nichols came up with a few big saves and Dylan Malmquist’s wrist shot rang off the cross bar.

But the Irish didn’t let that sequence swing the momentum. Notre Dame came out in the third period, killed off a penalty and went on to post the 2-1 win as Herr, who was skating in his 100th career game, scored the game winner at 12:36.

Herr and his senior linemates Fogarty and Mario Lucia helped preserve the victory as they controlled the puck for over 1:00 with time winding down and UConn looking to get Nichols off the ice in favor of the extra attacker.

Lucia had assists on both Irish goals, while junior goaltender Cal Petersen stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced. With UConn on the power play and under five minutes remaining in regulation, Petersen denied Patrick Kirtland’s one timer from just outside the crease with his left pad for one of his best saves of the game.

“I thought Cal Petersen really made a difference tonight, especially at the end,” Head Coach Jeff Jackson said. “I always compare a goalie in the third period to a closer in baseball, you have to have that ability to step up when the game is on the line and he has shown that growth over the last six months.”

Nichols finished with 28 saves for the Huskies.

Notre Dame (2-1-2, 1-0-0 HEA) finished the afternoon 1-for-5 on the power play, while Connecticut (3-3-0, 1-2-0 HEA) was 0-for-5 with the man advantage. The Irish have now killed off 17 straight opponent power plays.

“We found the right combinations of players last week (on the penalty kill) so just like every other aspect of the game, once you work out those pairs and get some chemistry it works better,” Jackson added. “It was anther great effort on the penalty kill.”

Notre Dame and Connecticut close out their weekend series tomorrow afternoon (Nov. 1) with a neutral site game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., home of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders. Puck drop between the Fighting Irish and Huskies is slated for 2:35 p.m. and the game will follow an Army-Bentley matchup that begins at 11:15 a.m.

— Opening the second period on the power play, Cal Petersen turned aside a UConn shorthanded bid and the Irish sprinted back up the ice to create a four-on-two chance. Quick passes from Dennis Gilbert and Mario Lucia gave Jordan Gross an open look from the slot and he buried a wrist shot for his first goal of the season just 16 seconds into the frame. It was Gross’ second career power-play goal.

— Skating with a 6-on-5 advantage due to a delayed penalty call, UConn tied the game at 1-1 when Miles Gendron jammed a rebound low past Petersen at 5:05 of the second period. The original shot that Petersen saved came from the stick of Patrick Kirkland and then Shawn Pauly kept the rebound alive in front before Gendron knocked it in for his second goal of the season.

Sam Herr scored what proved to be the game winner at 12:36 of the third period. After Mario Lucia chipped the puck into the offensive zone, Steven Fogarty and Herr controlled the puck in the corner and Fogarty eventually curled out front. He then sent the puck to Herr at the back post, where he tapped in his second goal of the season.

— Notre Dame has now killed off 17 straight opponent power plays.

— Senior forward Sam Herr skated in his 100th career game and notched his 51st career point (28-24-51).

— Notre Dame has scored at least one power-play goal in four straight games (after not having a power play opportunity in game one of the season at Penn State).

— It was Notre Dame’s third all-time meeting with UConn (2-0-1).

Jordan Gross has notched at least one point in four of Notre Dame’s first five games of the season (1-4-5).

— With a pair of assists, Mario Lucia recorded the 19th multi-point game of his Irish career.

— Notre Dame and UConn finished the first period locked at 0-0, marking the first scoreless first period of the season for the Irish.

— by Dan Colleran, Athletics Communications Associate Director