NOTRE DAME, Ind. — In front of a sell-out New Year’s Eve crowd, University of Notre Dame hockey head coach Jeff Jackson found a fitting way to send out 2018 at the Compton Family Ice Arena (5,330).
As the sixth-ranked Irish defeated Boston College 4-0 on Monday evening, Jackson earned his 308th career win at Notre Dame to surpass the legendary Lefty Smith (307-320-31) for most coaching wins in Irish hockey history, moving to 308-182-55 in his 14th season at the helm of the Irish.
The Irish (12-5-1) used two power-play goals — one by Matt Hellickson, the other by Colin Theisen — in addition to a point shot from Matt Steeves and an empty-netter by Dylan Malmquist to blow by the Eagles (6-7-2) and close out their non-conference schedule.
Irish goaltender Cale Morris earned first-star honors in a 20-save shutout, his sixth of the season. He came up particularly big in the second period, saving 12 shots from the Eagles, including a behind-the-back reach for a skittering puck that preserved the shutout at the 9:33 mark of the stanza.
Morris’ Eagle counterpart, Joseph Woll, recorded 25 saves and three goals against.
The Irish converted on two of their five power-play chances, while Boston College went 0-for-4 on special teams.
Notre Dame Goal Descriptions
1-0 | Hellickson converted with just two seconds left on Notre Dame’s second power play chance, burying a rebound from Michael Graham in the high right post at the 9:14 mark of the first. Tory Dello also assisted on the play.
2-0 | Just 34 seconds later, Steeves staked the Irish to a two-goal lead with his wrist shot from the blue line, assisted by Nate Clurman and Spencer Stastney — his first career point with the Irish.
3-0 | Theisen increased the Irish cushion, flipping the puck from the slot with 21 seconds left in another Irish power play at 7:17 of the third period. Bobby Nardella and Andrew Peeke provided the assisting passes.
4-0 | Malmquist scored his sixth goal of the season on an empty net at 17:14 of the third, assisted by Jack Jenkins and Cal Burke.
Coach Jackson’s Thoughts
On reaching the all-time wins milestone…
“To me, it’s a very overrated statistic because there are so many people involved in every one of those wins, amongst the players specifically, but also our coaching staff, which is one of the best in the country. Everyone’s involved in every win we have here. … In my time here, I’ve been very lucky to know Lefty a little bit and show respect to him for what he did in starting this program. To me, just to be tied to him in that way and this great University is the best part about it.”
On the play of Cale Morris…
“That’s what great goaltenders do. He didn’t have a ton of work in the first period, but that’s what makes him special is the fact that he can stay focused. For some goaltenders it’s easier to stop 40 shots on a night, but when you only face a few shots in the first period and in the second period we weren’t quite as sharp, they had some great chances in front of the net and he made a couple of tremendous saves. That’s what makes him a great goaltender; he has the ability to play that game where he’s going face 40 shots and stop 39 of them and tonight it was the other way around where the game was different each period and he could stay focused.”
On hearing congratulations from former players…
“My relationship with my players is the most important thing, especially when you consider that I still communicate with guys that I coached when they were 16 years old way back when I first started coaching. Their sons are playing hockey now and … the only thing that does is remind me how old I’m getting, but that is the greatest part of this. When you have championship-caliber teams, you win championships together, you walk together forever. That’s why some of my closest friends from previous years here guys like Erik Condra, Anders Lee. I have a great relationship with Cal Petersen, Steven Fogarty, my captains, my goalies because I usually do the goalie work around here, but all of them for that matter. You sit here and have conversations with these young guys and realize they have lives away from hockey and they need support in other parts of their life. They’re not always willing to talk to me, but it’s important to me that I can talk to them when they have problems at home or with girlfriends or stuff like that. … I want to be part of their lives and helping them through difficult times both athletically and as young people.”
Let’s Take This Outside Presented by Meijer
- Notre Dame and Michigan will meet at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, in an outdoor game at Notre Dame Stadium.
- The rivals will meet four days following the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins, on Jan. 1, 2019.
- Just four months after Notre Dame and Michigan met in a football game at Notre Dame Stadium that saw the Irish post a 24-17 victory, the rivalry will take to the ice in the House That Rockne Built in a game that will be televised by the NBC Sports Network.
- Tickets for the game versus Michigan went on sale beginning on Monday, Nov. 5.
- Visit und.com/buytickets or call 833-ND-IRISH and keep up to date with all ticketing information by following us on Twitter @NDtix.
- With an assist, Cal Burke pushed his point streak to seven games (3-4-7) and he has 10 points (4-6-10) over the last nine games.
- Spencer Stastney recorded an assist for his first career point in an Irish uniform.
- With his first-period assist on Matt Hellickson’s goal, Tory Dello recorded his first points since recording an assist in the Oct. 20 game against Omaha.
- The Irish improved to 5-3-1 in games at the Compton Family Ice Arena this season.
- Notre Dame moved one win closer to evening the series with the Eagles, who still hold a 21-20-3 lead in the series.
— ND —