Feb. 25, 2017
By Dan Colleran
BOSTON, Mass. — Fifth-ranked Boston University posted a 4-1 win over the 13th-ranked Fighting Irish on Saturday night at the Agganis Arena (5,613) as the teams split their final regular-season series.
With the loss, Notre Dame (19-10-5, 12-6-4 HEA) will be the No. 4 seed in the upcoming Hockey East playoffs and host a quarterfinal series on March 10-12 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
Boston University (21-10-3, 13-6-3 HEA) claimed a share of the Hockey East title with the win, which snapped Notre Dame’s unbeaten streak at seven games.
Coach Jackson’s Thoughts
On the difference between Friday’s game and Saturday’s game…
“The momentum changed in the second period last game, and it changed again tonight in the second period. Tonight we couldn’t recover. One of the toughest things to do in college hockey is to win two games in somebody else’s building. Especially when you’re playing a high-quality team. There’s always going to be pushback. Our guys did a great job last night. It took a lot out of them, physically and emotionally. We didn’t have enough in us tonight to do it again tonight.”
On the second half of the season…
“I’m proud of what they’ve done. We talked about the lack of consistency for the first half of the year, and just this last month they’ve been very consistent in their approach and how they’ve played. I can’t do anything but tip my hat to them. I don’t think anybody thought we were going to come in here thinking we were playing for first place. We came in here with the idea that we were going to try to get home ice. That was our number one objective. All the rest happened within the last 24 hours. I think that it would have been nice, especially in our last year in this conference, to win a championship. We haven’t done that. This league is so tight that any of the four teams in the top four, or probably any of the top five or six teams, could have won the championship.”
On confidence going into the playoffs after their successful couple of weeks…
“I think it helps. We didn’t have flukey wins. We had some big wins against Providence, Vermont, and UNH. It’s certainly about the confidence. We’re young. We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing in key roles, and sometimes they show that. They’ve been really good here in the last stretch. The confidence is built. That makes us a much better team.”
On their experience with Hockey East…
“I’ve said it a number of times — this conference is outstanding. It’s been a great home for us. I feel the same way I felt when we left the CCHA. It’s been a great conference for us. We’re not done yet, we’re still members of Hockey East until the season ends. Proud members. This league’s done us well, and we’ve been proud to be part of it.”
On what practice will look like during the bye week…
“We learned some lessons last year. I think with the bye week, we probably didn’t compete as hard as we needed to. It’s a tough week at school because we’re getting close to midterm exams. That’s always even more of a factor at Notre Dame with the hours they try to study. We’ll probably take an additional day off, maybe two, but the days we do practice we’re going to have to make sure we keep our edge. It’s not hard to lose your edge, even in a week’s time. Especially when you’re going to play a difficult opponent in the following week.”
On their feelings after the loss…
“I’m sure they’re down. We’re all disappointed that we couldn’t come away with another win tonight. Frankly, sometimes you have to lose to learn how to win. For us it’s not a bad thing to start over again and get our juices going for the next round.”
How It Happened
Mike O’Leary picked up a breakout pass from Dawson Cook, carried the puck into the offensive zone and fired a shot that Oettinger turned aside. With Cook crashing the net, O’Leary was able to get to the loose puck and put it in for his second goal of the season at 15:19 of the first period.
Petersen was tested several times throughout the first, including a save on Charlie McAvoy with about one minute to play, but he stopped all 11 Terrier shots he faced in the frame.
Notre Dame killed off a penalty early in the second, but the Terriers struck on their second power-play chance of the period when Kieffer Bellows put home a rebound in front to make it a 1-1 game at 9:21.
Jordan Gross had a great look two minutes later from the high slot, but Oettinger sticked it aside.
Boston University took a 2-1 lead when John MacLeod’s shot through traffic found the back of the net at 16:30 of the second period, with assists going to Ryan Cloonan and Kieffer Bellows.
The Terriers took a 3-1 lead on a Clayton Keller goal at 4:08 of the third.
Two minutes later, as the teams were skating four-on-four, Petersen made the save of the game when he flashed his blocker to deny Jordan Greenway’s breakaway chance.
But Keller would add to the Terrier’s lead at 16:30 with his second of the game closing out the scoring.
Petersen finsihed with 32 saves in the Irish net, while Oettinger totaled 40 for Boston University.
The Irish were 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Terriers were 1-for-4.
Notre Dame – Boston University Notes
- Junior goaltender Cal Petersen made his 84th-consecutive start in the Notre Dame net, which is the fourth-longest streak in the NCAA Div. I records book.
- Petersen has also appeared in 85 consecutive games, which is the fifth-longest mark in the NCAA Div. I records book.
- Jordan Gross skated in his 113th consecutive game, dating back to the first game of his freshman season.
- After scoring a goal last night, Ben Ostlie registered a two-point weekend, which are his first two points of the season (Career: 86 GP, 3-4-7).
— 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).