March 16, 2014
Chestnut Hill. Mass. – March 16, 2014 //FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE//
Senior goaltender Steven Summerhays stopped 30-of-32 shots and Notre Dame got goals from Stephen Johns, Sam Herr, Bryan Rust and Jeff Costello to lead the Irish to a 4-2 win over Boston College in game three of the Hockey East Quarterfinal round at Conte Forum.
Boston College got goals from Kevin Hayees and Patrick Brown on the night. The Irish shut out Hobey Baker candidate Johnny Gaudreau as his 31-game point streak came to an end and he remains tied with Maine’s Paul Kariya for the Hockey East consecutive point streak record.
The win improves 11th-ranked Notre Dame to 23-12-2 while second-ranked Boston College goes to 26-7-4. The Irish will play at TD Garden in Boston on Friday, March 21 against UMass-Lowell in the 5:00 p.m. game. The River Hawks advanced by beating Vermont, two games to one. Providence will meet New Hampshire in the other semifinal.
This marks just the second time in the 30-year history of Hockey East that either Boston College or Boston University has not been in the Hockey East finals. The only other year it happened was 1988.
“Finishing in eighth place and getting to the Garden is good, ” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
“First of all, I don’t know why we were in eighth place. We had a tough first half, and some crazy things happened. It was an adjustment to the league. The conference is so deep that I think we had a lot of surprises. We were in eighth place, but five points out of second. That just tells you about the quality of the conference.”
After dropping Saturday’s game two by a 4-2 score to the Eagles, the Irish came out and played their kind of hockey in Sunday’s pivotal game three.
“I thought we made better decisions with the puck,” said Jackson.
“That makes us a better team. Our transition game is all based on making good plays with the puck, defending and then making good plays with the puck.”
The two teams traded goals in the first period with Boston College scoring first at the 4:43 mark as the Eagles made the most of a Notre Dame turnover.
With the Irish in control of the puck, BC’s Adam Gilmour picked off an errant pass at the blue line and moved in on Summerhays on a 3-on-1. Hayes moved in from the right circle and took the pass from Gilmour and deposited into a wide-open goal for his 24th of the season and the 1-0 lead.
The Irish tied the score on a brilliant end-to-end rush by Johns at 11:31 for his eight goal of the season.
After the Eagles fired the puck down the ice off both Vince Hinostroza and Eric Johnson, Johns picked it up near the Notre Dame goal and moved up the right boards cutting to center through the neutral zone. When he hit the Boston College blue line, the Eagles backed in and he took it down the left side, beating Demko with a short backhander that snuck inside the left post.
The goal was waved off at first but after a review by the game officials, the goal was awarded and the score was tied at 1-1.
Notre Dame took a 2-1 lead just 4:10 into the second period as a Rust shot deflected off Herr in front to give the Irish the lead.
T.J. Tynan, who had a pair of assists in the game, fired a shot from the left circle that went off of Herr in front. Rust swooped in from the slot and fired the bouncing puck at the goal but it went off Herr in front and past Demko for Herr’s 14th goal of the season.
“The puck was bouncing everywhere. I checked it and settled it and then just threw it on the net,” explained Rust as he described Notre Dame’s second goal of the night.
“It actually hit Sam Herr and went in. It was one of those goals. It was big for us to get a 2-1 lead early in the second period and we just went on from there.”
Boston College would even the score and almost take the lead on a 5-on-3 power play chance. With the Irish taking a too many men on the ice penalty and Tynan getting called for goaltender interference, the Eagles had 16 seconds on the two-man advantage but only needed 12 seconds as Brown scored on a rebound at 8:05 to tie the game at 2-2.
BC worked the puck to Bill Arnold who fired a shot from the left side that Summerhays stopped. The rebound went to Brown moving in from the left circle and he fired it home for his 24th of the season.
With time left on Tynan’s penalty, Boston College got a shot off from close in that deflected of Brown and went into the goal as the BC forward drove into Summerhays knocking the goal off its moorings. The official at the goal called it a goal, but the officials conferred and ruled that Brown had interfered with Summerhays and the goal was waved off.
The Irish took advantage of the break, scoring late in the period with Rust getting his fourth goal of the playoffs at 19:56 for the 3-2 lead.
As time would down in the period, defenseman Shayne Taker carried the puck through center before moving it to Tynan who moved down the slot. Rust drove in front of him and took the pass, lifting it past Demko’s glove hand for his 16th of the year to give Notre Dame the one-goal lead heading into the second intermission.
“They had a dump in to my corner and we made a strong side play up the ice,” said Rust.
“We were able to move it to the weak side and (Shayne) Taker made a nice pass over to (T.J.) Tynan. It looked like Tynan was going to shoot but he saw me and I was able to one-time it over Demko’s glove. It was one of those plays that we work on everyday in practice. To see it work to a T in a game is pretty exciting.”
Summerhays stood tall in the third period stopping all 14 shots he faced in the period. His teammates got the insurance goal they needed at 18:08 when Jeff Costello teamed up with Steven Fogarty on a 2-1, beating Demko with a backhander for his 13th goal of the season and the 4-2 lead.
“The last month-and-a-half, he (Summerhays) has been unbelievable,” said Rust.
“The only goals that have been scored on him are from the crease or wide-open back doors. With our team in front of him that blocks shots and is willing to pay the price, he is there to make the tough saves when we need them and to have a guy like that backing us up, gives us a lot of confidence.”
Summerhays’ coach echoed his senior right wing’s sentiments.
“That’s the way he’s been playing for the last few weeks,” said Jackson.
“It’s part of the reason why we’re going to Boston Garden. “He’s our backbone.”
** The game three win for the Irish gives them a 7-2 all-time record in game threes in conference playoff action. Notre Dame is 3-0 in game threes under head coach Jeff Jackson.
** With his two assists in the game, senior center T.J. Tynan moved into 13th on the all-time Notre Dame points list with 158 career points on 54 goals and 104 assists. He broke the tie for 13th with Erik Condra `09 who had 156 points in his career.
** The Irish advance to the league championship series for the second year in a row. Last year in the final year of the CCHA, the Irish won the title at Joe Louis Arena. In this the first year in Hockey East, Notre Dame will play at TD Garden, the home of the Boston Bruins.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#11/#11 Notre Dame (23-13-2) 1 2 1 - 4#2/#2 Boston College (26-7-4) 1 1 0 - 2
Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; BC: 0 for 0 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; BC: 1 for 2 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; BC: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 10 - 8 - 5 - 23Boston College 7 - 11 - 14 - 32
Goaltender Saves:ND: Steven Summerhays (60:00) 6 - 10 - 14 - 30BC: Thatcher Demko (59:05) 9 - 6 - 4 - 19
Power Plays:ND: 0 for 1BC: 1 for 3