Jan. 31, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame hockey team (10-14-3, 5-5-3 Hockey East) attempted to rally after falling in a 4-0 hole but were unable to draw back level or escape its deficit as New Hampshire (9-14-2, 4-8-1 HE) came away from a sold out Compton Family Ice Arena with a 5-2 win on Friday night.
The first period and an even feel with neither team gaining a territorial edge and a steady flow as the opening stanza featured few whistles and no penalties. UNH held a narrow 6-5 shot margin and also recorded the frame’s lone goal. After the Irish had trouble clearing the puck out of their zone, Warren Foegele collected a feed from behind the net and sent a puck up and over Notre Dame netminder Cal Petersen for his second goal of the year.
UNH doubled its lead at 4:12 of the second period. Cameron Marks blocked a shot whose ricochet led to a two-on-one break for the Wildcats. Casey Thrush fed Andrew Poturalski for the first of his two goals on the night and a 2-0 Wildcat lead. It became a 3-0 game at the 6:19 mark when Matt Willows struck from about 30 feet out. Notre Dame called a timeout after that goal and switched netminders, inserting Chad Katunar. UNH kept up the charge though and made it 4-0 at the 12:11 mark on a quick shot from the slot by Poturalski.
The turnaround in Notre Dame’s power play fortunes has been the brightest spot of January for the team. After going five for 83 on the power play over the first 21 games of the year, Notre Dame entered tonight with a streak of five consecutive games scoring on the power play. At 19:16 of the second period, while skating with a four on three advantage, that became a six-game streak. Mario Lucia notched his 17th goal of the year. Jordan Gross and Vince Hinostroza picked up the assists on Lucia’s goal. With 17 goals on the year, Lucia ties Boston University’s Danny O’Regan for the Hockey East lead. Hinostroza’s helper was his team-high 19th of the year. Gross recorded his 18th point of the year on the play, moving him into a tie with Zach Werenski of Michigan for the most points in the nation by a freshman defenseman.
Lucia’s power play goal with 44 seconds left in the second period was just a harbinger of things about to come. With the Irish on a second power play from an earlier penalty, some deft neutral zone play and Hinostroza’s speed allowed the sophomore to get a final crack at the UNH goal just before time expired. Hinostroza split a pair of Wildcat defensemen and slipped the puck past goalie Daniel Tirone with 1.8 seconds left before intermission. The power play goal, Notre Dame’s second strike in the period’s final 44 seconds, sent the teams to their dressing rooms with UNH ahead just 4-2.
Notre Dame was unable to get closer to the Wildcats, however. An insurance goal by Willows, his second of the night, at 14:57 of the third period, accounted for the 5-2 final. A fairly-evenly played game from a possession stand-point. UNH held just a slim 27-26 edge in shots on goal. UNH and Notre Dame will face off again on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. with NBC Sports Network to air the game nationally.