Jan. 23, 2015
BOSTON – The Notre Dame hockey team fought courageously in the third period, erasing a 2-0 deficit, but Northeastern found a way to notch a final strike to lift the Huskies to a 3-2 win over the Irish on Friday night at Matthews Arena in Boston.
The Irish (10-12-3, 5-3-3 in Hockey East) and Huskies (9-11-4, 5-7-2 HE) will rematch at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.
“In the third period we came out and we played hockey,” Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson said. “We put ourselves in a hole. You can say whatever you want about what happened at the end of the game, we put ourselves in a two-goal hole. I thought in the third period, we started to play.”
The first period may have been scoreless but the ice tilted heavily towards the Northeastern offensive zone as the Huskies enjoyed a 16-5 advantage in shots on goal with Cal Petersen forced to make several difficult saves in the Notre Dame net.
Notre Dame couldn’t convert on a power play that began the second period and Northeastern broke through on the scoreboard 2:36 into the frame as Kevin Roy finished off a textbook tic-tac-toe passing play from the slot, setup by Dustin Darou and Matt Benning. The Irish, badly outshot to that juncture of the contest, mounted a push midway through the second period. After Husky netminder Derick Roy turned away Austin Wuthrich’s shot on three-on-two break, Notre Dame went on the power play when Northeastern interfered with Vince Hinostroza. Early in that power play, Hinostroza had a great scoring bid from the slot denied by Roy. An unlucky 13 seconds into a power play with 6:28 left in the second period, Northeastern doubled its lead. Northeastern peppered Petersen in the net with multiple shots and rebounds. Dalen Hedges found a third-chance opportunity and scored his fifth goal of 2014-15.
Notre Dame broke through on the power play 3:11 into the third period, scoring a power play goal for the fourth consecutive game. Jordan Gross fed Mario Lucia for a one-timer and the second-generation Irish skater fired it home to cut the Notre Dame deficit to 2-1. It was Lucia’s 16th goal of the season, tying for the Hockey East lead. It extended both his point scoring streak and Gross’ to nine games, each the longest for Notre Dame since 2007. Gross entered tonight’s action leading all freshman defensemen nationally with 16 points.
The Irish got the equalizer at 13:15 when Sam Herr fired a wrister through a screen deftly set by Steven Fogarty. Jake Evans and Andy Ryan collected assists on the goal for the Irish. The game remained tied until there was 1:30 remaining. Gross had his stick chopped out of his hands by Roy. The play continued with the Huskies Mike McMurty collecting the puck and suddenly enjoying a two-on-one break. McMurty fed a pass across the ice to Hedges for the game-winning goal at 18:30.
The Irish enjoyed a 13-8 shot advantage in the third period but that did not erase the cumulative effects of the opening two periods as the Huskies outshot the Irish 40-25 on the evening. Petersen made 37 saves, his most since Nov. 7, in a valiant but losing effort.
“He was outstanding,” Jackson said of Petersen. “He did what he had to do. I challenged him this morning because he’s slowly taking over our number one job. That’s what he’s capable of. It’s just a matter of him being able to do that on a nightly basis.”