By Dan Colleran
DURHAM, N.H. – — Thomas DiPauli and Jake Evans scored power-play goals and Mario Lucia netted the third period, game-winning goal to lift the No. 13 Irish to a 3-2 win and weekend sweep over New Hampshire on Saturday night at the Whittemore Center (5,991).
With the win, Notre Dame extended the nation’s longest active unbeaten streak to 12 games (9-0-3).
The Irish (14-4-7, 10-1-2 HEA) had to overcome a barrage of New Hampshire (8-12-4, 2-6-4 HEA) power-play chances, including five in the second period, to eventually come away with the 3-2 victory.
“Our penalty kill was great this weekend and a lot of that has to do with our goaltender,” Head Coach Jeff Jackson said after the win. “But our defensemen who kill have done a really good job, especially against such a great power play so I have to give our guys credit.”
All told, Notre Dame held one of the nation’s top power plays to a 1-for-8 mark on the night and to an 1-for-11 mark on the weekend.
After DiPauli scored his ninth goal of the year at 11:46 of the first, the Irish went up 2-0 early in the second period on Evans’ fifth tally of the season.
But New Hampshire was able to tie the game up before the end of the second on an Andrew Poturalski power-play tally at the 13:43 mark and a Harry Quast goal with 59 seconds left in the middle stanza.
“This group has shown some resiliency so we just refocused after the second period, which was a frustrating period,” Jackson added. “It was about getting back on track and playing five-on-five hockey.”
Mario Lucia scored what proved to be the game winner at 11:45 of the third when he knocked in a rebound after his initial shot in front was saved by Regan. It was his sixth goal in the last six games and his ninth career game winner.
In net, Cal Petersen finished with 22 saves for the Irish, including a big left pad stop on Poturalski five minutes into the third period to keep the game tied at 2-2.
Making his first career start, Wildcat goaltender Jamie Regan finished with 26 saves.
The Notre Dame power-play unit was 2-for-4 on the night, while UNH was 1-for-8.
Notre Dame is back in action next Friday night (Jan. 29) when it plays host to No. 4/5 Boston College in a 7:35 p.m. game at the Compton Family Ice Arena. The two teams met earlier this season in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts with the Irish posting a dramatic 4-3 comeback win to close out the first semester (Dec. 10).
— Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead at 11:46 of the first period when Thomas DiPauli netted his second power-play goal of the season. He took a touch pass from Steven Fogarty down along the goal line and beat Regan with a low backhander. Jordan Gross had the other assist on the play for his 50th-career point.
— The Irish made it a 2-0 lead just 25 seconds into the second period when Jake Evans was alone in front after an Anders Bjork dump in kicked out front. The sophomore center deposited it past Regan for his fifth goal of the season. Bobby Nardella earned the second assist on the play.
— New Hampshire’s Andrew Poturalski scored his 19th goal of the year at 13:43 of the second period, beating Petersen with a fake down low while skating in on a partial breakaway during a UNH power play.
— At the 19:01 mark of the second, New Hampshire’s Harry Quast sent a wrist shot from the point through traffic in front that found the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2. Jason Salvaggio and Chris Miller recorded the assists.
— Mario Lucia scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at 11:45 of the third period. He took a tipped pass from DiPauli off a New Hampshire defenseman and broke in on Regan, who turned aside his initial shot. But, while falling down, Lucia was able to bury the rebound. Andy Ryan also assisted on the play.
— Notre Dame moved its unbeaten streak to 12 games (9-0-3), its longest unbeaten streak since going 17-0-3 from Oct. 31-Jan. 17, 2009. The 12 game unbeaten streak is now the fifth-longest in program history.
— Notre Dame scored first for the 21st game this season (out of 25 games) and is now 14-2-5 when scoring first. The 21 first goals lead the country.
— Jordan Gross notched the 50th point of his career (14-36-50) with an assist on Thomas DiPauli’s first period goal.
— DiPauli’s goal was his ninth of the season, a single-season career high mark for the senior (had eight goals in 41 games as a junior).
— Lucia has scored in five of Notre Dame’s last six games (6-2-8).
— Cal Petersen made his 25th-consecutive start in the Notre Dame goal this season and his 38th in a row dating back to the 2014-15 season.
— With an assist, Anders Bjork extended his career-long point streak to 10 games (7-8-15). Bjork has also scored in five straight games since returning from the World Junior Championship.
— Bobby Nardella notched an assist to extend his point streak to seven games (2-9-11).
— With a goal, Jake Evans extended his point streak to six games (3-7-10).
— Notre Dame is now unbeaten in the 12 games in which Steven Fogarty has notched at least one point (10-0-2).
— 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 men’s 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).