Nov. 20, 2015
By Dan Colleran
LOWELL, Mass. — In a game that exploded to life in the third period, Notre Dame erased a two-goal deficit on goals by Dennis Gilbert and Anders Bjork to force overtime and an eventual 2-2 tie against fifth-ranked UMass Lowell on Friday night at the Tsongas Center (5,141).
“Down 2-0 and coming back to tie it 2-2 shows a lot of guts and character,” Head Coach Jeff Jackson said.
The Irish were trailing 2-0 near the end of the second period when freshman defenseman Dennis Gilbert scored his first career goal at the 19:17 mark to cut the UMass Lowell lead to 2-1 after two periods of play. Gilbert’s power-play tally was assisted by Bobby Nardella and Jake Evans.
The teams came out in the third period and traded chances at each end, with Cal Petersen and UMass Lowell goaltender Kevin Boyle each making several key saves.
While on the power play, Anders Bjork finished off a nice passing sequence to tie the game, 2-2, at 9:55 of the third period. Steven Fogarty, who one-touched a pass through his legs to Bjork, and Mario Lucia assisted on Bjork’s third goal of the season.
“[That goal] gave us a lot of life,” Jackson added. “We’ve been on the back end of a lot of scores in this building and against Lowell. They’ve had our number for a couple of years but we have to continue to grow as a young team. I think some of the young guys we have are learning now and it takes time.”
Notre Dame continued to pressure as the third period wore on, looking for a go-ahead goal. A few minutes after Bjork tied it up, Thomas DiPauli appeared to put the Irish ahead when he one-timed the puck out of midair past Boyle from the high slot, but the goal was disallowed for goaltender interference.
Then with 2:55 left in the third period, Bjork had another great chance but his shot rang off the post after beating Boyle.
Notre Dame generated a scoring chance right at the start of overtime. The Irish crashed the net and Jordan Gross put a rebound in after a scramble in front, but the referees ruled that the whistle blew before the puck crossed the goal line.
Petersen finished with 32 saves for Notre Dame, including 18 in a busy first period.
“Our goaltender kept us in the game there in the first,” Jackson said. “They had some good chances and especially on the penalty kill he made some big saves for us and gave us the chance to get back into the hockey game.”
Boyle totaled 26 saves in the UMass Lowell net, including six in overtime.
On special teams, Notre Dame finished 2-for-5 on the power play, while UMass Lowell was 1-for-5.
Both the Irish (5-2-4, 3-0-2) and the River Hawks (8-1-3, 4-0-3) remained unbeaten in Hockey East play with the overtime tie.
Notre Dame and UMass Lowell close out their weekend series tomorrow night (Saturday, Nov. 21) with a 7:05 p.m. game at the Tsongas Center.
— UMass Lowell took a 1-0 lead at 15:27 of the first period on a Nick Master power-play goal. Cal Petersen made a quick left pad save on A.J. White, who was in on a partial breakaway. Then in the battle in front for the rebound, Adam Chapie kept the play alive before Master chipped in the loose puck.
— UMass Lowell took a 2-0 lead at 9:22 of the second period when Joe Gambardella backhanded a rebound past Petersen from the low slot. Chris Forney assisted on the play.
— Just after a 5-on-3 Notre Dame power play turned into a 5-on-4 chance, Dennis Gilbert one-timed a shot from the point high past Boyle for his first career goal, putting the Irish on the board at 19:17 of the second period. From down low, Jake Evans passed the puck to Bobby Nardella at the near point, who then slid it over to Gilbert for the one-timer.
— Notre Dame tied the game, 2-2, at 9:55 of the third period on an Anders Bjork power-play goal. Working the puck around with the man advantage, Mario Lucia passed the puck to Fogarty in the slot. The senior captain one-touched a pass back through his legs to Bjork at the far post, and the sophomore netted his third goal of the season.
— Dennis Gilbert scored his first career goal at 19:17 of the second period while the Irish were on the power play, becoming the 17th player to score for Notre Dame this season.
— Jake Evans assisted on Dennis Gilbert’s second period power-play goal to extend his point streak to three games (1-3-4).
— Notre Dame is now 0-0-4 in four overtime games this season.
— Anders Bjork scored his first power-play goal of the season and the second of his career.
— With 3:19 remaining in the first period, there was a lengthy on-ice delay as the lights in the Tsongas Center were not bright enough (the lights had been turned off after Lowell’s first goal).
— 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 Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Prior to Providence, Colleran spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League. He is a 2006 graduate of Providence College, where he also earned an MBA in 2008.