Dec. 4, 2015
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The No. 20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a Steven Fogarty goal and went on to defeat Hockey East foe Massachusetts 3-1 on Friday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena (4,842).
Fogarty scored at the 3:38 mark of the first period and Dawson Cook made it a two-goal lead just over three minutes later as the Irish improved to 7-4-4 (4-1-2 HEA) on the season.
“[Dawson Cook’s line has] been one of our best lines the last two weekends,” Fogarty said after the game. “We’ve been stressing the offensive zone grind time, and they did it to a tee the last two weekends with identical goals. Dawson’s been getting to the net, and he’s a big body too.”
Cal Petersen was the star of the second period, making 15 saves in the Notre Dame net. Midway through the stanza, he made a right pad save on Austin Plevy to keep the Irish in front by two goals after the UMass forward got in on a partial breakaway.
Moments later at the other end, UMass goaltender Nic Renyard robbed Mario Lucia in front, who had been setup nicely by Fogarty.
“In the second period they [UMass] picked it up a little bit,” Notre Dame Head Coach Jeff Jackson said. “We turned the puck over a little bit too much, but Cal made some big saves for us.”
With traffic in front of Renyard, Thomas DiPauli tacked on an insurance tally at 15:53 of the second period to push the Irish lead to 3-0 after 40 minutes of play.
“You look at Tommy [DiPauli’s] goal, that probably wouldn’t have gone in if there wasn’t a guy right in front,” Fogarty said. “At any high level of hockey, that’s how you score goals: when a guy is in front of the net, taking away the goalie’s eyes.”
Massachusetts (6-6-4, 2-3-4 HEA) got on the board on a Shane Walsh goal four minutes into the third period, but Notre Dame’s puck possession and penalty kill, which was 2-for-2 in the third period including finishing out the game by killing off a 6-on-4 chance with Renyard pulled, proved to be too much for the Minutemen to overcome.
“They’ve come from behind several times this year. I knew they were going to give us a push, and they did,” Jackson said. “I thought we did a good job of handling it.”
“Once we get the puck behind their defense is when we’re doing our best,” Fogarty added. “Any time you can get changes in the offensive zone and get fresh guys out, they’re tired and our guys are fresh, so we can kept that up. That’s a discipline thing, too, not being selfish and staying out there, but letting fresh guys come out.
Petersen finished with 27 saves in the Notre Dame net, while Renyard also totaled 27 saves for UMass.
Notre Dame finished 0-for-2 on the power play, while the Minutemen were 0-for3.
Notre Dame and UMass close out their weekend series tomorrow night (Dec. 5) at the Compton Family Ice Arena in a 6:10 p.m. game that will be televised by the NBC Sports Network.
— Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead at 3:38 of the first period when Steven Fogarty scored his fifth goal of the season. Andy Ryan and Mario Lucia made back-to-back drop passes after entering the offensive zone and Fogarty one-timed a shot from the top of the far faceoff circle past Renyard.
— The Irish quickly made it a 2-0 advantage just over three minutes later (at 7:02) when Joe Wegwerth and Dawson Cook connected for their second goal in as many games. Wegwerth curled around the back of the UMass net and tried to stuff one low past Reynard, who fought it off. But Cook pounced on the rebound to slot home his second of the season. Jordan Gross also assisted on the play.
— Notre Dame made it a 3-0 game at 15:53 of the second period when Thomas DiPauli picked up the puck along the half-boards, skated across the top of the slot and whipped a backhander through traffic that eluded Renyard for his team-leading seventh goal of the season. Gross and Anders Bjork assisted on the goal, marking Gross’ fourth multi-point game of the season.
— Massachusetts got on the board at 4:01 of the third period when Shane Walsh’s wrist shot from the slot when high past Petersen with traffic in front. Defensemen Ben Gallacher and William Lagesson assisted on the play.
— Notre Dame and UMass met for the first time since the opening round of the 2015 Hockey East Playoffs, which included college hockey’s longest game: a 4-3, five overtime win by the Minutemen in game one of the three-game series. Notre Dame went on the win the series, two games to one.
— With a pair of assists, Gross posted his fourth multi-point game of the season and the ninth of his career.
— Cal Petersen made his 15th-consecutive start in the Irish goal to open the 2015-16 season.
— Dating back to game two of last season’s Hockey East first round playoff series (Notre Dame and Petersen shutout UMass in game three of that series, 7-0), Petersen extended his scoreless streak versus UMass to 107:19 before Shane Walsh’s third period goal.
— Notre Dame improved to 7-2-2 on the season when scoring first and to 5-0-2 when leading after two periods of play.
— 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.