Feb. 28, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Last year the Notre Dame hockey team denied top-seeded Boston College a Hockey East tournament championship with a best-of-three quarterfinal series victory. On Friday night, No. 9 Boston College (20-10-3, 12-6-3 HE) kept its hopes for a regular season conference championship alive by posting a 2-0 shutout over Notre Dame (14-16-5, 9-7-5 HE) at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
The Eagles stayed in second-place with the win, two points behind league front-runner Boston University, while the Irish dipped from a tie for third place into sixth place in the constricted league standings with just Saturday night’s regular season finale against BC to go.
Notre Dame entered tonight’s game with a first period shutout streak of 92:37 dating back to the Feb. 7 game at Maine with netminder Cal Petersen stopping each of the last 60 opening stanza shots he had faced. Those streaks would be extended to 106:08 and 66 saves before the Eagles finally did what then-No. 10 Providence and then-No. 2 Boston University could not do two times apiece – score on the Irish in the first period.
The Eagles scored at 13:31 of the frame when they cycled the puck in the corner and Austin Cangelosi threw a centering pass from behind the goal line to Ian McCoshen who one-timed it home for his sixth goal of the year. BC doubled its lead at 16:45 of the first period when Alex Tuch fired a wrist shot into the top corner of the Irish goal to put the Eagles up 2-0.
“That was the whole game – the first period,” Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson said. “In our success in recent weeks, we’ve been scoring the first goal so falling down 2-0 wasn’t helpful. I think we were skating with them, but I don’t think we were as sharp as we probably should have been…Our primary focus tomorrow night has got to be to come out faster in the beginning.”
That first period lead held up as the final margin in a contest where Petersen and BC goaltender Thatcher Demko combined to stop 48 shots over the game’s final 40 minutes. The Irish were particularly strong in their third period attack, peppering Demko with 14 shots, but the second round pick of the Vancouver Canucks stopped all of them, several in spectacular fashion.
In the first home varsity athletic contest since the passing of University president emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh late Thursday night, the hockey team honored the campus icon prior to the game with a moment of silence and the a playing of a tribute video on the IrishVision screens. The team also wore round black remembrance decals on the back of their gold helmets saying “Fr. Ted.”
The Eagles and Irish will faceoff again on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. on Senior Night. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the game nationally.