Jan. 31, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. –
Faced with the adversity of losing its two-goal lead early in the second period, the Notre Dame hockey team (11-14-3, 6-5-3 Hockey East) responded with aplomb, regaining its two-goal advantage and eventually pulling away from a nearly-sold out Compton Family Ice Arena with an entertaining 5-3 victory over New Hampshire (9-15-2, 4-9-1 HE) on Saturday night.
The Wildcats and Irish played over 17 minutes of scoreless hockey before Notre Dame finally cracked the scoring column, taking a 1-0 lead at 17:46. Gross moved the puck nicely on a breakout up to Anders Bjork who fed the puck further up ice before leaving a drop pass to Austin Wuthrich. The senior fired a quick shot on goal from the right wing that found its way through some traffic in front and into the UNH goal.
The Irish doubled their lead just 2:32 into the second period by netting a power play goal for the seventh consecutive game. Hinostroza feathered a pass across the ice to Fogarty who buried a one-timer for the team captain’s fifth goal of the year and Notre Dame’s ninth power play tally in the seven games since Jan. 10. The assist was Gross’ 20 point of the season, for the moment moving him into first place nationally for the most points by a freshman defenseman. Just 1:02 later, the Wildcats got that goal back. Warren Foegele skated down the left wing and rifled a shot past Katunar, making it a 2-1 game. UNH would equalize the score on a power play at the 9:50 mark of the second period with a long wrist shot from the blue line that found the top corner of the Irish net.
The first goal of Ben Ostlie’s career gave Notre Dame back the lead, 3-2, at the 11:54 mark of the second period. With the Irish enjoying good puck possession in the offensive zone, Luke Ripley ripped a shot on goal from the left point that Ostlie adeptly deflected with his stick past Danny Tirone and into the Wildcat net.
The first career goal trend continued into the third period and helped the Irish lead swell to 4-2 just 2:06 into the third period when Tony Bretzman unloaded a hard and low slap shot from the point with eyes for the twine behind Tirone. Hinostroza picked up his second assist of the game on the play, giving him a team-high 21 on the year, ranking the sophomore third in Hockey East and among the top 10 nationally in helpers. Hinostroza extended his scoring streak to five games, recording multiple points in a game for the third time in those five outings.
UNH picked up a goal moments after an Irish penalty expired at with 2:33 left in the game when Tyler Kelleher completed a great passing play, making the score 4-3. With the Wildcat net empty, Fogarty gathered a loose puck in the neutral zone and scored his second goal of the night at 18:53 to complete the scoring.
The two second period goals were the lone blemishes on a 28-save victory for Katunar. Making his first start since January. 10, Katunar turned away several tricky Wildcat challenges in the third period to help ensure a weekend split for the Irish. Tirone made 22 saves in the UNH goal.
The Irish will be back on the road next weekend, returning to action with a pair of games at Maine on Friday and Saturday nights.