By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In what felt like a playoff game at the Compton Family Ice Arena on Saturday night, Cal Petersen made 39 saves and Dylan Malmquist scored the game’s only goal midway through the second period as No. 10 Notre Dame defeated No. 9 Boston University, 1-0, in front of a sold out crowd on senior night.
With the win, the Irish (19-8-7, 15-5-2 HEA) finished third in the Hockey East standings, while Boston University (19-10-5, 12-6-4 HEA) dropped to fifth.
“I think that this was the most important game of the year from a confidence perspective, but also for knowing how we’re going to have to play in the playoffs,” Head Coach Jeff Jackson said. “You’ll win in the playoffs with special teams and goaltending and that’s what we had tonight.”
The Irish were able to hold Boston University to a 0-for-3 mark on the power play, while also finishing 1-for-2 with the man advantage.
After a scoreless first period, Dylan Malmquist netted his second power-play goal of the season at 11:47 of the second period for what eventually proved to be the game winner.
Other scoring chances in the second included Mario Lucia hammering a shot from the slot off the post and Petersen making a big blocker save on Matt Grzelcyk with just under two minutes left in the period.
Holding a 1-0 lead, the Irish offense controlled much of the play in the third and went on to outshoot the Terriers 15-13 in what was an exciting 20 minutes of action.
Early in the third, Jordan Gross and Lucia forced Boston University goaltender Sean Maguire into making back-to-back left pad saves on partial breakaway attempts.
“I thought we did a better job [than last night] of possessing the puck, which maybe fatigued their defensemen a little bit and gave us a little jump going into the third period, or at least stretches in that third period,” Jackson said.
With just under five minutes left in the period, Petersen made the save of the night, and possibly the season, when he robbed Danny O’Regan at the back post.
“I told the guys this morning that we may have to win 1-0, and obviously Cal was listening,” Jackson quipped. “He was phenomenal and played extremely well. He obviously saved the game at the end.”
With 1:30 left in the third, Boston University pulled Maguire, who finished with 27 saves, in favor of the extra attacker, but a few more Petersen saves and some big shot blocks by the Irish defense completed the 1-0 win.
For Petersen, it marked his first shutout of the season and the fifth of his Irish career.
“Probably the thing I’m most proud of is, as a team, [it was] our most complete 60-minute game,” Petersen said after the win. “I think if I were to rank it, it would be one of the prouder moments I’ve had being at Notre Dame and being a part of this team, with a mixture of the seniors getting recognized while the team played well and the way it ended.”
Notre Dame will now have a bye in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs before playing host to a home quarterfinal, best-of-three series from March 11-13.
— Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead on a Dylan Malmquist power-play goal scored at 11:47 of the second period. Jordan Gross slid the puck over to Anders Bjork, who then found Mamlquist stationed on the goal line to Maguire’s left. Malmquist whipped a shot low that deflected off Maguire and in for his 11th goal of the season.
— Cal Petersen made his 34th-consecutive start in the Notre Dame goal this season and his 47th in a row dating back to the 2014-15 season. He was the only player in the country to start all 34 games during the regular season (NCAA Div. I).
— Notre Dame scored first for the 26th time this season (out of 34 games), which is the second highest total of first goals in the country.
— Dylan Malmquist scored his second power-play goal and second game-winning goal of the season and he now has three goals in the last five games to go along with a two-game point streak (1-1-2).
— Jordan Gross finished as the leading scorer among defensemen in Hockey East play (22 GP, 6-16-22). He is the highest scoring defenseman in Hockey East games since 2012-13 when current Chicago Blackhawks player Trevor van Riemsdyk also had 22 league points while skating for New Hampshire.
— It was Notre Dame’s first 1-0 win since defeating Bowling Green in overtime by that same score on March 15, 2013. All told, it was the 16th 1-0 win in program history.
— As part of Senior Night tradition, the Irish wore their green uniforms.
— 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).