Feb. 6, 2016
By Dan Colleran
BURLINGTON, Vt. – In a game that exploded to life in an eventful third period, it was the steadying presence of sophomore goaltender Cal Petersen and his 38 saves that helped lead the No. 10 Notre Dame hockey team to a 3-1 win and weekend sweep over Vermont on Saturday night at the Gutterson Fieldhouse (4,007).
Jordan Gross had a goal and an assist for a two-point night, while Jake Evans scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at 10:10 of the third period. Sam Herr added an empty net tally to seal the win, with Evans notching one of the assists on the play to also record a two-point night.
With the victory, the Irish improved to 16-5-7 on the season. Notre Dame is now 12-2-2 (26 points) in Hockey East play and tied with Boston College for first in the league standings.
The Irish penalty-killing unit was also a major factor in the win as it held the Vermont power play to an 0-for-6 mark on the night.
Petersen was sharp from the start, stopping all eight shots Vermont put on net in the first period, including a great left pad save on Mike Lee midway through the frame.
Gross gave the Irish a 1-0 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the first, which was his career-high eighth goal of the season.
Neither team scored in the second period. Petersen turned in 13 saves in the middle stanza, including a point blank stop on Liam Coughlin while the Catamounts were skating on the power play.
Then in the third period, the Irish found themselves down two men for 34 seconds and killed that off in addition to another 1:26 of five-on-four power play time by the Catamounts. While on that 5-on-3 penalty kill, Thomas DiPauli had had a shorthanded breakaway chance, but Packy Munson came up with the save.
Evans tipped in Gross’ shot from the point midway through the third period to put Notre Dame up 2-0.
But Vermont’s Anthony Petruzzelli made it a one-goal game again at 13:36 of the third when he tipped in a point shot from just outside the crease.
After another successful Irish penalty kill, Mario Lucia made a quick move at the top of the faceoff circles in the offensive zone and nearly restored the two-goal lead but his shot rang off the cross bar.
Vermont then pulled Munson in favor of the extra attacker with just over two minutes remaining, paving the way for Herr’s empty netter.
Petersen finished with 38 saves for the Irish, including 17 in the third period, while Munson totaled 24 saves for Vermont.
Notre Dame was 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Catamounts were 0-for-6 on the power play.
Notre Dame returns home next weekend to play host to Maine for a pair of games at the Compton Family Ice Arena (Feb. 12-13). The NBC Sports Network will televise both games and Friday’s series-opening game is slated to start at 6:40 p.m.
— After Vermont took a high sticking penalty 11 seconds into a power-play chance to give the Irish an offensive zone faceoff, Jordan Gross put the Irish up 1-0 at 4:39 of the first period when his blast from the point beat Packy Munson high to the glove side. Connor Hurley won the faceoff to earn his ninth assist of the season on the play, which came as the teams were skating 4-on-4.
— Jake Evans gave the Irish a 2-0 lead at 10:10 of the third period when he tipped in a Gross point shot for his sixth goal of the season. Bobby Nardella also had an assist on the play, his 17th of the year.
— Anthony Petruzzelli tipped in an Alexx Privitera shot from the point at 13:36 of the third period to make it a 2-1 game, with Jarrid Privitera earning the other assist.
— After some hard work along the near boards by Anders Bjork and Jake Evans, Sam Herr snapped a wrist shot into Vermont’s empty net at 18:12 for the final 3-1 score. Both Bjork and Evans recorded the assists.
— The Irish took a 1-0 lead for the 22nd time this season (out of 28 games), which is tied for the most first goals in the country with Providence College, St. Cloud State and Air Force.
— Notre Dame has outscored opponents by a 30-11 margin in the first period this season, including an 18-6 mark in Hockey East play.
— Notre Dame improved to 7-1-1 in road/neutral site Hockey East games this season.
— Cal Petersen made his 28th-consecutive start in the Notre Dame goal this season and his 41st in a row dating back to the 2014-15 season.
— Sophomore Jordan Gross scored his eighth goal of the season, a career-high total after he scored seven goals as a freshman.
— Gross has a two-game point streak (1-3-4) and, with a goal and an assist on Saturday, he posted his ninth multi-point game of the season and the 14th of his Irish career.
— Notre Dame wore its traditional home white uniforms for the weekend series at Vermont as the Catamounts wore a special black and pink uniform for Friday night’s game as part of a fundraiser and then wore green on Saturday.
— 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).