Feb. 13, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A draft pick of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, Notre Dame freshman netminder Cal Petersen may have made the No. 10 Providence College hockey team think they were facing an NHL goaltender on Friday night as Petersen made 38 saves for the Irish in a 2-0 shutout of the Friars at Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena.
With the two points in the standings, Notre Dame (13-14-4, 8-5-4 HE) leaps over Providence (17-10-2, 9-7-1 HE) and moves into a tie for third place in the Hockey East, leaving the Irish in position to earn a coveted first round playoff bye with five games to go.
The reigning Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week, Petersen set the tone for the evening and he extended his personal shutout streak to 112:37. Petersen has now stopped 81 of his last 82 shots. Tonight’s shutout is Petersen’s third of the year
Vince Hinostroza factored into each Notre Dame goal, scoring the second and picking up the primary assist on the first. The sophomore has recorded multiple points in five of his last eight contests. He entered tonight second in the nation in scoring since this run began Jan. 18 at UConn, now claiming 16 points over this span.
Entering tonight, Notre Dame had a power play goal in eight of its last nine contests, tallying 10 times. Since that stretch began on Jan. 10, only four other teams in the nation can top Notre Dame’s 10 power play scores. Conversely, Providence entered tonight’s game having killed off each of its last 27 penalties, a streak that also extended back to Jan. 10. Midway through the first period, the figuratively irresistible force met the figuratively immoveable object, and the irresistible force came through as Notre Dame’s power play found the back of the net.
The Irish would get the first period’s lone tally, striking at 11:50 when Hinostroza fed Thomas DiPauli in the slot. Jrdan Gross collected the secondary assist on the DiPauli goal, extending his stranglehold on the national points lead by freshman defenseman.
That lone tally held up until the waning moments of the contest as Petersen and Friar netminder Jon Gillies toiled between the pipes. The searing hot line of Hinostroza, Mario Lucia and Anders Bjork, which combined for 12 points in last weekend’s pair of games at Maine, manufactured a goal at 18:21 of the third period to help insure victory in the game’s waning moments. Bjork stole the puck behind the Providence net, curled around a defensemen and got of a point-blank shot on Gillies, the top goaltender by goals against average in Providence’s proud history stopped Bjork’s shot but left a juicy rebound of Hinostroza who used Lucia as a screen and fired the puck home.
Now one point ahead of Providence, Notre Dame will be tasked with fending off a hungry Friar team tomorrow night to maintain its lead. The teams will face off at 8:05 p.m. ET with NBC Sports Network providing national television overage. The first 2,000 fans through the doors will receive a complementary souvenir Hockey Night in South Bend puck.