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Resilient Irish Play Providence To 3-3 Tie

Feb. 18, 2017

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By Dan Colleran

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — A resilient Notre Dame hockey team erased one-goal deficits on three occasions to tie 10th-ranked Providence College, 3-3, on Saturday night at a soldout Compton Family Ice Arena (5,022).

After Bobby Nardella scored in the first period and Jake Evans scored in the second, it was Cam Morrison who tipped in the game-tying goal at 8:40 of the third period to lift the Irish to the 3-3 tie.

With an assist, Anders Bjork reached 100 career points (38-62-100). Evans also added an assist for a two-point night, while Dennis Gilbert had his second consecutive two-assist game.

With the tie, the 15th-ranked Irish took the weekend series versus the Friars (1-0-1) to move to third in the Hockey East standings with one weekend to play in the regular season. Mathematically, Notre Dame (18-9-5, 11-5-4 HEA) can still finish between first and fifth-place in the standings.

How It Happened

The Irish came out with a lot of pressure early, but Providence goaltender Hayden Hawkey was able to keep the Irish off the board. Just two minutes in, Mike O’Leary had a great look but Hawkey turned the chance away with his mask.

Shane Kavanagh then gave the Friars a 1-0 lead at 11:13 of the first period when he one-timed a Robbie Hennessey pass for his second goal of the season.

Bobby Nardella tied things up, 1-1, at 15:37 of the first period when he let a wrist shot fly high past Hawkey for his sixth goal of the season. The power-play goal was assisted by Evans and Jordan Gross.

But Niko Rufo answered for the visitors with a goal at 18:04 of the first.

Then with 25 seconds to play in the second period, Evans took an Anders Bjork feed in the low slot and beat Hawkey for his 10th goal of the season.

Erik Foley put the Friars back in front, 3-2, at 5:35 of the third period when he converted on a two-on-one chance with Josh Wilkins.

The Irish responded once again, tying it at 3-3 when Morrison tipped a Tory Dello shot past Hawkey for his eighth goal of the season. Gilbert earned his second assist of the night on the play.

Petersen kept it a tie game when he flashed his left pad to deny Rufo on the doorstep at 10:21 of the third period. Then at 15:30, Petersen was back at it, this time flashing the glove to once again deny Rufo from just outside his goal crease.

Notre Dame had several more chances to try and win it, including a few great looks while skating on the power play in overtime, but the game ended in the 3-3 tie.

The Irish finished 1-for-3 on the power play, while Providence was 0-for-2.

Petersen made 39 saves, while Hawkey finished with 32, including three in overtime.

Coach Jackson’s Thoughts

On the point earned with the tie …

“It was a big point for us. It never fails, especially with a really good team, they’re going to come back with a better effort than they had last night and they did. They put us on our heels a little bit early on, but I am proud of the guys for coming back each time because earlier in the year that might not have happened. It’s a sign that we’ve grown and matured as a team.”

On the weekend…

“A three point weekend against that team is pretty good. I’m not going to complain, it would’ve been nice for that extra point to kind of secure a home-ice or bye in the first round but there’s still that opportunity ahead of us and we control our own destiny. We’re going to play probably the most talented team in college hockey next week. It’s going to be a big challenge, especially in their building.”

On the top line of Morrison, Evans and Bjork …

“They needed to be. I think that Jake and Anders and all those guys have got to be leaders as juniors. They’ve gotta lead our team offensively. We’ve got a lot of great energy and a lot of offense off of the Jenkins line or Oglevie line and Cook’s line has done a really good job of holding their own. That’s important right now it’s been a pretty good month here so far and we just have to continue it. It’s going to be a big challenge next weekend [at Boston University].”

Senior Night

Keeping with tradition, the Irish wore their green Under Armour uniforms for senior night and also honored Ben Ostlie and Chad Katunar during a pregame ceremony. Graduating senior managers Taek Lee, Amelia Legault-Laroche and Meghan Thompson were also honored in the pregame ceremony.

Up Next

Notre Dame will head to Boston next weekend to close out the regular season with a weekend series at fourth-ranked Boston University (Feb. 24-25).

Notre Dame – Providence Notes

  • Anders Bjork became the 51st player in program history to reach 100 career points (38-62-100).
  • Junior goaltender Cal Petersen made his 82nd-consecutive start in the Notre Dame net, which is the fourth-longest streak in the NCAA Div. I records book.
  • Petersen has also appeared 83 consecutive games, which is the fifth-longest mark in the NCAA Div. I records book.
  • Jordan Gross skated in his 111th consecutive game, dating back to the first game of his freshman season.
  • Bobby Nardella scored his fourth power-play goal of the season and the fifth of his Irish career.
  • Jake Evans scored a goal and added an assist for his eighth multi-point game of the season and the 19th of his career. He now has notched at least one point in 16 of Notre Dame’s last 18 games.
  • Dennis Gilbert notched a pair of assists and now has 13 assists in the last 11 games as well as a career-long five game point streak (0-9-9).
  • Notre Dame is unbeaten in the month of February (4-0-2).

— 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 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).