Jan. 1, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The 12th-ranked University of Notre Dame hockey team won its fourth straight game Sunday, ringing in 2017 with a 4-0 win over Alaska at the Compton Family Ice Arena (4,023).
The Irish (11-6-2, 5-3-1 HEA) used a four-goal second period to complete the weekend sweep of the Nanooks (6-14-2, 5-9-2 WCHA). Sophomore Jack Jenkins and juniors Anders Bjork, Jordan Gross and Jake Evans all recorded tallies on the afternoon.
Junior goaltender Cal Petersen recorded 21 saves for his second consecutive shutout and fourth of the season. It was the ninth shutout of his career and marked his first career back-to-back shutouts. Dating back to Dec. 10, Petersen has a shutout streak of 166:53.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a scoreless first period, the Irish sticks awakened in the second to the tune of four goals, including a three-goal burst within 1:36 early in the stanza.
Jenkins tallied his second goal of the year to open the scoring, netting a top-shelf chance off a wrap-around assist by sophomore Joe Wegwerth. A little over a minute later, Bjork put the Irish up 2-0 with a goal off assists from Gross and sophomore Dylan Malmquist.
Alaska's James LaDouce was called for a hooking penalty on the same play, giving Notre Dame a power play opportunity at the faceoff. The Irish capitalized 32 seconds later as Gross fired a shot from near the blue line that found the back of the net. Bjork and Malmquist added assists on the the goal.
The Irish closed out the scoring on another power play, with Evans converting after a major penalty and game misconduct on Alaska's Colton Leiter gave Notre Dame a five-minute advantage. Evans' shot, which deflected off a Nanook defender, was assisted by sophomore Andrew Oglevie and freshman Andrew Peeke.
The Irish were 2-for-5 on the power play, while the Nanooks were 0-for-5. The Irish have now killed 12 straight penalties dating to their December 10 win over Boston College, when they killed their final two penalties of the game.
COACH JACKSON'S THOUGHTS
On the team's start in the first period...
"I thought Alaska played hard in the first period. With the exception of the power plays we didn't generate any shots. I think it was only three shots before we got those power plays at the end of the period. They were defending well and their goalie was playing well, and we didn't get a whole lot going until the second period. I thought we played well, we just turned too many pucks over and didn't give ourselves a chance to generate enough offense."
On taking over the game with the four-goal second period...
"It's nice to build off momentum, certainly. You get a goal and all of a sudden you feel good about yourself and guys are energized. We've been a really good second-period team this year, so in that regard it was a real positive to see some momentum goals."
On the team's continued success in the second period this season...
"I hate to say it, but part of it is that we haven't been as sharp in the first period. A lot of games we've been playing from behind or at least tied, so last night was nice to get that first goal in the first. Getting the first goal is the key, so if it happens in the second I'm good with that."
Overall assessment of his team after the first weekend back...
"We'll find out a lot more next weekend. Michigan Tech is one of the better teams right now, they're the hottest team in the country. We'll have our hands full. It's good for us to get off to a good start in the second half, and it will be a bigger challenge next weekend for us before the Hockey East schedule. Then we go to Merrimack, which is never easy, any place in Hockey East is always tough."
The Fighting Irish will remain home to play host to Michigan Tech next weekend (January 6-7) in a series that will be broadcast by the NBC Sports Network.
To purchase tickets visit UND.com/BuyTickets.
NOTRE DAME - ALASKA GAME NOTES
- Junior goaltender Cal Petersen made his 69th-consecutive start in the Notre Dame net.
- Jordan Gross skated in his 98th-consecutive game, dating back to the first game of his freshman season.
- Notre Dame's last back-to-back shutouts were on February 21-22, 2014, at home against Boston University (by Steven Summerhays in game one and Summerhays and Joe Rogers in game two).
- Notre Dame improved to 7-0-0 when leading after two periods of play this season.
- Jack Jenkins' game winner at the 3:11 mark of the second period marked his second goal of the season and first since a 6-2 victory over UConn on October 27.
- Gross had one goal and an assist in the game, marking his fourth multi-point game of the season and the 19th of his career.
- With one goal and one assist, Anders Bjork extended his point streak to five games (5-4-9).
- With a power-play goal, Jake Evans extended his point streak to five games (3-2-5).
- With an assist, Andrew Oglevie extended his point streak to five games (3-3-6).
- Dylan Malmquist's two assists gave him his second straight multi-point game and fifth of the season.
-- ND --
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women's soccer, men's tennis, women's tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in mass communication, and earned her master's degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.