Jan. 13, 2017
By Dan Colleran
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- In a physical, fast-paced game at Merrimack’s Lawler Rink, Anders Bjork scored with just under four minutes to play in the third period to lift the 13th-ranked University of Notre Dame hockey team to a 2-1 comeback win over the Warriors.
Merrimack (7-11-3, 1-5-3 HEA) goaltender Collin Delia finished with 34 saves.
The Irish have now won six of their last seven games.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame gave up a power-play goal at 5:18 of the first period but proceeded to outshoot the Warriors 15-7 through the first 20 minutes of play.
Midway through the second period, Bobby Nardella sprung Andrew Oglevie on a breakaway with a stretch pass through the center of the neutral zone. The sophomore winger fired a shot off the crossbar and the puck then bounced off of Merrimack goaltender Collin Delia and over the goal line for Oglevie’s 10th goal of the season. Dennis Gilbert also notched an assist on the play.
The Irish continued to pressure in the offensive zone as the second period wore on, but Delia was equal to the task.
After Notre Dame was forced to kill off three Merrimack power plays in the first 12 minutes of the third period, Petersen stoned Alfred Larson on a breakaway chance with 6:45 left in the final frame.
Right after that Petersen save, the Irish drew a penalty with some pressure in Merrimack’s offensive zone. The Warriors were able to kill off the Irish power-play chance, but 20 seconds after it expired, Jack Jenkins fired a shot on goal that Delia fought off. Bjork was crashing the net and put in the rebound for his 15th goal of the season.
Notre Dame finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while Merrimack was 1-for-6 on the night.
COACH JACKSON’S THOUGHTS
On the game …
“It was a hard fought game and certainly could have gone either way. We scored a big goal at the end and did a good job killing penalties off in the third period. We did what we had to do.”
On the penalty killing in the third period …
“Our guys did a good job of putting pressure on and not allowing the break in like we did on their first period [power-play] goal. We did a good job cutting off their passing lanes and then getting in shot lanes.”
The Fighting Irish and Warriors close out their season series at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14 at Lawler Rink in North Andover, Massachusetts.
NOTRE DAME - MERRIMACK GAME NOTES
- Junior goaltender Cal Petersen made his 72nd-consecutive start in the Notre Dame net.
- Jordan Gross skated in his 101st consecutive game, dating back to the first game of his freshman season.
- Jake Evans became the second Notre Dame player to reach 100 career games played this season, joining Gross.
- Anders Bjork scored his fifth game-winning goal of the season.
-- 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).