Feb. 24, 2017
By Dan Colleran
BOSTON, Mass. -- Two goals by Jake Evans, a game-winning tally by Ben Ostlie and strong third period goaltending by Cal Petersen lifted the No. 13/14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish over No. 5/6 Boston University, 3-1, on Friday night at a the Agganis Arena (4,562).
Ostlie crashed the net and muscled in his third career goal at 18:33 of the second period for what also proved to be his first career game winner.
Evans scored midway through the first period to give the Irish a 1-0 lead and then he and Anders Bjork combined on a two-on-one late in the third period to help the Irish secure the win when they made it a 3-1 game.
With the victory, Notre Dame locked up a first round Hockey East bye and will play host to a best-of-three quarterfinal series on March 10-12 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
UPDATED: Following the conclusion of all of Friday night's games, the Irish will be playing for the regular-season Hockey East Championship on Saturday night against Boston University. With a win, Notre Dame would win the title in outright fashion, with a tie there would be a three-way tie, while Boston University would force another three-way tie with a win.
How It Happened
After some defensive play by both sides to open the game, the offenses started to get going midway through the first period.
Cam Morrison picked the pocket of a Boston University player trying to leave the defensive zone after a faceoff, wheeled around and slid the puck to Evans in the slot, who netted his 11th goal of the season at 9:19 of the first by beating Terrier goaltender Jake Oettinger high.
But just after the power play expired, Patrick Harper's shot from the point deflected low past Petersen to tie the game, 1-1, at 16:39 of the first.
Petersen was forced to make a shoulder save on Chad Krys four minutes into the second period when Krys was skating in on a partial breakaway.
The action picked up as the second period wore on but another goal wasn't scored until 18:33 of the second. Tory Dello fired a shot on goal that ricocheted off Oettinger and Mike O'Leary. Ostlie crashed the net, picked up the rebound and slid it in for his first goal of the season, giving the Irish a 2-1 lead.
Notre Dame put together back-to-back penalty kills within the first nine minutes of the third period, limiting the Terriers to just three shots on goal during the man advantage while stifling any chance Boston University had at building momentum.
Then with 6:30 to play in the third, Petersen made two big saves, the second of which was a right pad save on Jordan Greenway, to keep the Irish in front.
Andrew Oglevie sent Evans and Bjork away on a two-on-one and Evans buried his second goal of the night and his 12th of the season at 17:25 of the third to put Notre Dame in front 3-1.
Boston University continued to apply the pressure, pulling Oettinger in favor of the extra attacker. But Petersen and the Irish were equal to the task. The junior goaltender finished with 37 saves in the game, including 23 in the third period.
Oettinger finished with 23 saves in the game.
Both Notre Dame and Boston University finished 0-for-2 on the power play.
Coach Jackson's Thoughts
On the Evans-Bjork combination ...
"It happened by accident a few weeks ago, we lost two or three players and I put them together and then put those three young kids (Cal Burke, Andrew Oglevie and Jack Jenkins) together as our second line and something just clicked."
On the back-to-back penalty kills in the third period ...
"It [the penalty kill] has gotten better. I'm really impressed with the growth of some of our young guys, like Andrew Peeke and Tory Dello on defense. And Jordan Gross, he's become a good defender now. He was always known as a good offensive defenseman but he's a much better defender now. Gilbert speaks for himself defensively so I like our back end and how it has improved from the beginning of the year."
On putting together a seven-game unbeaten streak ...
"I think our team has grown up ... a lot of things have to do with going through tough times. In the first half we were real inconsistent. But our teams grow up, all those freshmen and sophomore get that experience and get that confidence and we become a much better team with that confidence. A lot of it just has to do with having gone through tough times."
Notre Dame and Boston University close out the regular-season at 7:05 PM tomorrow night (February 25) at the Agganis Arena.
Notre Dame - Boston University Notes
- Junior goaltender Cal Petersen made his 83rd-consecutive start in the Notre Dame net, which is the fourth-longest streak in the NCAA Div. I records book.
- Petersen has also appeared in 84 consecutive games, which is the fifth-longest mark in the NCAA Div. I records book.
- Jordan Gross skated in his 112th consecutive game, dating back to the first game of his freshman season.
- Ben Ostlie scored his first goal of the season, the third of his career and his first since Oct. 17, 2015 at Penn State.
- Jake Evans scored a pair of goals for his ninth multi-point game of the season and the 20th of his career. He now has notched at least one point in 17 of Notre Dame's last 19 games.
- Anders Bjork (1A) extended his point streak to five games (3-3-6), while Tory Dello's (1A) point streak reached a career-high three games (0-3-3).
- Notre Dame is unbeaten in the month of February (5-0-2).
-- ND --