March 10, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Five different players scored and 11 total tallied points in a balanced scoring effort for the University of Notre Dame hockey team on Friday night as the 12th-ranked Irish defeated No. 10 Providence 5-0 in the first game of a best-of-three quarterfinal Hockey East playoff series at Compton Family Ice Arena (3,933).
Jordan Gross, Jack Jenkins, Joe Wegwerth, Jake Evans and Andrew Oglevie all put pucks in the net for the fourth-seeded Irish.
Junior goaltender Cal Petersen picked up the shutout with 43 saves while also adding his second assist of the year. It was the sixth shutout of the year for Petersen and first since a 3-0 victory over New Hampshire on Jan. 21.
How It Happened
After killing a penalty early in the first period, the Irish responded with strong offensive play and several chances in front of the Friars' goal. It paid off at the 9:31 mark as Gross scored his ninth goal of the season to put Notre Dame up 1-0. The goal was assisted by junior forward Bo Brauer, who registered his first career assist, and sophomore forward Jenkins, who picked up his fourth of the season.
The Irish offense found its stride in the second period, exploding for three goals to take a 4-0 lead into the final period.
Jenkins and Brauer factored into the next Irish scoring play, as well, this time less than five minutes into the second. Jenkins tallied his sixth goal of the season, streaking up the near boards and firing a shot that deflected into the net off the left pad of Providence goaltender Hayden Hawkey. Brauer assisted again, while freshman defenseman Tory Dello also recorded a helper.
Notre Dame extended the lead at 11:35 of the second on a heads-up play by Wegwerth, who beat he Providence defense to a dump in and slotted a shot to the right of Hawkey in front of the goal. Gross and Petersen were credited with assists.
Evans found the net next at the 17:05 mark of the second stanza, weaving past a Friar defenseman and lifting a shot before spinning to avoid a collision with Hawkey. In the confusion, the puck made it over the goal line. Cam Morrison and Bobby Nardella earned assists on the play.
The Irish didn't slow down in the third. Oglevie tacked on a power play goal just 2:11 into the period, netting his 19th goal of the season from the left faceoff dot, assisted by junior forward Anders Bjork and Evans.
The Friars outshot the Irish 43-20, but found Petersen up to the task, including on a penalty shot opportunity late in the third period. Providence was 0-for-1 on the power play while the Irish converted on one of their four power play chances.
Coach Jackson's Thoughts
On the second-period performance ...
"I thought we utilized our speed effectively. We forced some things to happen. They created those funny bounces and we scored some opportunistic goals. That gave us a little confidence. We started off like we always do after a bye week -- on our heels a little bit. Once we got acclimated to the tempo of the game, I thought we did a good job."
On Petersen being a rock in goal ...
"We're going to need him. I'm sure it'll be a lot more challenging tomorrow. Having great goaltending is the No. 1 factor of winning in the playoffs. He did a great job tonight, faced a lot of shots. I think the score was part of the reason there were a lot more pucks going his way. I don't think our defensive coverage in our own end was as good as it should have been, but that's just a little bit of comfort when you're playing with a four-goal lead."
On the consistent scoring ...
"It was another one of those nights where you lose a guy early in the game (Cal Burke), and you're shifting guys with them. They took advantage of it. They did some good shifts down low, cycling to the net. That's huge for us when you can get production from all four lines."
On Providence's competitiveness going into Saturday ...
"That team has too much character and good coaching. It'll be a lot more than what we saw tonight. It's not like they played poorly. We were fortunate. We created puck luck with our energy and speed. That was the difference in the game for me, regardless of the score. They still created a lot of scoring chances and opportunity. It's going to be a lot more challenging. Hopefully we have the same puck luck tomorrow night."
On the Irish's consistency level recently ...
"It was probably since the last game at Boston College, where we were a little bit erratic, that I think we've settled down. We've been making better puck decisions, and it's allowing us to do a better job with getting to pucks sooner and making plays, whether it's going on the breakout or the offensive zone."
Game two of the best-of-three series is slated for 7:05 p.m. ET on Saturday at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
Notre Dame - Providence Notes
- Junior goaltender Cal Petersen made his 85th-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 86 consecutive games, which is the fifth-longest mark in the NCAA Div. I records book.
- Jordan Gross skated in his 114th consecutive game, dating back to the first game of his freshman season.
- Bo Brauer registered his first career assist on Jordan Gross' first period goal and then notched his second career assist on Jack Jenkins' second period tally. It was Brauer's second career multi-point game.
- Jake Evans scored a goal and added an assist for his 10th multi-point game of the season and the 21st of his career. He now has notched at least one point in 18 of Notre Dame's last 21 games.
-- 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.