March 11, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- For the second straight night, the 12th-ranked University of Notre Dame hockey team hung five goals on 10th-ranked Providence, defeating the Friars 5-2 on Saturday at the Compton Family Ice Arena (4,239) to sweep their quarterfinal series and advance to the semifinals of the Hockey East playoffs.
How It Happened
A physical game provided little in the way of offense until after the halfway point, when Providence scored its first goal of the series. The Friars got on the board at the 10:48 mark of the second period, as Brian Pinho deflected a shot past Petersen to make it 1-0.
The Irish responded on their next power play opportunity, using crisp passing to set up Morrison's ninth goal of the season. Set up to the left of the crease, Morrison tapped in the feed from Jake Evans, while Anders Bjork also assisted on the play.
Notre Dame wasted no time finding the net in the third period. Just 21 seconds into the stanza, Gross fired a shot from the point that whizzed past two Friar defensemen and, ultimately goaltender Hayden Hawkey, to give the Irish the lead. Bjork notched his second assist of the night, as well.
The Irish tacked onto the lead 7:29 into the third when Nardella replicated Gross' goal with another bullet of a shot from the top of the zone. Sophomore forward Andrew Oglevie and Morrison chipped in with assists on the goal.
Pinho responded with his second goal of the game to cut into the Irish lead, converting on a power play at 11:18 of the third to make it 3-2. It was as close as the Friars got, however, as the Irish added to their cushion with Malmquist's empty-netters. Oglevie assisted on both Malmquist goals, while Jack Jenkins helped on the first and Dennis Gilbert added an assist on the second.
Notre Dame was 1-for-3 on the power play, while Providence was 1-for-2 with an extra man. The Irish also outshot the Friars 38-30.
Coach Jackson's Thoughts
On Nardella's goal to go up 3-1 ...
"That was a great shift. Some of the credit goes to Jake Evans for getting off the ice early when he was tired and Oglevie getting on the ice. That shows unselfish play. That was definitely a great shift."
On asserting that over the course of the game ...
"I told the guys after the game that they need to give credit to our strength coach, Tony Rolinski. I thought our conditioning showed up as the game progressed."
On Petersen's performance...
"I said it last night: you don't win without great goaltending. He's giving us that. So now we get to go to Boston."
On making it to the semis for the first time in three years ...
"This group has been fun. They've really figured it out here in the second half of the season. They're playing unselfishly, which is the most important thing to me. We have players that have individual abilities, guys like Bjork, Evans and Oglevie, some of our really high-skilled guys. I was really happy with Dylan Malmquist getting back in the top lines. Just playing unselfish hockey."
On this sweep possibly getting the Irish into the NCAA tournament ...
"That's down the road. We have probably the toughest job in the country as far as the playoff round. We're playing one of the hotter teams in the country. But we've been pretty hot here in the last eight weeks ourselves. It's a credit to these guys for doing the things that they have to do to be successful tonight. I knew it was going to be tougher. It was a physical game, a lot of stuff going on after the whistle. I thought our guys did a pretty good job of holding their emotional control."
The Irish will head to a Hockey East semifinals on Friday, March 17 at TD Garden in Boston. The four semifinalists will be reseeded before the single-game semifinal and final, slated for Friday and Saturday. Also advancing on Saturday night were Boston University and Boston College, while UMass Lowell and New Hampshire will play on Sunday for the final place.
Notre Dame - Providence Hockey East Quarterfinal Series Notes
- Junior goaltender Cal Petersen made his 86th-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 87 consecutive games, which is the fifth-longest mark in the NCAA Div. I records book.
- In game one of the series, Petersen made 43 saves to blank the Friars, handing them their first shutout since Petersen made 38 saves in a 2-0 win over the Friars on Feb. 13, 2015 (an 87-game span). Providence has been shutout twice in its last 108 games, both by Petersen.
- Jordan Gross skated in his 115th consecutive game, dating back to the first game of his freshman season.
- Anders Bjork assisted on goals by both Jake Evans and Jordan Gross, giving him his 14th multi-point game of the season and the 24th of his career.
- With a goal and an assist, Cam Morrison recorded his fifth multi-point game of the year and first since a two-point effort against Alaska on Dec. 31.
- Jake Evans tallied an assist on Cam Morrison's goal, giving him at least one point in 19 of Notre Dame's last 22 games (10-16-26).
- Andrew Oglevie tallied a career-high three assists, good for his eighth multi-point game of the year. It was also his first three-point game since scoring a goal and notching two assists in the first game of the season Oct. 7 against Arizona State.
-- 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.