March 25, 2017
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Fourth-seeded and 12th-ranked Notre Dame rallied from a 2-0 deficit with three unanswered goals to knock off top-seeded and fifth-ranked Minnesota, 3-2, in the opening round of the NCAA Northeast Regional Saturday at the SNHU Arena (6,299).
Junior forward Anders Bjork, one one of the 10 finalists for the 2017 Hobey Baker Award, scored a pair of goals, including the game winner at the 8:42 mark of the third period.
Junior forward Jake Evans added a pair of assists, while junior goaltender Cal Petersen picked up an assist and collected 31 saves.
The Fighting Irish (22-11-5) advance to the regional final to face No. 2 seed UMass Lowell (26-10-3) at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Notre Dame and the River Hawks faced off three times this season. The rivals split a two-game series in Lowell back in November (each squad registered 4-1 victories), but UMass-Lowell most recently bounced the Irish from the Hockey East semifinals, 5-1.
Notre Dame will look to advance to the Frozen Four for the third time in school history (2008 and 2011).
How It Happened
Connor Reilly gave Minnesota a quick 1-0 lead at 2:07 of the first when he knocked in a rebound for his first goal of the season.
Moments later Andrew Oglevie took a drop pass in the slot and had a great look at the Minnesota goal but Eric Schierhron made the save.
Evans also had two great chances one timers as the period wore on, but Scierhorn made diving stops on both.
The Gophers opened the second period with 1:16 left of power-play time and Vinni Lettieri extended the lead to 2-0 just 30 second into the middle frame with his 19th goal of the season.
Andrew Oglevie made it a 2-1 game at 14:39 of the second period when he beat Schierhorn with a wrist shot off the cross bar and in for his 20th goal of the season. Oglevie's goal, which was scored while skating in on a 2-on-1 chance with Bjork, was assisted by Petersen.
Just 56 seconds later, Bjork finished off nice passing sequence from Cam Morrison and Evans to tie the game at 2-2. It also marked Bjork's 20th goal of the season.
Skating on the power play after Bo Brauer's speed behind the Minnesota net drew a penalty, Bjork notched his second goal of the game to give the Irish a 3-2 lead at 8:42 of the third. Evans and Gross assisted on the play.
Notre Dame - Minnesota Notes
- Junior goaltender Cal Petersen made his 88th-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 89 consecutive games, which is the fifth-longest mark in the NCAA Div. I records book.
- Jordan Gross skated in his 117th straight game.
- Petersen notched his third assist of the season (and the third of his career) on Andrew Oglevie's second-period tally.
- It marked the third time this season the Irish rallied from two goals down to win (Dec. 10 vs. Boston College and at Maine on Feb. 11).
- This season marks the eighth NCAA Tournament appearance by the Irish under head coach Jeff Jackson, dating back to 2006, and he led Notre Dame to the Frozen Four in 2008 and 2011.
- Then called the Verizon Wireless Arena, Notre Dame's previous two most recent NCAA Tournament wins came at the SNHU Arena in the 2011 Northeast regional.
- In the opening round in 2011, the Irish defeated Merrimack in overtime, 3-2, and then downed New Hampshire, 2-1, to advance to the 2011 Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- The Irish are now 1-1-0 against Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament as Notre Dame's first ever NCAA Tournament appearance came against Minnesota in 2004 in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Grand Rapids, Michigan (loss, 5-2).
-- 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).