Dec. 2, 2016
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- With the 12th-ranked Fighting Irish trying to erase a 3-0 deficit after two periods of play, Anders Bjork scored two goals and Bobby Nardella scored a goal and added two assists in a frantic third period but it was not enough as Massachusetts held on for a 5-4 win on Friday night at the Mullins Center (2,481).
With the loss, Notre Dame is now 7-6-2 (3-3-1 HEA) on the season, while Massachusetts moved to 4-7-2 (2-5-1 HEA).
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a scoreless first period, goals by Ray Pigozzi (power play), Niko Hildenbrand and Steven Iacobellis (power play) gave Massachusetts a 3-0 lead after two periods of play.
Andrew Peeke got the Irish on the board 68 seconds into the third period and then Bjork made it a 3-2 game just over three minutes later as the Irish tried to stage a comeback.
But then Notre Dame had to face 1:31 of a 5-on-3 UMass advantage and Austin Plevy scored near the end of that power play chance to restore the two-goal UMass lead.
The Irish answered back with a power-play goal of the their own, from Bobby Nardella, to move the score to 4-3.
Pigozzi then scored what proved to be the game winner off an offensive zone faceoff at 12:46 of the final frame.
Bjork's second of the night pulled the Irish back to within one but Notre Dame could not come up with the tying goal over the final 3:59 of play.
Cal Petersen finished with 19 saves on the night, while Ryan Wischow had 21 for the the Minutemen.
The Irish were 1-for-2 on the power play, while UMass finished 3-for-4.
COACH JACKSON'S THOUGHTS
On the slow start ...
"For whatever reason we were not sharp in the early part of the game. You give them [UMass] credit, they worked extremely hard and made it hard to play against ... they played pretty well."
On what needs to change ...
"We have to match their [UMass'] work ethic. We didn't do a real good job managing the puck either ... between our defensemen on the breakout at times and then a little bit in the offensive zone where we didn't have enough patience, where we got one play and then it was done. We were chasing and did too much chasing tonight."
NOTRE DAME SCORING
3-1 | Andrew Peeke got the Irish on the board at 1:08 of the third period when he put a rebound chance past Ryan Wischow. Bobby Nardella's blast from the point beat a diving Wischow, but it hit the post before bouncing out to Peeke, who netted his third goal of the season. Jake Evans also assisted on the play.
4-3 | Nardella scored a power-play goal at 11:37 of the third period for his fourth of the season, with the assists going to Andrew Oglevie and Peeke.
5-4 | Bjork scored his second of the night at 16:01 of the third on a snapshot from the high slot. Jordan Gross and Peeke assisted on Bjork's 11th goal of the season.
The Fighting Irish and Minutemen close out their weekend series tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. at the Mullins Center.
NOTRE DAME - UMASS GAME NOTES
- Junior goaltender Cal Petersen made his 65th-consecutive start in the Notre Dame net.
- Jordan Gross skated in his 94th-consecutive game, dating back to the first game of his freshman season.
- With a goal and an assist, Andrew Peeke registered his first career multi-point game.
- With two goals, Anders Bjork notched his eighth multi-point game of the season (18th of his career) and recorded his fourth two-goal game of the year.
- Bobby Nardella matched his career high with three points on a goal and two assists and recorded his third multi-point game of the season (seventh of his career).
- Notre Dame hit the post four times on Friday night (one of which led directly to Andrew Peeke's goal).
-- 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).