Notre Dame hockey: Irish get past Boston

STEVE LOWE
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame survived the first round of Hockey East tournament play Saturday night. Its reward? Another trip to face Boston College.

The Irish got goals from Bryan Rust, Jeff Costello and Peter Schneider in a 3-2 win over Boston University at Compton Family Ice Arena to advance to the HEA quarterfinals at top-seeded BC next weekend.

The Terriers (10-21-4) saw their record of 21 consecutive seasons with at least one win in the Hockey East playoffs come to an end Saturday in their first HEA tourney game played outside of Massachusetts since 2003.

The win was Notre Dame’s fifth in a row, and the Irish are now unbeaten in their last seven (6-0-1). One of those wins was 2-1 in overtime at then-No. 1 Boston College just last week.

“They’ll have had two weeks to think about us,” Irish coach Jeff Jackson said. “It’s going to be a challenge. It was a challenge going there last week and it will be an even bigger challenge to go in there with a two out of three series.”

Evan Rodrigues and Robbie Baillargeon scored Boston’s goals, and goaltender Matt O’Connor stopped 26 of 29 shots, while his counterpart, Steven Summerhays, saw 27 shots and stopped 25 of them.

The Irish (21-12-2) got one on the board 6:28 into the first period when T.J. Tynan fed Rust in the slot, and Rust faked to get O’Connor down and moving left, then went to his backhand for his 13th goal of the season.

O’Connor kept the score there with a brilliant kick save on Vince Hinostroza’s breakaway backhander later in the first as the Irish poured on the pressure. In the second period, O’Connor made five saves on two straight Notre Dame power plays, but just after the second man-advantage expired, Costello slipped a shot from just outside the right circle through the BU goalie’s pads for ND’s second goal.

“He’s been awesome here for the last couple months,” Jackson said of Costello. “He’s put this team on his back in many ways. I wish he got rewarded a little more with goals, but tonight he got one, and hopefully it was one of more to come.”

The Terriers finally broke through in the second period when Rodrigues, moments after his 3-on-2 breakaway attempt was turned aside, knocked a rebound past Summerhays for BU’s first goal against the Irish netminder in 156:04 this season. Summerhays had previously shut Boston out twice, two weeks ago in South Bend.

“We started picking up the pace and I thought we did a much better job at the end of the second,” said BU coach David Quinn said. “That’s the ebbs and flows of a game. You need to survive those six, seven minute stretches when things aren’t going so well. I thought we did and we crawled back in that one.”

Schneider got the Irish lead back to two when he roofed a breakaway 3:07 into the period. Stephen Johns flipped the puck into the air, down the ice, where Schneider picked it up and sped in on O’Connor to score the eventual game-winner.

FIRST PERIOD

ND - Bryan Rust, 13 (T.J. Tynan, Sam Herr) 6:28. Shots on goal: ND 11, BU 8; Penalties: ND 2-4, BU 0-0.

SECOND PERIOD

ND - Jeff Costello, 12 (Shayne Taker, Tynan) 9:25; Evan Rodrigues, 5 (Robbie Baillargeon) 16:04. Shots: ND 12, BU 6; Penalties: BU 3-6, ND 0-0.

THIRD PERIOD

ND - Peter Schneider, 6 (Stephen Johns, Kevin Lind) 3:07; Baillargeon, 10 ( ) PP, 14:22. Shots: BU 13, ND 6; Penalties: ND 2-4, BU 0-0.

BU011 - 2
ND111 - 3

Shots: ND 29, BU 27; Saves: BU 26 (Matt O’Connor), ND 25 (Steven Summerhays); Power plays: BU 1-4, ND 0-3; Penalties: ND 4-8, BU 3-6; Attendance: 5,022.