Ostlie gives Notre Dame a boost

Steve Lowe Tribune Correspondent
ND Insider

SOUTH BEND — Lately, sophomore Ben Ostlie has just been happy to keep his suit and tie on a hanger during Notre Dame hockey games.

He had a new reason to smile Saturday night.

After the Irish saw a two-goal lead evaporate in the second period, Ostlie and freshman Tony Bretzman responded. Each player scored his first career goal to help Notre Dame finally win at home, 5-3 over New Hampshire.

Steven Fogarty scored twice for the Irish (11-14-3, 6-5-3), who snapped a three-game losing streak, and also ended an eight-game winless streak at home with their first victory at the Compton Family Ice Arena since Oct. 31.

After shuffling in and out of the lineup much of the season, Ostlie has appeared in five straight games and worked his way into a regular spot as a fourth line forward after coming in last year as a freshman defenseman.

"It gets to a point where you get sick of wearing your suit all the time, and I wore my suit out last year," said Ostlie, who dressed for only a handful of games last season. "It's exciting to finally see a puck go in the net for me. I've been working hard and finally get some glory for all that hard work."

Chad Katunar started his first game in goal for the Irish since Jan. 10 and finished with 28 saves. Vince Hinostroza concluded a strong weekend with a pair of highlight-reel assists, after recording a goal and an assist Friday night.

"That's his game, he has that ability to break people down and find people," Irish coach Jeff Jackson said of Hinostroza.

Notre Dame's energy and effort at the start was noticeably improved from Friday night's 5-2 loss to the Wildcats, and the Irish grabbed the lead first. Seconds after an Irish power play ended, Austin Wuthrich fired a long wobbler from the right point near the blue line, and the puck found its way through traffic and UNH goaltender Danny Tirone with 2:14 left before the first intermission.

The Irish made it 2-0 early in the second period and extended their streak of scoring on the power play to seven straight games when Hinostroza found Fogarty with a perfect cross-ice saucer pass that Fogarty deposited top-shelf.

"He's a special player," Fogarty said of Hinostroza. "Whenever he has the puck and you get open, he'll find you and that's what I tried to do."

The Wildcats responded a minute later when Warren Foegele scored on a 2-on-1 breakaway to the cut Notre Dame's lead in half, then tied the game halfway through the period on a Matias Cleland power play goal.

But the Irish regained the lead less than two minutes later on Ostlie's goal, a re-direct of a Luke Ripley shot from the point.

"He's been working hard and playing well," Jackson said of Ostlie. "It's nice to see him get rewarded."

The Irish made it 4-2 in the third period when Hinostroza spied Bretzman drifting into the UNH zone and set up the freshman defenseman for his first goal.

Tyler Kelleher cut it to one again on a goal with 2:33 to play, but Fogarty finished the Wildcats off with an empty-net goal with a minute to go, and Katunar made a handful of big saves in the third period to help the Irish hold onto the lead.

"That was strength of his game, he made some big saves at the end," Jackson said. "That's what we've been lacking. You have to have that ability to make that big save when it's needed, and he made a few of those."

At Compton Family Ice Arena

FIRST PERIOD

ND - Austin Wuthrich, 8 (Anders Bjork, Jordan Gross) 17:46. Shots on goal: UNH 9, ND 7; Penalties: UNH 2-4, ND 1-2.

SECOND PERIOD

ND - Steven Fogarty, 5 (Vince Hinostroza, Gross) PP, 2:32; UNH - Warren Foegele, 3 (Kyle Smith) 3:34; UNH - Matias Cleland, 4 (Cameron Marks, Tyler Kelleher) PP, 9:50; ND - Ben Ostlie, 1 (Luke Ripley, Ali Thomas) 8:06. Shots: UNH 12, ND 11; Penalties: ND 1-2, UNH 1-2.

THIRD PERIOD

ND - Tony Bretzman, 1 (Hinostroza, Thomas DiPauli) 2:06; UNH - Kelleher, 9 (Cleland, Marks) 17:27; ND - Fogarty, 6 (unassisted) EN, 18:53. Shots: UNH 10, ND 9; Penalties: ND 1-2, UNH 0-0.

UNH 0 2 1 — 3

ND 1 2 2 —  5

Shots: UNH 31, ND 27; Saves: ND 28 (Chad Katunar), UNH 22 (Danny Tirone); Power plays: ND 1-3, UNH 1-3; Penalties: ND 3-6, UNH 3-6; Attendance: 4,891.