Goalie Petersen points Irish in winning direction
SOUTH BEND -- The reigning Hockey East defensive player of the week made a strong claim Friday night to earn that honor a second week in a row.
Freshman Notre Dame goaltender Cal Petersen stopped 38 shots for his third shutout of the season, helping the Irish beat No. 10 Providence, 2-0.
After Petersen allowed just one goal in 85 minutes against Maine last weekend, he continued his strong play, keeping the Irish ahead early under a Friars barrage. With five minutes left in the second period, Providence held a 26-8 shots-on-goal advantage, but the steady freshman let nothing past.
"That was a tough game for us, we weathered the storm several times and got great goaltending," said Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson. "(Petersen) is feeling pretty good right now. He's seeing the puck pretty well, and that's half the battle."
Vince Hinostroza had a goal and an assist for Notre Dame, which has suddenly found some life as the regular season winds down.
"The chemistry within the locker room is at an all-time high right now," Hinostroza said. "I feel like now, going into the playoffs and this stretch here, everyone is really coming together."
Unbeaten in four straight games, this win was key for the Irish (13-14-4, 8-5-4 HEA) in the Hockey East standings, vaulting them over Providence and into a third-place tie with UMass Lowell. The top four finishers in the league earn first round byes in the postseason tournament, which starts the first week of March.
Providence outshot Notre Dame, 38-19, and the Irish didn't record their first shot of the game until 10:35 had come off the clock. But their second shot was huge -- Hinostroza left a pass for Thomas DiPauli in the slot, where he fired it in under PC goalie Jon Gillies for a power play goal and an early 1-0 lead.
That was Notre Dame's ninth power play goal in its last 10 games and a big confidence boost for the Irish, who were mostly outplayed in the first 20 minutes by the more aggressive, physical Friars (17-10-2, 9-7-1).
That theme held true after two periods, with Providence continuing to pepper Petersen with shots, but the freshman goalie remained unflappable.
"I thought that was a good team shutout," said Providence coach Nate Leaman. "I thought they did a better job around their net with their sticks. They were winning a lot of the battles around the net."
Hinostroza, Notre Dame's top playmaker and leading scorer with 33 points, sat for 10 minutes of the second period after earning a misconduct penalty, but he entered the third period fresh and challenged Gillies several times down the stretch.
Hinostroza eventually found the net when he picked up a rebound in the slot and fired it in to make it 2-0 with 1:39 left.
With Irish captain Steven Fogarty expected to miss the rest of the regular season with a broken finger suffered while blocking a shot last Friday at Maine, Jackson elevated senior defenseman Robbie Russo, the nation's top-scoring blueliner with 11 goals, to captain this week. But Hinostroza's performance of late has been captain-worthy as well -- he's third in the nation with 26 assists and riding an eight-game scoring streak.
"He's skating and that's when he's at his best," Jackson said of Hinostroza. "It's allowed me to use him, especially without Fogarty, on penalty killing. He has become more responsible defensively, which is really important."
At Compton Family Ice Arena
ND - Thomas DiPauli 6 (Vince Hinostroza, Jordan Gross) PP, 11:50. Shots on goal: PC 12, ND 5; Penalties: PC 2-4, ND 1-2.
No scoring. Shots: PC 15, ND 8; Penalties: ND 2-12, PC 1-2.
ND - Hinostroza 7 (Anders Bjork) 18:21. Shots: PC 11, ND 6; Penalties: ND 1-2, PC 0-0.
PC 0 0 0 - 0
ND 1 0 1 - 2
Shots: PC 38, ND 19; Saves: ND 38 (Cal Petersen), PC 17 (Jon Gillies); Power plays: ND 1-3, PC 0-3; Penalties: ND 4-16, ND 3-6; Attendance: 4,562.