Notre Dame hockey pummels UMass

Goalie Petersen stays hot, earns 4th shutout

Steve Lowe
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND — Cal Petersen is prepared to do whatever it takes to keep Notre Dame's hockey season alive.

This weekend, it took 132 saves over three games, including an NCAA-record 87 on Friday night/Saturday morning alone, to make that happen. But Petersen didn't need to do nearly that much on Sunday.

The freshman Irish goalie and Buffalo Sabres prospect stopped all 23 Massachusetts shots he saw to earn his fourth shutout of the season, and the Irish advanced to the quarterfinals of the Hockey East tournament with a 7-0 win to finish off the Minutemen, two games to one.

"My legs are kind of feeling it a little bit," Petersen said. "But if stopping 132 shots on the weekend is what helps do it for the team, then that's what I'm asked to do."

Those record 87 saves came in Notre Dame's only loss, 4-3 in five overtimes — the longest game in NCAA history. The magnitude of that game, and the weekend in whole, has yet to fully hit Petersen.

"I think right now, I'm still a little bit in the moment, but it will be good to have the day off (Monday) and recoup a little bit," he said. "The biggest thing is, we got two wins when our backs were against the wall, and we're moving on to our next opponent."

Thomas DiPauli scored twice and the No. 5 seed Irish used five second-period goals to take the drama out of the deciding game early. Now they'll travel to face No. 4 seed UMass Lowell next weekend. The Irish (17-17-5) went 0-1-1 in two games against the River Hawks at home back in December, and are 0-4-1 against them all time.

Notre Dame kept up the momentum of a three-goal third period Saturday night by scoring 48 seconds in on a wrist shot by DiPauli near the blue line that ticked off the glove of UMass netminder Steve Mastalerz.

"We kept on telling guys to put the puck on net and Tommy DiPauli was the only one that was listening," said Irish coach Jeff Jackson. "You think of all the breaks that we had against us this year, it's good for a few to fall our way."

After notching 91 shots on goal in game one, the Minutemen (11-23-2) didn't record their first official shot on goal Sunday until 11:50 had ticked off the clock. Things would not get better from there for them.

The floodgates opened in the second period for the Irish, starting with DiPauli's second goal, which was a near mirror image of the first. The only Irish player in the offensive zone, DiPauli snapped a shot around a UMass defender, and Mastalerz again failed to grab it.

"The second time, I was like, 'Why not shoot it again?'" DiPauli said. "It was the same spot and maybe (Mastalerz) would be caught off guard again, and that's exactly what happened."

With 9:13 left in the second period, Anders Bjork drove hard to the UMass net and was hauled down by Minutemen defender Maddison Smiley. Bjork slid hard into Mastalerz, who landed on his back and immediately signaled to the UMass bench for the trainers.

In obvious pain and unable to put pressure on his right leg, Mastalerz was helped to the locker room. Minutemen coach John Micheletto did not have an update on his senior goaltender's status after the game.

Mastalerz was replaced by Henry Dill, who was not greeted kindly by the Irish. Steven Fogarty and Connor Hurley scored on the first two shots Dill saw, 14 seconds apart, and Notre Dame added two more to make it 6-0 before the horn sounded on the second period.

Jackson said overcoming the difficult loss in game one to ultimately win the series showed the growth of his team in what has been an uneven season.

"It's a test of their character, because it wasn't just the length of the game, but losing the game is deflating," Jackson said. "It shows a lot of guts."

Notre Dame 7, UMass 0

At Compton Family Ice Arena

FIRST PERIOD

ND Thomas DiPauli 7 (Peter Schneider, Andy Ryan) 0:48. Shots on goal: ND 7, UM 3; Penalties: U 3-6, ND 2-4.

SECOND PERIOD

ND - DiPauli 8 (Schneider, Ryan) 6:42; ND - Steven Fogarty 9 (unassisted) 11:04; ND - Connor Hurley 4 (Justin Wade) 11:18; ND - Luke Ripley 2 (Vince Hinostroza, Mario Lucia) 18:47; ND - Robbie Russo 13 (Jordan Gross, Hinostroza) PP, 19:08. Shots: ND 18, UM 10; Penalties: UM 4-8, ND 3-6.

THIRD PERIOD

ND - Austin Wuthrich 10 (Schneider, Fogarty) 19:34. Shots: UM 10, ND 7; Penalties: ND 1-2, UM 1-2.

UM 0 0 0 — 0

ND 1 5 1 —  7

Shots: ND 32, UM 23; Saves: UM 27 (Steve Mastalerz 16, Henry Dill 9), ND 23 (Cal Petersen); Power plays: ND 1-6, UM 0-4; Penalties: UM 8-16, ND 6-12; Attendance: 3,368.

Notre Dame goaltender Cal Petersen makes a stop in the first period of Hockey East playoff action at the Compton Family Ice Arena Sunday March 8, 2015 in South Bend, Ind. (SBT Photo/Joe Raymond)