Irish hockey forces Game 3

Tribune Staff Report
ND Insider

LOWELL, Mass. – Mario Lucia had the game-winning goal and an assist during a third period rally Saturday night as the Notre Dame team downed No. 14 UMass Lowell, 4-2, to force a decisive third game of their Hockey East quarterfinal series on Sunday at 4 p.m. EDT at the River Hawks’ Tsongas Center.

Notre Dame (18-18-5) is 5-1 in elimination games during the Hockey East tournament. UMass Lowell  is 19-11-6.

The Irish overcame a pair of deficits on Saturday night and a disallowed goal. 

“This was the way we should have come out last night, with a little more fire in our eyes,’’ Irish coach Jeff Jackson said of the 5-0 Friday loss. “ I thought we played with more passion.

Nearly six minutes into the second period, Steven Fogarty shook a puck loose in the corner, squirting it to Sam Herr all alone in the slot who beat UMass Lowell netminder Kevin Boyle at 5:55. The goal would be disallowed by video review for an earlier offsides infraction. Six minutes later at 9:55, Herr beat Boyle a second time to tie the game at 1-1. Connor Hurley won a neutral zone face off and fed Herr who crossed the blue line after the puck and fired a snap shot past Boyle’s glove from the top of the circles for his 12th goal of the year.

UMass Lowell retook the lead, 2-1, on its second power play strike of the night. 

Notre Dame equalized 4:43 into the third period. Lucia intercepted a pass between the two River Hawk defensemen and raced down the right wing with the puck. Lucia’s shot was saved by Boyle but Anders Bjork trailed the play and scored on the rebound to tie the game at 2-2.

Lucia put the Irish ahead for good on the power play at 10:30 of the third period. Vince Hinostroza and Jordan Gross worked the puck around the offensive zone, finding Lucia for a 30-foot blast past Boyle. The Irish ensured their first victory over UMass Lowell when Fogarty stole a puck in the neutral zone and sent it to Peter Schneider for an empty net goal with 7.6 seconds showing on the clock.

Notre Dame goaltender Cal Petersen made 25 saves, including nine in the third period.