Notre Dame hockey scores dominating performance against UMass

Irish, Petersen complete sweep of UMass

Steve Lowe Tribune Correspondent
ND Insider

SOUTH BEND — After another dominating performance in goal for Notre Dame, Cal Petersen had one more thing to do Saturday night.

A chat out on the ice with Santa Claus during a post-game skate with fans was in order, possibly to drop a hint about his wish list.

"Maybe a win against Boston College," Petersen said. "Maybe a little early Christmas present."

If Petersen and his Irish teammates continue their play of late, that might just happen next Thursday when ND travels to BC. Anders Bjork scored two goals Saturday night, Connor Hurley had a goal and an assist, and Petersen recorded 28 saves to give No. 20 Notre Dame a Hockey East home sweep of Massachusetts with a 5-1 win.

Petersen gave up just one goal for the third straight game and could be in line for a Hockey East honor next week after stopping 55 of 57 shots on the weekend for Notre Dame (8-4-4, 5-1-2 HEA), which won its third straight to remain in a tie for second place in the league with Boston College.

"Coach (Jeff Jackson) has preached that this was one of the most important weeks of the year," Petersen said. "It's a weekend where you need to get your (league) points. These four points were incredibly big for us."

"Confidence is everything," Jackson said. "The fact that we've had some success in the last three games couldn't have come at a better time. And that was probably the best weekend for Cal Petersen, as well."

UMass (6-7-4, 2-4-4) lost its fourth straight and is winless in its last eight games.

Like they did Friday night, Notre Dame's top line got things going early with a goal in the first four minutes of the game, and once again, it was from Steven Fogarty. The captain's sixth of the year came on a 3-on-2 break with linemates Sam Herr and Mario Lucia when Herr dropped a pass to Lucia in the slot. His shot missed wide but hit the skates of Fogarty as he circled around from behind the net and deflected in.

"They gave us a lot of high-quality minutes," Jackson said of that top line. "They played the whole weekend against (UMass') top line, which is a very dangerous line."

The Minutemen got off to a better start than in Friday's 3-1 ND win, but the Irish still came out of the first period with the lead. After Shane Walsh tied the game with his 11th goal of the season, Dylan Malmquist made it 2-1 with his sixth of the year.

Irish center Jake Evans won a faceoff cleanly to Malmquist, who snapped a high wrist shot from the top of the right circle, over UMass goalie Nic Renyard's glove with 11 minutes left in the period.

Hurley made it a two-goal lead five minutes into the second period. With a delayed penalty call coming on the Minutemen, ND got the extra attacker on the ice, and Andy Ryan sent a shot toward the net. Hurley was set up in front and redirected the puck just inside the left goal post.

Bjork scored both of his goals in the third period as the Irish peppered Renyard with 17 of their 34 shots on goal and added to their lead until it became a rout.

"Tonight might have been more of a complete sixty minutes game for us than even (Friday) night," Jackson said. "I was most pleased with the third period.

"That was probably our best third period of the season."

FIRST PERIOD

ND - Steven Fogarty, 6 (Mario Lucia, Sam Herr) 3:33; UM - Shane Walsh, 11 (Steven Iacobellis, Ray Pigozzi) 6:11; ND - Dylan Malmquist, 6 (Jake Evans) 8:52. Shots on goal: UM 13, ND 8; Penalties: ND 1-2, UM 1-2.

SECOND PERIOD

ND - Connor Hurley, 2 (Andy Ryan Luke Ripley) EX, 4:55. Shots: ND 9, UM 6; Penalties: ND 1-2, UM 1-2.

THIRD PERIOD

ND - Anders Bjork, 4 (Thomas DiPauli, Hurley) 2:03; Bjork, 5 (Jordan Gross, DiPauli) 16:57. Shots: ND 17, UM 10; Penalties: UM 2-4, ND 1-2.

UM 1 0 0 - 1

ND 2 1 2 - 5

Shots: ND 34, UM 29; Saves: UM 29 (Nic Renyard), ND 28 (Cal Petersen); Power plays: ND 0-4, UM 0-2; Penalties: UM 4-8, ND 3-6; Attendance: 5,022.