Boston College cools Notre Dame hockey team's hot streak

Steve Lowe
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND — With a resounding thud, Notre Dame's streak is dead.

The national's longest unbeaten streak, 12 games coming into Friday night (9-0-3), came to an end in front of capacity crowd at Compton Family Ice Arena at the hands of a talented Boston College team looking for some payback.

Goaltender Thatcher Demko stopped all 28 Notre Dame shots, and No. 5 Boston College punished the 10th-ranked Irish, 4-0, to avenge a last-second loss to Notre Dame back on Dec. 10, at BC.

"I thought Thatcher was just in control of the game," said legendary BC coach Jerry York, who earlier this month recorded his 1,000th career victory. "You can win a game with his play."

With league leader UMass Lowell on the road for a non-conference matchup at Arizona State, Boston College (17-4-4, 10-1-4 HEA) took sole possession of first place in Hockey East, while Notre Dame dropped to third.

The Irish (14-5-7, 10-2-2), who averaged four goals per game during their unbeaten streak, were shut out for the first time this season. Head coach Jeff Jackson had concerns coming into this one, following what he said was a disappointing week of practice.

"That told me something," Jackson said. "I don't think we were as sharp as we needed to be this week in practice.

"We came off a pretty good streak here, and it was bound to end. And this will help get attention back."

Boston College got their attention right away with a goal just 16 seconds into the game. After a Steve Santini shot deflected hard off the boards behind Cal Petersen, Austin Cangelosi crashed hard and whacked the puck past the Irish goaltender.

"That puts you on your heels," Jackson said. "I'd been stressing all week about being emotionally in control, because we are a younger group. I think that was a factor, just being too amped up, and I think things spiraled."

The Eagles made it 2-0 with 7:05 left in the first period, when they converted an Irish turnover just outside the ND blue line into Colin White's 15th goal of the season.

The Notre Dame struggles deepened in the second period, despite several strong saves from Petersen. BC outshot the Irish, 18-5, in the frame and doubled its lead.

"We did not respond well to that," said senior assistant captain Sam Herr. "We didn't play our game and didn't stick to our system at all."

Gilmour made it a three-goal BC lead with five minutes left in the second period, when Miles Wood threaded a pretty pass ahead to Gilmour, who simply had to tap it in.

Zach Sanford's 5-on-3 power play goal less than three minutes later made it 4-0.

Petersen kept it there by stopping White's penalty shot with no time left on the second-period clock. He finished with 35 saves.

"There was definitely a comfort level this week in practice," Herr said. "We were lazy, it's pretty safe to say.

"We got complacent, and guys are going to realize that was an issue why we didn't come out strong tonight."

FIRST PERIOD

BC — Austin Cangelosi, 11 (Steve Santini) 0:16; BC — Colin White, 15 (Miles Wood, Adam Gilmour) 12:55. Shots on goal: ND 14, BC 11; Penalties: BC 1-2, ND 0-0.

SECOND PERIOD

BC — Gilmour, 7 (Wood, Ian McCoshen) 14:58; BC — Zach Sanford, 7 (Alex Tuch, White) PP, 19:35. Shots: BC 18, ND 5; Penalties: ND 4-8, 1-2.

THIRD PERIOD

No scoring. Shots: BC 10, ND 9; Penalties: ND 3-14, BC 3-6.

BC 2 2 0 - 4

ND 0 0 0 - 0

Shots: BC 39, ND 28; Saves: ND 35 (Cal Petersen), BC 28 (Thatcher Demko); Power plays: BC 1-5, ND 0-5; Penalties: ND 7-22, BC 5-10; Attendance: 5,372.