Cal Petersen a saving grace as Notre Dame blanks BU

Steve Lowe
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame goaltender Cal Petersen picked a good time to finally pick up his first shutout of the season.

Mired in a three-game losing streak and struggling to beat a ranked team, the 10th-ranked Irish needed every one of Petersen's 39 saves against No. 9 Boston, Saturday night.

Dylan Malmquist scored a power-play goal in the second period for the only scoring, and Petersen made it hold up with some huge stops down the stretch of a 1-0 Irish win over the Terriers to clinch third place in Hockey East.

"I told the guys this morning we may have to win 1-0, and obviously, Cal was listening," Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said. "He was phenomenal. He played extremely well and saved the game at the end."

Petersen's biggest save of the game came with five minutes to play, when he stretched across the crease to stone BU leading scorer Danny O'Regan at the doorstep with his right pad.

"I was lucky just to get a pad on it," Petersen said.

Boston coach David Quinn was a bit more impressed by the play.

"The save he makes on O'Regan was unbelievable," Quinn said. "We just couldn't get one by him."

With the regular season over, the Irish (19-8-7, 15-5-2 Hockey East) will relax next weekend with a first-round bye in the Hockey East Tournament. Boston (19-10-5, 12-6-4) fell to fifth place in the league and will host UMass in the first round next weekend.

Almost as important for the Irish, they picked up their second win over a ranked team (2-5-5 for the season) at just the right time.

"This was huge," Jackson said. "I think this was the most important game of the year, from a confidence perspective, but also knowing how we're going to have to play in the playoffs."

After a scoreless first period that saw the Irish struggle to get any kind of offensive pressure going in front of BU goalie Sean Maguire, they opened the second period by killing a pair of penalties.

Just over six minutes into the second, the Irish finally got some of their own momentum going, when Mario Lucia banged a shot off the left goal post and Steven Fogarty fired off a shot from the right side of the slot that went just high.

Despite being outshot nearly 2-to-1 at that point, Notre Dame finally broke through on the power play, when Malmquist fired a parallel shot along the red line that Maguire lost in his pads before it slipped through for a 1-0 lead midway through the second.

"Special teams certainly were the difference," Quinn said. "They get a power-play goal, and we weren't able to capitalize on our three (power plays). I thought it really zapped some of our momentum."

Petersen made the lead stand up with a nifty glove save on Ryan Cloonan with 3:30 left in the middle period, and a block save on Matt Grzelcyk a minute later.

"If I was going to rank it, this would be one of my more proud moments I've had at Notre Dame," Petersen said. "As a team, this was probably our most complete 60-minute game."

FIRST PERIOD

No scoring. Shots on goal: BU 13, ND 7; Penalties: ND 1-2, BU 0-0.

SECOND PERIOD

ND - Dylan Malmquist, 11 (Anders Bjork, Jordan Gross) PP, 11:47. Shots: BU 13, ND 6; Penalties: ND 2-4, BU 2-4.

THIRD PERIOD

No scoring. Shots: ND 15, BU 13; Penalties: None.

BU 0 0 0 - 0

ND 0 1 0 - 1

Shots: BU 39, ND 28; Saves: ND 39 (Cal Petersen), BU 27 (Sean Maguire); Power plays: ND 1-2, BU 0-3; Penalties: ND 3-6, BU 2-4; Attendance: 5,022.

Notre Dame goalie Cal Petersen gets ready to make a stop during hockey action between Maine and Notre Dame Friday Feb. 12, 2016 in South Bend, Ind. (Joe Raymond photo)