No. 11 Boston overwhelms Notre Dame skaters in final two periods for 5-2 win

Tribune Staff Report
Notre Dame players huddle prior to the Michigan-Notre Dame NCAA hockey game on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana.

BOSTON — No. 19 Notre Dame’s roller-coaster hockey season continued Thanksgiving’s eve against No. 11 Boston University.

The Irish, who haven’t won consecutive games since the middle of October, were outskated and outhustled in the final two periods by the talented Terriers, who scored four times in the final 40 minutes for a 5-2 victory before 3,912 fans at Agganis Arena.

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The loss dropped coach Jeff Jackson’s Fighting Irish to 6-7-2 heading into Friday’s late-afternoon game against long-time foe Boston College in Chestnut Hill. First-year coach Jay Pandolfo’s Terriers, a rival of the Irish during four Hockey East seasons, improved to 8-4-0.

The Irish, who were coming off goaltender Ryan Bischel’s 1-0 shutout victory at Ohio State during which they were outshot 19-3 in the third period, saw the Terriers hold a 34-18 edge in shots on goal in the final two periods. For the game, B.U. finished with a 43-28 edge and also had a 37-29 advantage in faceoffs, including 18-8 in the second period.

Bischel finished with 38 saves, including 15 in each of the last two periods. His B.U. counterpart, Drew Commesso, the youngest (at 19) starter in U.S. Olympic history last winter in Beijing, had 26 saves.

Boston University defenseman Lane Hutson (20) skates during the second period of an NCAA hockey game against UMass Lowell on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, in Lowell, Mass. (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper)

Commesso is one of eight former members of the U.S. Under-18 team playing for the Terriers. One of them, 5-foot-9 freshman defenseman Lane Hutson, had a pair of goals, his fifth and sixth of the season. The Terriers also got goals from senior defenseman Domenick Fensore, senior center Sam Stevens and senior right wing Matt Brown, who added two assists.

Grad defenseman Ben Brinkman, a transfer from Minnesota, and junior Landon Slaggert scored their first goals of the season for the Irish.

Notre Dame actually outshot Boston University 10-9 in the first period and left the ice tied 1-1. Bischel managed to keep it close early as Boston College had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:27 of the period and did not score. Hutson’s first goal came at 9:34 of the period with the teams back at full strength.

Brinkman tied it at 1-1 when he took a nice feed from Justin Janicke and beat Commesso at 16:52. Center Hunter Strand started the goal-scoring play when he fed Janicke, who quickly sent the puck to Brinkman for a one-timer.

Fensore scored the only goal of the second period at 7:49 with assists from fellow defenseman Ty Gallagher and left wing Luke Tuch.

Hutson then put the Terriers up 3-1 just 35 seconds into the third period. But Notre Dame made it a one-goal game again a little over four minutes later when grad center Jackson Pierson, a former Culver Academy standout from Zionsville, Ind., fed Jack Adams for a shot which Commesso stopped. But the 6-foot-6 Adams, a second-year grad student from nearby Boxford, Mass., corralled his own rebound and sent a nice backhand pass to Slaggert, who quickly beat Commesso up high.

But the Terriers regained their advantage. Brown scored a power-play goal at 8:36 and Sam Stevens tipped home a shot by Gallagher from along the boards at 10:40 to close out the scoring.