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Hockey

Notre Dame fends off Northeastern’s late rally

| Friday, November 13, 2015

Pucks were flying at Compton Family Ice Arena on Thursday night as No. 18 Notre Dame took down Northeastern, 3-2.

For the second weekend in a row, the Irish (5-2-2, 3-0-0 Hockey East) got off to a quick start before experiencing a drop off, having to fend off the Huskies (1-8-1, 0-4-1) en route to a hard fought win. Irish head coach Jeff Jackson said the team’s play was streaky at times, giving up several big plays to the Huskies before reasserting themselves.

“We had a couple blunders there, two mistakes with the puck, and that’s the strength of [Northeastern’s] team is that they can capitalize,” Jackson said. “We held on and responded.”

Sophomore defenseman Jordan Gross passes the puck during Notre Dame’s 3-2 win over Northeastern on Thursday. Michael Yu | The Observer

Sophomore defenseman Jordan Gross passes the puck during Notre Dame’s 3-2 win over Northeastern on Thursday.

The Irish netted two goals in the first period alone, with the first coming from sophomore defenseman Jordan Gross with assists from senior center Steven Fogarty and senior left wing Sam Herr. Gross said his ability to take advantage of open spots on the ice and his teammates’ ability to find him with the puck helped him score the first Irish goal of the night.

“There was a big seam open, so I found it and Mario [Lucia] made a nice pass up to the blue line, I don’t even think the goalie saw that one,” Gross said.

Jackson said Gross stepped up for the Irish, who were down a defensemen after senior blueliner Andy Ryan received a game misconduct penalty for contact to the head. Jackson said he noticed that Gross and the remaining defensemen elevated their play and the entire defensive front played a key role in the Irish victory.

“It’s a coordinated effort. We were playing with three defensemen there for a little bit, so we have to get great effort out of a couple pairs of defensemen,” Jackson said.

“[Gross] has savvy, he has poise, and he is deceptive at the blue line because he has the ability to pump and get a guy to move, and he has the innate ability to do that.”

Gross netted his second goal later in the first period at the 13:18 mark off assists from freshman left wing Dylan Malmquist and sophomore center/right wing Jake Evans.

“I took a shot from a pass from [Dylan] Malmquist and followed my own rebound, and the puck was just laying in the crease, so I just tapped it in,” Gross said.

The third and final Irish goal came from freshman center Andrew Oglevie at the 3:05 mark of the second period. Evans tallied his second assist of the night on a backhand pass that led to the goal. It was Oglevie’s first goal at Notre Dame.

Northeastern came storming back almost immediately after Oglevie’s second-period goal, scoring two goals in less than one minute at 6:40 and 7:08 of the second period. The Irish were able to hang on for the win thanks to the play of sophomore goaltender Cal Petersen down the stretch, Jackson said. Petersen had 23 saves for the Irish over the course of the game in order to seal the Irish victory.

“After you let up a goal, it’s a reset process, but the team did a really great job, especially on the five-minute [penalty] kill [after Ryan’s major penalty],” Petersen said. “With a younger team, you’re looking for guys to play on their heels, but we were very resilient, and it really showed in the way that we controlled the rest of the period.”

Notre Dame returns to the ice tomorrow night looking to take the second game and sweep the series against Northeastern. The puck drops at Compton Family Ice Arena at 7:35 p.m.

Irish sophomore goaltender Cal Petersen blocks a shot during Notre Dame’s 3-2 victory over Northeastern on Thursday night at Compton Family Ice Arena. Peterson recorded 23 saves during the game. Michael Yu | The Observer

Irish sophomore goaltender Cal Petersen blocks a shot during Notre Dame’s 3-2 victory over Northeastern on Thursday night at Compton Family Ice Arena. Peterson recorded 23 saves during the game.

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