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Hockey

Zamboni malfunction postpones one game; Irish pick up one win at Northeastern

| Monday, November 14, 2016

As the weekend in Boston concluded with what proved to be an unusual finish for Notre Dame, the Irish were able to come away with a win and a postponed game on the road against Northeastern.

Play on Saturday got underway with the Huskies (3-4-3, 0-3-1 Hockey East) taking the first period as both teams headed to the locker room with Northeastern leading 1-0. In net, junior goaltender Cal Petersen had to stay strong to keep it at one, having faced 12 shots in the first period. He would finish the game with 23 saves total on the night. Both teams went back and forth in the second period with Notre Dame (5-3-1, 2-1-0 Hockey East) getting an early period goal by junior defenseman Jordan Gross and one just before the end of the period by sophomore forward Andrew Oglevie, tying the game at two before the intermission.

Irish junior defenseman Jordan Gross moves the puck up the Ice in Notre Dame's 4-2 loss to UConn on Oct. 27.MacKenzi Marinovich | The Observer

Irish junior defenseman Jordan Gross moves the puck up the Ice in Notre Dame’s 4-2 loss to UConn on Oct. 27.

In the third period, Notre Dame was able to open things up and would pull away with three goals to take the game by a score of 5-2. The scoring got started with freshman forward Cam Morrison deflecting in the pass from defenseman Dennis Gilbert at the point. The deflection just cleared the glove of sophomore Northeastern goaltender Ryan Ruck to give the Irish the critical 3-2 lead about nine minutes into the third. A little while later, goals by junior forward Jake Evans and freshman defenseman Andrew Peeke just over a minute apart sealed the win. For Peeke, this marked his first career goal as his shot from the point was able to find the back of the net. The late surge lifted the Irish to victory, giving Irish head coach Jeff Jackson his 250th win at Notre Dame.

After outscoring Northeastern 3-0 in the final period on Saturday, the Irish are now outscoring opponents 17-6 in third period play. Another point of emphasis from this game was the fact that Notre Dame was able to get a pair of goals from defenseman in Gross and Peeke, and Jackson recognizes how big that is for his team.

“It’s important that our defense is contributing offensively because in this game you don’t win anymore without your defenseman being active,” Jackson said. “Northeastern is always a tough team to generate a lot of stuff on down in around the net, so you have to stand the zone and try to get pucks through because they do a good job blocking shots too. We were fortunate we got a couple through tonight and that’s where traffic can help you score goals.”

In bizarre fashion, the second game of the weekend series between the two programs was called after two periods with both teams skating to a scoreless tie. During the second intermission, a zamboni breakdown and the subsequent issues with ice conditions resulted in the game being postponed with a tentative plan to make up the third period at a later time in the season pending both teams’ schedules. The following statement was made by the Hockey East Association:

Before the delay, during the first forty minutes, both goaltenders were standing strong with Petersen coming up with 16 saves for the Irish while junior Northeastern net minder Jake Theut kept a clean sheet for himself on 22 shots in his first career collegiate start.

Notre Dame will be faced with a quick turnaround time as it will get a series at home underway starting this Thursday against No. 5 UMass-Lowell. The River Hawks currently sit at 7-3-2 on the season and are coming off a split series at home against Maine. Play on Thursday gets underway at 7:35 p.m. at Compton Family Ice Arena.

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