Irish tie Bulldogs in both games of homestand
Zach Klonsinski | Tuesday, October 27, 2015
After a pair of games both head coaches called “mirror images” of one another last weekend, Notre Dame and No. 5 Minnesota Duluth skated to a pair of 3-3 ties Friday and Saturday at Compton Family Ice Arena.
The Bulldogs (2-1-2) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead just over 10 minutes into the first period Friday on goals by senior forward Austin Farley and junior forward Alex Iafallo.
It was the penalty kill unit though, led by senior center and team captain Steven Fogarty, that jumpstarted the Irish (1-1-2) midway through the second period.
Fogarty made a spinning poke check on a Duluth player just over the Irish blue line, then picked up the loose puck and raced into the Duluth zone on an odd-man rush for the Irish. Fogarty cut to the middle of the ice and fed the puck back to junior defenseman Justin Wade, who blasted a one-timer past Duluth sophomore goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo to cut the Irish deficit to one goal.
“That was almost like a perfect drill-type situation we did this past week,” Wade said of the goal. “I just threw it on net as hard as I could. Just got it off. I had two people behind me, and we’re on the [penalty] kill, so I wanted to just put it on net, and I wasn’t really expecting a goal.”
Freshman defenseman Bobby Nardella evened the game just four minutes later, carrying the puck into the corner of the Duluth zone and throwing it towards the front of the net. The puck careened perfectly off a Bulldog defenseman’s skate and into the net for Nardella’s first career collegiate goal.
Duluth once again pulled in front five minutes into the third period on a tally by senior forward Austyn Young, but the Irish pulled even again just two minutes later on a power play goal by senior left wing Sam Herr. Sophomore defenseman Jordan Gross found Fogarty along the goal line to Kaskisuo’s right. Fogarty one-timed the pass to Herr standing alone in front of the net, and the goal-scorer redirected it just inside the far post to bring the game to its final score.
It was Notre Dame’s turn to get off to the hot start Saturday.
Midway through the first period Irish freshman left wing Dylan Malmquist zipped into the Bulldog zone and sent a shot on goal from the top of the left circle. Kaskisuo appeared to have control of the shot, but it ramped up his stick and snuck under his armpit and into the net to give the Irish the 1-0 lead.
Notre Dame extended the lead to 2-0 five minutes into the second period when senior center Thomas DiPauli knocked home a rebound goal on the power play off a shot by sophomore left wing Anders Bjork.
Later, the Irish increased their lead to 3-1 on Malmquist’s second goal of the night and third of the season, after senior forward Tony Cameranesi scored to pull the Bulldogs within one. Sophomore center Jake Evans, who went 26-11 on faceoffs over the weekend, won an offensive zone draw cleanly, and the puck came right back to Malmquist who one-timed a laser over the glove of Kaskisuo.
Notre Dame failed to hold the lead, however, as Cameranesi scored his second goal of the game and then picked up his third point with the primary assist on the tying goal by Bulldog freshman defenseman Neal Pionk just three minutes into the third period.
“There were points in time in the first period we started to see what this team’s going to be capable of once we get consistent in our game,” Irish head coach Jeff Jackson said. “There’s glimpses of what we can do with our speed and our transition game, but it’s just a matter of putting it all together. It’s early in the year. It’s a lot of young guys, so over time I would assume they have a chance of being pretty good.”
Notre Dame’s penalty kill units stole the show all weekend as the Irish were a perfect 12-for-12, including a five-minute major kill Friday, after giving up seven goals last weekend against Penn State. The Irish were led by strong performances in net by sophomore goaltender Cal Petersen and 30 combined blocked shots, including a 20-block performance Saturday night.
“[Notre Dame] got in shot lanes,” Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin said. “… At the end of it, you’ve got to give them credit for doing a hell of a job killing. I know that we’re not that bad, but they did a good job [on the penalty kill].”
Of the penalty kill, Jackson said, “Cal makes the difference. He did a pretty good job controlling his rebounds on the penalty kill, and that’s a big factor.
“Justin Wade is a man out there, and I’m so impressed with him. He blocks shots. He’s a warrior.
“We’ve got other guys who are doing a good job. … Up front, this weekend I felt good about some combinations we put together.”
Notre Dame is back in action this weekend when the Irish begin Hockey East play against Connecticut. Saturday’s puck drop is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. at XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, while Sunday the Irish and Huskies take to the ice at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, at 2:35 p.m.