NOTRE DAME, Ind. - One faulty period kept the Notre Dame hockey team from a coveted series sweep.
Three second period goals Saturday helped No. 10 Providence to a 3-2 win at the Compton Family Ice Arena, which salvaged a split after the Irish won Friday’s series opener. Providence (18-10-2) moved up to fourth place in the Hockey East standings. Notre Dame is tied for fifth.
“It’s disappointing,” head coach Jeff Jackson said. “I thought we went toe-to-toe with them this weekend. Actually, I thought we had better success getting out of our zone (Saturday) and obviously our special teams were very good. But I just thought we broke down defensively a few times too many.”
Kevin Rooney scored at 5:16 of the second period Saturday to open the scoring, which all happened before the intermission.
Notre Dame (13-15-4) answered with a Robbie Russo power-play goal at 7:32 before Providence rattled off two more — Ross Mauermann at 9:19 and Rooney again at 13:26 — to take a 3-1 lead into the final seconds of the period.
Sam Herr then scored a second Irish power-play goal at 19:58 when a centering pass ricocheted off Friars forward Steven McParland and through goalie John Gillies.
But the 3-2 Providence lead stood in the third period as Notre Dame mustered just five shots on Gillies while taking three penalties along the way. Gillies finished with 23 saves, 14 of which came in the first period alone.
“There were three penalties that period,” Jackson said. “It certainly killed any momentum, plus right now obviously without two of our top six forwards guys get tired, especially when they’re killing penalties. The power play, they weren’t gonna give us another power play because the power play was doing pretty good.”
Steven Fogarty missed both games against Providence and is likely out the rest of the regular season with a broken finger. Austin Wuthrich missed Saturday’s game after suffering an upper body injury Friday.
Goalie Cal Petersen made 32 saves for Notre Dame in the losing effort, turning in a second straight strong performance.
Petersen made 38 saves Friday in leading the Irish to a 2-0 win, marking his third shutout of the season. Petersen stopped 70 of the 73 shots he faced during the series, good for a .958 save percentage.
“I thought he was great in everything,” Russo said. “He stopped everything. Tipped pucks, you can’t really do anything about that, bad bounce off a blocked shot. I thought he had a great weekend.”
Thomas DiPauli scored on the power play at 11:50 of the first period Friday on an assist from Vince Hinostroza, his 26th of the season. Hinostroza scored at 18:21 of the third period to seal the victory.
Anders Bjork assisted on the Hinostroza goal then added two more helpers Saturday, bringing his total to 11 this season.
“I think we’ve dropped all expectations for our line,” Hinostroza said. “I think we had a lot coming in at the beginning of the season. I think we dropped that and got back to our game, working hard and making plays. I think we’ve been really successful the past few weekends for that reason.”