Thomas DiPauli registered four points Sunday in pacing Notre Dame hockey to an 8-2 win over Connecticut at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, capping a weekend sweep to begin the Hockey East slate.
Notre Dame (3-1-2, 2-0-0 Hockey East) captured a 2-1 win Saturday in the series opener, played at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.
DiPauli joined Jake Evans and Dylan Malmquist with first period goals Sunday to take a 3-0 lead. Steven Fogarty and Joe Wegwerth then scored in the second period to make it a 5-1 lead over the Huskies heading into the second intermission.
“We were fortunate to jump on them early and it gave us some life,” head coach Jeff Jackson told UND.com. “The first couple of shifts they were all over us. Once we scored that first goal, we loosened up and started playing the way we want to play – good transitions and fast out of our own end.”
Bobby Nardella scored his second goal of the season at 1:48 of the third period and Tony Bretzman got credit for another after an errant Connecticut pass ended up in its net. Anders Bjork scored his first of the season at 9:13 of the third for an 8-1 lead.
Goaltender Cal Petersen allowed a second goal midway through the third period en route to a 19-save performance. Connecticut’s other goal came at 14:38 of the second period when Patrick Kirtland finished off an odd-man rush.
Notre Dame went a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and 1-for-2 on the power play with Fogarty’s goal coming on the man advantage.
“We made some progress (Sunday), I thought we played a 60-minute hockey game for the first time this season and our special teams have been a real positive for us,” Jackson said. “All four lines played and when all four lines are playing, that means we are playing well – staying out of the penalty box, rolling four lines and playing with speed.”
Opening the two-game series on top wasn’t easy and required Sam Herr’s game-winning goal at 12:36 of the third period.
Notre Dame scored first in that game after opening the second period on a power play. Petersen stopped a Connecticut shorthanded chance, which sprung a 4-on-2 break that would lead to Jordan Gross getting an open look in the slot, which he buried for a 1-0 lead.
Miles Gendron tied it for Connecticut (3-4-0, 1-3-0 Hockey East) at 5:05 of the second, jamming a rebound past Petersen.
Mario Lucia assisted on both Saturday goals.
Petersen saved 14 of the 15 shots he faced.
“I thought Cal Petersen really made a difference (Saturday), especially at the end,” Jackson said. “I always compare a goalie in the third period to a closer in baseball, you have to have that ability to step up when the game is on the line and he has shown that growth over the last six months.”