NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Two Hockey East series down and Notre Dame is yet to experience defeat.
Goalie Cal Petersen made 32 saves Friday in a 2-2 tie against to keep that unbeaten record in tact, coming on the heels of a 3-2 win the previous night. Notre Dame is 5-2-3 overall and 3-0-1 in league play.
Northeastern (1-8-2, 0-4-2 Hockey East) scored the game-tying goal at 5:53 of the third period Friday to escape a sweep. Matt Benning beat Petersen high on a shot from the slot.
“I thought we had a little bit of a push after that (game-tying goal),” Jeff Jackson told UND.com. “Their goaltender played really well tonight I thought, and so did ours. It was a pretty high tempo game.”
Jake Evans staked the Irish to a 1-0 lead Friday at 9:00 of the first period on assists from Anders Bjork and Thomas DiPauli. Connor Hurley then scored his first goal of the season early in the second period to make it a two-goal lead.
Northeastern cut into the lead at 13:33 of the second when the puck escaped Petersen in a goal mouth scramble, setting the stage for Benning’s tying goal in the third.
“We needed to capitalize more on power-play chances, that could have been the difference in the game,” Jackson added. “We’ve been a little inconsistent there in the last couple weekends.”
Notre Dame went 1-for-5 on the power play Friday.
Defenseman Jordan Gross pushed the Irish to a lead Thursday in the 3-2 victory with a pair of first period goals.
He struck on the power play at 5:54 with a shot from the point. Sam Herr screened Northeastern goalie Ryan Ruck, who never saw the shot before it went over his shoulder and into the net. Gross added another at 13:18 by tracking a rebound and tapping the puck in as it sat in the crease, giving him five goals this season.
“I think it’s in a really good spot right now,” Gross said of his offensive game. “I’m very confident with the puck. The forwards and my D partner are doing a really good job of getting open, so it’s helping me a lot just being surrounded by really good players.”
Northeastern worked its way back into the game in the second period before the Irish steadied themselves to maintain their lead.
Andrew Oglevie scored the first goal of his college career at 3:05 of the second to give Notre Dame a 3-0 lead. Jake Evans assisted for his second of the night. But Northeastern answered with goals by Zach Aston-Reese and Brendan Collier at 6:40 and 7:08, respectively, to pull within one goal.
Notre Dame’s lead looked even more precarious at 14:21 when defenseman Andy Ryan took a five-minute major penalty for contact to the head. He also received a game misconduct.
Ryan headed to the locker room as the Irish went on an extended penalty kill with a 3-2 lead.
“We have to get great effort out of a couple defensemen and six forwards tonight,” head coach Jeff Jackson said. “They all did a pretty good job. It all started from face offs. I thought we did a better job in those areas.”
Northeastern didn’t manage a single shot on goal during the major penalty and just four total in the second period.
After allowing the two goals, Petersen righted himself in the third period. He made nine saves for 23 total in his fifth win of the season.
“Obviously, after you let up a goal it’s a reset process,” Petersen said. “I think the team did a fantastic job, especially on the kill. The five-minute kill was huge, obviously, limited their chances in the second period was big. Whenever teams get quick two goals, I think in the past or with a younger team you’re kinda looking for guys to be on their heels. But I think we’re very resilient. That obviously showed with the way we controlled the rest of the period.”