Rallying to force a tie in the series opener at No. 5 Massachusetts-Lowell over the weekend helped the Notre Dame hockey team grab a point on the road.
Defenseman Dennis Gilbert and winger Anders Bjork scored in the second and third period, respectively, Friday to rally the Irish from a 2-0 deficit. Gilbert, a freshman, scored the first goal of his career at 19:17 of the second while on a power play. Bjork followed at 9:55 of the third.
Lowell built its lead with goals from Nick Master and Joe Gambardella.
“Down 2-0 and coming back to tie it 2-2 shows a lot of guts and character,” head coach Jeff Jackson told UND.com.
Goaltender Cal Petersen held off Lowell in the third period and overtime to secure the tie and one point in the Hockey East standings. He made 32 saves total, 18 of which came in the first period.
No. 15 Notre Dame wouldn’t have been able to stage such a rally if not for Petersen’s work in the first period.
“Our goaltender kept us in the game there in the first,” Jackson said. “They had some good chances and especially on the penalty kill her made big saves for us and gave us a chance to get back into the hockey game.”
Lowell (9-1-3, 5-0-3 Hockey East) snatched away the remaining points in the two-game series Saturday with a 3-1 win.
Evan Campbell gave the River Hawks a lead just over five minutes into the second period after a scoreless first 20 minutes. Irish winger Thomas DiPauli evened the game one minute later with his fifth goal of the season.
But Lowell would solve Petersen a couple more times. Nick Master scored at 6:20 of the third period and Adam Chapie threw one into the empty net at 19:56 to put the game away.
Petersen made 13 saves as the Irish (5-3-4, 3-1-2 Hockey East) allowed just 16 shots.
“We held our own versus one of the best teams in the country,” Jackson said. “I’m proud of the guys, I thought they battled hard today we just couldn’t get it done on the power play.”
Notre Dame didn’t score on five power-play chances, including one late in the third period when Jackson pulled Petersen in favor of an extra attacker.
Two of the three Lowell goals came with a man advantage.
“Outside of special teams I thought we did pretty well,” Jackson said. “Give their goaltender credit, I thought he played really well so that’s what you generally need to win when you are on the road – goaltending and special teams – and that worked against us tonight.”