NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Cal Petersen figured it would come, eventually.
But perhaps the Notre Dame goaltender didn’t think it would take so long. Petersen got his first shutout of the campaign on Saturday with a 39-save effort as the 10th-ranked Irish closed the regular season with a 1-0 win over No. 9 Boston University and salvaged a series split.
Petersen, who had four shutouts last season, made 13 saves in each period, including a few spectacular ones.
“It was a steady pace,” Petersen said. “I kinda sat back in the second period and realized how fast it was both ways. Both teams were getting good opportunities. It was a fun game to stay into it. The crowd was into it, so it wasn’t really a sleeper by any means.”
Dylan Malmquist scored the deciding goal at 11:47 of the second period to finish off a power play. Anders Bjork and Jordan Gross picked up the assists while Thomas DiPauli provided distraction in front of Terriers goalie Sean Maguire, who made 27 saves of his own.
Malmquist has 11 goals this season.
Holding onto that lead helped Notre Dame (19-8-7, 15-5-2 Hockey East) solidify its position heading into the league playoffs. The Irish finished alone in third place — behind top seed Boston College and Providence.
Massachusetts-Lowell ended in fourth place and will receive a bye in the first round along with the other top finishers. Boston University slipped to fifth.
Notre Dame locked in its seed with its second win of the season over a ranked opponent and snapped a three-game losing streak in the process. It moved to 2-5-5 against ranked teams this season.
“I think it was huge,” said head coach Jeff Jackson. “I think this was the most important game of the year from a confidence perspective but also knowing how we’re gonna have to play in the playoffs. Keep the game small, not try to do too much, overextend ourselves. We had a few odd-man rushes early in the game but after that settled down. We didn’t give up much after that.”
Boston University (19-10-5, 12-6-4 Hockey East) outshot the Irish 13-7 in a scoreless first period. The Terriers did so again in the second by a 13-7 margin despite surrendering the lead on the Malmquist power-play goal.
But Notre Dame grew into the game in the third period with more of the possession while putting 15 shots on Maguire.
“They did a great job hemming us in our own end,” said BU head coach David Quinn. “I thought as the third period went on we started playing better. We just couldn’t get one by (Petersen). He’s a great goalie.”
Perhaps the best Terriers chance came with around five minutes to go when Danny O’Regan, who has 14 goals this season, got in front of the crease unmarked with the puck. Petersen managed a spectacular pad save to help ensure his shutout and the victory.
Turns out it typified the night.
“I saw that he was over there and he was kinda uncovered,” Petersen said. “When the guy made the pass over there I was able to kinda figure he was gonna try to go back the other way when I went over. I was able to kinda catch my edge when I slid over and be able to kinda push back. It was kind of an educated guess there that he didn’t shoot it right away. I knew he was gonna probably try to pull it back, back to the center where he had more ice. I was lucky to just get a pad on it.”