Bjork scores 4 in weekend sweep

Anders Bjork scored four goals and tallied seven total points for the Notre Dame hockey team in a two-game sweep of Arizona State over the weekend. Cashing in on power plays proved the order of the series.

Anders Bjork started the hockey season in style.

Bjork scored four goals and totaled seven points as Notre Dame opened by sweeping Arizona State. The Irish scored six power-play goals Friday en route to a 9-2 win then earned the sweep with two third period goals Saturday to grab a 4-2 victory.

“My line mates played really well and set me up for those goals,” Bjork said. “I just had the finish. They made me look good. We were energized and ready to prove ourselves this weekend.”

Notre Dame (2-0-0) started doing so almost immediately.

Bjork scored his first goal of the weekend 33 seconds into Friday’s game to give the Irish a lead. Two more goals followed — Jordan Gross then Bjork again, both on power plays — to make it a 3-0 lead after just over seven minutes.

Bobby Nardella, Andrew Oglevie and Dylan Malmquist each scored power-play goals in the second period as the Sun Devil penalties continued to mount.

Arizona State (0-2-0) piled up 14 penalties, all minors, in the first two periods. After a scrum at the end of the game, it ended up with 31 total penalties and 116 penalty minutes. Notre Dame converted six times on 15 power plays.

“I thought when they stayed with the structure they were really good,” head coach Jeff Jackson said of his power play units. “In the second period I thought they got a little too creative, a little individualistic, and we weren’t as sharp passing the puck. But that’s what happens when you have like a three-goal lead at that time, I think.

“I thought we were good moving the puck and different guys were a threat. That’s what a good power play does. It can’t be just one guy. It’s gotta be two or three guys.”

Nardella scored again at 12:07 of the third and Bo Brauer followed with a goal to make it an 8-1. Brauer scored again to finish off the Irish goal barrage.

Goalie Cal Petersen made 10 saves while allowing one goal in two periods of work. Freshman Cale Morris, making his college debut, made seven saves and let in a goal of his own in the third period.

Arizona State proved a more game opponent Saturday.

Connor Hurley scored just over a minute into the first period to give Notre Dame a lead. But the Sun Devils answered 18 seconds later through Jakob Stridsberg. The score remained 1-1 into the first intermission.

The teams traded goals again in the second period. Bjork scored at 48 seconds on a power play. Arizona State’s Tyler Busch scored a power-play goal of his own at 7:13.

“I’ll give them credit, that was what we expected to see from them,” Jackson said. “I’m glad, the way they played hard tonight forced us to elevate in the third (period) and that helps us heading into next weekend. They made adjustments too and were much better on the penalty kill.”

Arizona State killed eight of nine penalties Saturday while scoring on one of its four chances with the man advantage.

Bjork broke the tie at 1:42 of the third period with his fourth goal of the weekend. Malmquist threw one into an empty net with a minute remaining to clinch the sweep. Petersen needed just five saves to get through the third period.

“I thought we moved our feet better and I thought our conditioning showed up,” Jackson said. “I started with only 11 forwards so playing basically three lines for the third we needed that. But I also thought we got the puck in behind their defensemen more, which was important for us to establish any offensive zone play.”

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