Three unanswered goals, including two in the third period, lifted No. 6 Notre Dame to a series split at No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth over the weekend.
Defenseman Jordan Gross scored his second of the season at 5:01 of the third to break a 1-1 tie. Dylan Malmquist followed with a goal of his own 55 seconds later to send the Irish (3-1-0) to a 3-1 win in the series finale on Saturday.
Duluth (3-1-2) won Friday’s opener, 4-3.
“It’s early in the season but this was a big series with two teams that are potentially going to be really solid this year,” head coach Jeff Jackson told UND.com. “Playing in their building it was a tough environment but our guys did a really nice job. It was probably our first 60-minute hockey game of the season. That was the effort we needed to have in that type of environment.”
Adam Johnson gave Duluth the lead Saturday at 1:53 of the second period. Andrew Oglevie tied it up at 1-1 with a power-play goal almost 14 minutes later.
Notre Dame cashed in on that power play while holding Duluth without a goal on its four opportunities with the man advantage. Goalie Cal Petersen, who made 27 saves overall and 13 in the first period, played a big part in those penalty kills.
“I thought our guys did a nice job on the penalty kill, but still your goalie has to be the last line of defense,” Jackson said. “He made some really tough saves, we left some people open on the backside a couple times. He played the way he is capable of.”
Malmquist set up Oglevie’s goal, then did so again in the third period, picking up his fifth assist in four games when Gross broke the 1-1 tie.
Gross picked up an assist, along with center Connor Hurley, when Malmquist scored. That rounded out a strong night for Hurley’s line as it accounted for both even strength goals in the third period.
“You have to be good when it matters most and in the third,” Jackson said, “Cal made some great saves for us and the Hurley line did a nice job generating some offense. All four lines contributed tonight which was great and the Hurley line really made a difference in the third.”
Notre Dame mustered a split with Duluth after a wild start to the series.
Each team scored three goals Friday in the first period. Oglevie scored a power-play goal at 7:12 to begin the barrage. Duluth then scored two in a row — Willie Raskob (power play) and Adam Johnson at 9:03 and 13:12, respectively — to take a brief lead.
Freshman Cam Morrison made it a 2-2 game at 15:35 with a power-play goal.
Alex Iafallo beat Petersen to push Duluth back into the lead at 18:04, but 17 seconds later Anders Bjork scored his fifth goal of the season to make it 3-3 at the first intermission. Petersen faced 14 shots in the first period alone.
Duluth put 12 more shots on Petersen in the second and one made its way through — Johnson scored his second goal of the game at 6:09 for a 4-3 lead that held up.
Petersen finished with 28 saves. Duluth goalie Nick Deery made 12 stops over the final two periods to preserve the lead. Notre Dame managed only four shots in the second period and another eight in the third.