Notre Dame beats No. 9 Boston College as Cal Petersen records 55 saves
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame hockey played in its traditional Senior Night kelly green uniforms but goaltender Cal Petersen left No. 9 Boston College seeing red. The freshman made 55 saves to lead the Irish to a 3-1 win at the Compton Family Ice Arena. It is the third week in a row where Notre Dame has defeated a top 10 opponent, joining a Feb. 13 win against No. 10 Providence and a Feb. 21 victory againsts No. 2 Boston University.
Petersen, who has earned one of Hockey East's weekly honors each of the past three weeks staked a claim to a fourth has he made 88 saves on 91 shots this weekend against the No. 9 Eagles. In the month of February, Petersen stopped 279 out of 290 shots, a .962 save percentage that led the nation.
The last time a Notre Dame netminder has stopped as many as 50 shots in a game came on Oct. 22, 2004 when Morgan Cey blocked 50 in a 3-2 win against Boston College.
Notre Dame wraps up its regular season at 15-16-5 with the win and 10-7-5 in Hockey East play. It is the fourth time in the past five years that the Irish have hit double digits in league play. BC wraps up the regular season at 20-11-3 overall and 12-7-3 in the league.
Buoyed by a combination of Senior Night ceremonies, the special kelly green uniforms and a typically-stirring rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner by Chicago Blackhawks' anthem singer Jim Cornelison, Notre Dame's grit earned it the game's first goal. Vince Hinostroza, Mario Lucia and Anders Bjork all battled hard for a puck behind the BC net. Finally, Bjork controlled it and saw a lane past the side of the Eagle net. He skated out in front and stuffed it past Thatcher Demko for the sixth goal of his freshman season, putting the Irish on top, 1-0, just 4:56 into the game.
Meanwhile, Petersen kept quite busy in the Notre Dame net, swatting away all 22 first period shots he faced. It marked the most shots that the Irish defense has yielded in a period this season, but Petersen was up to the task. Petersen and Notre Dame has now allowed just one first period goal in its last 132:37 of game action, dating back to a Feb. 7 game at Maine. An even-longer run was snapped following the first two minutes of play tonight as it was the first time that any team led the Eagles after the opening period since Connecticut was up 1-0 on BC on Jan. 24, a span of eight games for the Eagles.
Notre Dame's lead swelled to 2-0 just 2:13 into the second period when Hinostroza carried the puck down the left wing and fed streaking defenseman Jordan Gross. Gross let a 40-foot wrist shot fly that found the net high past Demko's glove. The goal is the 24th point of the year for Jordan Gross who leads all defensemen nationally in this category. It was also the 30th assist of the season for Hinostroza. Entering tonight's action, only four players in the nation had collected 30 assists on the 2014-15 season.
After making 41 saves, Boston College finally got a puck past Petersen 4:35 into the third period when Cam Spiro's shot eluded Petersen's blocker and cut the Notre Dame lead in half to 2-1. Notre Dame withstood continued pressure from the Eagles and would score the next goal of the game with 3:25 left in regulation when Demko made a save on Ali Thomas' point-blank shot but the rebound found Austin Wuthrich and went in off of his non-kicking leg for a goal. None of the remaining Eagle shots could find their way past Petersen as the Irish held on for the victory.