BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The Irish jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead over Hockey East foe Connecticut and never looked back, going on to post an 8-2 win on Sunday afternoon at the Barclays Center for a weekend sweep of the Huskies.
Jake Evans, Dylan Malmquist and Thomas DiPauli scored in the first period as Notre Dame built a 3-0 lead while holding UConn to just six shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes of play.
“We were fortunate to jump on them early and it gave us some life,” Notre Dame Head Coach Jeff Jackson said. “The first couple of shifts they were all over us. Once we scored that first goal, we loosened up and started playing the way we want to play – good transitions and fast out of our own end.”
Steven Fogarty scored a power-play goal early in the second period to make it 4-0, and Joe Wegwerth closed out the second period by scoring his first career goal as the Irish took a 5-1 lead to the second intermission.
Just under two minutes into the third period, Bobby Nardella scored his second of the year. Then, Tony Bretzman was credited with his first of the season when an errant UConn Pass ended up in the Huskies’ net following a delayed penalty call.
Anders Bjork closed out the scoring for Notre Dame at 9:13 of the third period as the Irish scored at least eight goals in a game for the first time since a 10-2 win over Canisius on Dec. 29, 2010.
"We made some progress today, I thought we played a 60 minute hockey game for the first time this season and our special teams have been a real positive for us,” Jackson added. “All four lines played and when all four lines are playing, that means we are playing well – staying out of the penalty box, rolling four lines and playing with speed.”
DiPauli finished with a goal and three assists for the Irish, while Connor Hurley had a career-high three assists in the win and Evans added a goal and an assist.
Notre Dame was perfect again on the penalty kill, finishing 4-for-4 on the night. The Irish penalty kill has now killed of 21 consecutive opponent power play opportunities, spanning the last four games.
The Notre Dame power play was 1-for-2 in the game, scoring a power-play goal for the fifth game in a row.
Petersen finished with 19 saves in the Notre Dame (3-1-2, 2-0-0 HEA) net, while Rob Nichols made 21 saves for UConn (3-4-0, 1-3-0). Tanner Creel added eight saves for the Huskies over the final 10:47 of the game.
Notre Dame returns to nonconference play this weekend by playing host to 20-ranked Minnesota on Nov. 6-7 at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Game one, which will be televised by the American Sports Network (ASN) will begin at 7:35 p.m., while game two, which will be broadcast by the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), is slated for a 6:35 p.m. puck drop.
-- Dennis Gilbert threw the puck towards the UConn net and it ricocheted to Jake Evans, who was waiting along the goal line to Nichols’ right. Evans gathered quickly and fired it back in the net from a tight angle for his first goal of the season, scored at 9:04 of the first. Thomas DiPaulialso assisted on the play.
-- Dylan Malmquist made it 2-0 at the 13:05 mark of the first period when he tipped an Evans centering feed high past Nichols for his fourth goal of the season. Andrew Oglevie also assisted on the play.
-- DiPauli made it 3-0 at 16:34 of the first when he tipped a Connor Hurley pass low past Nichols for his second goal of the opening frame. Gilbert also assisted on the goal as his pass sent Hurley, DiPauli and linemate Anders Bjork speeding through the neutral zone before Hurley found DiPauli open in the slot.
-- Steven Fogarty made it a 4-0 Notre Dame lead at 5:38 of the second when he hammered home a rebound in front while the Irish were skating on the power play. Mario Lucia blasted a one-timer that Nichols saved. Hurley kept the rebound alive and Fogarty cut in from the circle and fired home his fourth goal of the season.
-- Patrick Kirtland got UConn on the board at 14:38 of the second period when he finished a two-on-one rush with Shawn Pauly, who also assisted on the play.
-- Joe Wegwerth restored Notre Dame’s four-goal lead at 17:02 when he picked up a failed UConn clearing attempt and launched a wrist shot that went off the crossbar and in for his first career goal.
-- From down low in the UConn zone, Thomas DiPauli found Andy Ryan at the near point with a pass. Ryan quickly played it across to Bobby Nardella at the far point, who cut to the top of the top of the far circle and beat Nichols high for his second goal of the season, scored at 1:48 of the third period.
-- Tony Bretzman was credited with his first goal of the season at 4:34 of the third period when an errant UConn pass ended up in the Huskies’ net following a delayed penalty call. The goal came after a Petersen save, but Bretzman was credited with the goal as the last Notre Dame player to apply pressure to the UConn player who made the pass.
-- Anders Bjork finished low past Nichols from just outside the crease for his first goal of the season at 9:13 of the third period to make it an 8-1 game.
-- UConn’s Corey Ronan finished the game’s scoring at 10:18 of the third.
-- The team took a subway from its hotel to the Barclays Center on Sunday afternoon due to road closures associated with the New York Marathon.
-- Former Irish standout and current New York Islanders forward Anders Lee stopped by to see the coaching staff and team after the Notre Dame victory. The Islanders play the Buffalo Sabres tonight at the Barclays Center.
-- Notre Dame has killed off 21 straight opponent power plays.
-- Senior forward Thomas DiPaul had a goal and three assists to match his career high in points and assists. It was his ninth career multi-point game.
-- Notre Dame scored at least eight goals in a game for the first time since a 10-2 win over Canisius on Dec. 29, 2010.
-- Notre Dame has now scored at least one power-play goal in five straight games (after not having a power play opportunity in game one of the season at Penn State).
-- It was Notre Dame’s fourth all-time meeting with UConn (3-0-1).
-- Joe Wegwerth scored his first career goal.
-- With a pair of first period assists, Dennis Gilbert posted the first multi-point game of his career.