NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Battling injuries, illness and adversity all weekend, the No. 17 Fighting Irish put together a complete team effort on Saturday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena and erased a one-goal deficit to defeat No. 12 Vermont 4-1 for a three-point weekend in the Hockey East standings.
Notre Dame used four goal-scorers — Andrew Oglevie, Jordan Gross, Mike O’Leary and Cal Burke — en route to the victory.
With the win, the Irish (15-9-4, 8-5-3) moved into a tie for third in the Hockey East standings, while Vermont (16-9-3, 8-6-2) ended the night tied for fourth.
How it happened
Notre Dame generated a lot of chances in the first period, but it was Vermont that took a 1-0 lead to the locker room on a Matt O’Donnell goal, scored at 14:00.
Petersen was forced to make a breakaway save on Vermont’s Craig Puffer at 7:13 of the first for one of his best saves of the night.
Oglevie tied the game, 1-1, at 14:50 of the second period with his 16th goal of the season. He picked up a loose puck in the defensive zone after a Vermont shot, rushed through the neutral zone and fired high past Catamount goaltender Stefanos Lekkas. Jake Evans helped create the chance by bursting down the center of the offensive zone and occupying the Catamount defenseman on the 2-on-1 chance.
2-1 ND | Third period about to get underway at Compton!— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) February 5, 2017
Here's Oglevie's game-tying goal pic.twitter.com/yBAG338a5d
Gross made it a 2-1 Notre Dame lead with 18 seconds left in the second when he took a cross ice pass from Jake Evans and fired to the far side of the net to beat Lekkas for his seventh goal of the season. The goal proved to be his fourth-career game winner and came while the teams were skating four-on-four.
The Irish then closed the game out in the third, limiting Vermont’s chances, while Cal Petersen turned aside all nine Catamount shots he faced in the final frame.
O’Leary tipped in his first career goal, pushing the Notre Dame lead to 3-1 at 15:04, with assists to Dennis Gilbert and Dawson Cook.
Mike O'Leary's first career goal! pic.twitter.com/l6FBrkB9h0— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) February 5, 2017
Then, with Lekkas pulled in favor of the extra attacked, Petersen played a puck over to Gilbert, who sent it ahead to Cal Burke. Burke scored on the empty net and Petersen earned his first career assist on the play.
Petersen finished with 31 saves in the night, while Lekkas totaled 24.
Neither team could find success on the power play, with Notre Dame finishing 0-for-4, while Vermont was 0-for-3.
Coach Jackson’s thoughts
On how the team played tonight in comparison to Friday night
“It’s probably one of our best 60 minute efforts of the season. Maybe we’re just designed to give up the first goal. I’d rather give up the first goal and win the game than give up the goals in the third. I thought we did a good job of controlling the puck and that’s where it all starts from, and I thought it started a little bit last night and I thought we did an even better job tonight.”
On limiting Vermont's chances
“We backed them off a little bit last night by throwing pucks through the neutral zone. They really do a good job of shrinking the zone with their defensemen. We started putting pucks behind them early last night when we had the 2-0 lead and I thought that we backed off it. I thought tonight it kind of continued and we had to make sure we weren’t shifting pucks to them because they were backing off. I think defensively we did a better job because you know they’re a good team and they’re older and they do a good job offensively cycling the puck and you have to be able to defend because they’re going to have their time in the offensive zone, you just have to limit the damage."
On Mike O’Leary
“I’m really happy for him. With all the circumstances we had this week it was challenging because Anders didn’t practice almost the whole week and last minute moving Michael to left wing when Joe [Wegwerth] got hurt was a huge part of our weekend. I’m glad he got a few points and got his first goal because tonight, he really started to show some positive traits to why we recruited him. He played with a little edge. He’s really a smart player he helped that line.”
On ability to find the net
“Again a lot of it has to do with being patient doing a good job with the puck if you’re making bad puck decisions you’re chasing all the time. If you’re making good puck decisions you’re on offense all the time. I thought for the most part we did a really good job managing the puck this weekend, and that certainly paid dividends tonight.”
“He wasn’t 100 percent, but he’s still a threat out there every time he’s on the ice. I’m glad he got in the lineup, that actually created matchup issues for them, so I’m glad he was able to get back. He skated this morning and he was at our meetings, he had a tough week he was really under the weather, so it’s good to get him back and hopefully back to full strength this week.”