UNH Splits Series at Notre Dame: Goal-by-Goal
The UNH and Notre Dame hockey teams who faced each other for the first ever back-to-back games in South Bend, Indiana were more similar than different. Over its previous five Hockey East games, UNH had won 2 games (Providence and UMass) and lost 3 (Umass and Maine twice). Notre Dame had won 1 game (Connecticut), lost 2 (Northeastern) and tied once (Connecticut). Both UNH and Notre Dame had been swept the previous weekend. Notre Dame had 5 Hockey East wins while UNH had 3.
Much of the pre-series discussion had focused on the youthfulness of both teams. Notre Dame has 9 freshmen on its roster - 5 forwards, 3 defensemen, and a goalie. UNH has 11 freshman - 5 forwards, 4 defensemen, and 2 goalies. Four of Notre Dame's freshman are NHL draft picks - Anders Bjork (Boston, 5th Round), Jake Evans (Montreal, 7th), Connor Hurley (Buffalo, 2nd) and Cal Peterson (Buffalo, 5th). UNH has two freshman NHL draft picks - Warren Foegele (Carolina, 3rd Round) and Shane Eiserman (Ottawa, 4th). On Friday night, both Notre Dame and UNH had 7 freshmen in the lineup, including the starting goalies. On Saturday, UNH played 9 freshmen while Notre Dame dropped down to 6. Freshman goalie Cal Petersen was replaced by sophomore Chad Katunar in the second period on Friday and Katunar played all of Saturday's game.
Overall, Notre Dame has 10 NHL draft picks on its roster. Top defenseman Robbie Russo, a fourth round pick of the New York Islanders, missed both games due to a suspension issued following an incident at Northeastern in which he swung his stick in the general direction of an opponent's head. UNH has 3 NHL draft picks on its team - Foegele, Eiserman, and Brett Pesce. UNH fans, players and coaches were pleased to see top defenseman Pesce back in the lineup for the weekend series. He had missed the previous four games with a chest injury that compromised his breathing.
On Friday night, UNH jumped out to a 4-0 lead which they maintained until the last minute of the second period. Notre Dame regained some ground in the final minute with two power play goals. Senior Captain Matt Willows was reunited with fellow seniors Grayson Downing and Casey Thrush on UNH's top line and he responded with two key goals including the game-winner. His second goal, which gave UNH some breathing room late in the final period, was assisted by Grayson Downing. It marked the 100th point of Downing's UNH career and he became the 72nd UNH player to join the Century Club. UNH's 5-2 victory on Friday represented Head Coach Dick Umile's 550th career win.
More than midway through the 2014-15 season, several UNH freshman have become every day players. Andrew Poturalski has been an offensive presence since the start of the season and his two goals on Friday increased his production to 9 goals and 8 assists. The weekend series against Notre Dame may also mark the offensive emergence of freshman wingers Warren Foegele and Shane Eiserman. Foegele scored a goal each night and his snipe on Saturday showcased his skills as a pure goal scorer. For his efforts, Foegele was named the Hockey East Rookie of the Week on Monday afternoon. Shane Eiserman had two assists on Friday night and hit the post on a bull rush into the Notre Dame zone on Saturday. In fact, as the video highlights show, Eiserman showed his strength as a powerful puck carrier in both games.
Freshman goalie Danny Tirone entered the weekend series with a record of 3 wins and 1 loss. He played steady in Friday's 5-2 victory making 24 saves. He got the nod on Saturday night as well in his first back-to-back games of the season. Tirone made some saves which kept UNH within striking distance on Saturday but also surrendered a couple goals he might want to have over. His Save Percentage dropped to .903 and Goals Against Average rose to 2.68.
GAME 1 (Jan. 30, 2015)
UNH 5, Notre Dame 2
Goal-by-Goal BreakdownPERIOD 1
Warren Foegele-2 (Assisted by Shane Eiserman-7 & Kyle Smith-6)
2:13 of 1st Period - UNH 1, Notre Dame 0 ~ Freshman winger Shane Eiserman controlled the puck behind the Notre Dame net and centered a back-hand pass to fellow freshman Warren Foegele on the doorstep. Foegele banged it home past Notre Dame's goalie Cal Petersen's skate.
Andrew Poturalski-8 (Assisted by Casey Thrush-12 & Cameron Marks-5)
4:12 of 2nd Period - UNH 2, Notre Dame 0 ~ Senior Casey Thrush and freshman Andrew Poturalski broke into the Notre Dame zone on a 2-on-1. ~ Thrush fed Poturalski who lifted the puck over Petersen's left leg pad.
Matt Willows-11 (Assisted by Grayson Downing-9 & Brett Pesce-3)
6:19 of 2nd Period - UNH 3, Notre Dame 0 ~ With UNH on its first power play of the game, senior Captain Matt Willows streaked down the right wing and lifted a wrist shot over Petersen's right leg pad. ~ After Willows' goal, which turned out to be the game-winner, Petersen was replaced with sophomore goalie Chad Katunar.
Andrew Poturalski-9 (Assisted by Warren Foegele-5 & Shane Eiserman-7)
12:11 of 2nd Period - UNH 4, Notre Dame 0 ~ On Andrew Poturalski's second goal of the game, Warren Foegele skated behind the Notre Dame net and fed Poturalski at the bottom of the faceoff circle. Poturalski wristed it over Katunar's glove.
Mario Lucia (From Gross & Hinostroza)
19:16 of Period 2 - UNH 4, Notre Dame 1 ~ With freshmen defensemen John Furgele (tripping) and Rich Boyd (hitting after the whistle) in the penalty box as well as Notre Dame's Jake Evans, the teams played 4-on-3. ~ Jordan Cross split the UNH defenders with a diagonal pass to a wide-opened Mario Lucia on the doorstep to Danny Tirone's left. Lucia lifted the puck top shelf over a sprawled Tirone.
Vince Hinostroza (From DiPauli & Fogarty)
19:58 of Period 2 - UNH 4, Notre Dame 2 ~ Following Lucia's goal, Notre Dame still had a 5-on-4 power play. ~ With just 5 seconds left in the second period, Vince Hinostroza skated between UNH's top 2 defensemen, Brett Pesce and Matias Cleland, and lifted the puck over Tirone's blocker.
Matt Willows-12 (Assisted by Grayson Downing-10 & Casey Thrush-13)
14:57 of 3rd Period - UNH 5, Notre Dame 2 ~ Matt Willows goal with 5 minutes left in the game was noteworthy for two reasons. First, it sealed the UNH win. Second, Senior Grayson Downing's assist was his 100th point as a UNH Wildcat. ~ Downing's backhand pass set up Willows in the mid-slot. Willows 3/4 slap shot was blocked by Notre Dame goalie Chad Katunar but the puck flew over his head and dropped into the net behind him.
GAME 2 (Jan. 31, 2015)
Notre Dame 5, UNH 3
Goal-by-Goal BreakdownPERIOD 1
Shane Eiserman's No-Goal, Goal ~ Just over 7 minutes after the opening faceoff, UNH came very close to getting on the scoreboard first. Freshman Michael McNicholas, substituting for the injured Maxim Gaudreault, effectively forechecked, stole the puck in the Notre Dame end and passed back to Brett Pesce at the blueline. ~ Pesce passed down to freshman Warren Foegele on the goal line to the left of sophomore goalie Chad Katunar. Foegele, who made a number of setup passes during the game, centered the puck in the direction of fellow freshman Shane Eisermen in the low slot. ~ The puck deflected off a Notre Dame defender and Eiserman poked it at the goal. ~ On slow motion replay, it was not clear if the puck crossed the goal line so it was ruled a "no goal"
Austin Wuthrich (From Bjork & Gross)
17:46 of Period 1 - Notre Dame 1, UNH 0 ~ Notre Dame freshman Anders Bjork carried the puck into the UNH zone on a fairly innocent looking rush. All 5 UNH players were in their defensive zone positioned between Bjork and freshman UNH goalie Danny Tirone. ~ Bjork dropped a pass to Ausin Wuthrich at the right point and he flipped a wrist shot which beat Tirone over his blocker.
Another Shane Eiserman Bid ~ One of Shane Eiserman's strengths is carrying the puck strong to the net and putting a shot on goal. With less than a minute left in the first period, he did just that. ~ Eiserman skated the puck diagonally into the low slot and managed a backhand tester.
Danny Tirone Saves ~ Although freshman goalie Danny Tirone appeared not to see the puck on Notre Dame's first goal, he looked solid early in the second period, maintaining a one-goal deficit. ~ On this sequence, with Notre Dame on the power play, Tirone makes a kick save followed by a glove save to stop the action.
Grayson Downing and Matt Willows - Short-handed Specialists ~ Seniors Downing and Willows have been the backbone to UNH's penalty kill for the last two seasons. They are a persistent threat to disrupt play in the UNH zone and break out on a short-handed rush. ~ Just seconds after Danny Tirone made the key stops shown above, Downing stole the puck near the blueline, rushed up ice, and finessed a wraparound shot on goal. Willows followed up with a point blank shot in close.
Steven Fogarty (From Hinostroza & Gross)
2:32 of Period 2 - Notre Dame 2, UNH 0 ~ After a couple good saves by Tirone and short-handed bids by Downing and Willows, Notre Dame finally scored before the power play ended. ~ Fogarty beat Tirone over his glove on a shot from the faceoff circle.
Warren Foegele-3 (Assisted by Kyle Smith-5)
3:34 of 2nd Period - Notre Dame 2, UNH 1 ~ 18 games into his NCAA career, freshman Warren Foegele is starting to show his scoring touch. After scoring his second career goal on Friday night against Notre Dame, he scored one of the prettiest goals of the season in the second period of Saturday's game.
~ As the commentator points out, Foegele kept his head up as he drove the puck to the net, saw an opening between Katunar's pads and buried it 5-hole.
Shane Eiserman to Kyle Smith to Warren Foegele's No-Goal, Goal ~ With 12 minutes left in the second period, UNH tied the game up but the referee waved the goal off. Once again, Shane Eiserman rushed the puck end-to-end, went straight down the slot, and managed an off-balance shot on Katunar. ~ Kyle Smith gathered the rebound behind the Notre Dame net and centered a pass to Warren Foegele who was crashing the net. Foegele buried it. ~ The play should have been reviewed because Notre Dame never gained control of the puck after Eiserman was hauled down.
Matias Cleland-4 (Assisted by Cameron Marks-6 & Tyler Kelleher-17)
9:50 of 2nd Period - Notre Dame 2, UNH 2 ~ A couple minutes after Foegele's game-tying goal was disallowed, Matias Cleland scored his first power play goal of the season and fourth overall.
~ Tyler Kelleher worked the puck up the boards to freshman defenseman Cameron Marks at the point. Marks sent a pass along the blueline to Cleland at the midpoint. Cleland's rising wrist shot sailed over Katunar's glove.
Ben Ostlie (From Ripley & Thomas)
11:54 of Period 2 - Notre Dame 3, UNH 2 ~ Just two minutes after Cleland tied the game for UNH, Notre Dame took the lead once again.
~ Freshman defenseman Luke Ripley snapped a rising wrist shot from the blueline that was redirected downward by Ben Ostlie. The puck went between Tirone's pads.
Kyle Smith Bids ~ Whenever UNH fell behind, they kept battling. With the clock winding down in the second period, junior Kyle Smith, with the assistance of linemates Foegele and Eiserman, generated two prime scoring opportunities. ~ Notre Dame's sophomore goalie Chad Katunar made the big saves when he needed to.
Tony Bretzman (From DiPauli & Hinotroza)
2:06 of Period 3 - Notre Dame 4, UNH 2 ~ Just two minutes into the final stanza, Notre Dame went ahead by two goals for the second time in the game. Once again, a long-range shot beat Tirone. ~ A slap shot by Bretzman from between the blue line and top of the faceoff circle sailed over Tirone's glove. He did not appear to be screened.
Shane Eiserman Hits The Post ~ With 14 minutes remaining in the game, Shane Eiserman kept up the UNH pressure. Kyle Smith sent Eiserman away with a head-manned pass. ~ Eiserman rushed the puck from the red line to the top of the faceoff circle, ripped a low wrister that sailed over Katunar's left pad and rang off the post.
Danny Tirone Saves ~ With 9 minutes left, Tirone stopped Notre Dame from going ahead by three goals. He made a sharp, right pad save followed by a gut save to stop the action.
Tyler Kelleher-9 (Assisted by Matias Cleland-4 & Cameron Marks-7)
17:27 of 3rd Period - Notre Dame 4, UNH 3 ~ UNH did not give up. Trailing by two goals with two minutes remaining, just after a power play expired, UNH's leading scorer Tyler Kelleher worked the puck below the goal line and passed to linemate Andrew Poturalski.
~ Poturalski fed the puck to Matias Cleland at the top of the faceoff circle. Cleland snapped a pass to Kelleher wide open on the doorstep to Katunar's left.
18:53 of Period 3 - Notre Dame 5, UNH 3 ~ UNH pulled Tirone with a minute and one-half left. Notre Dame kept the puck away from their goalie and eventually found the empty net.
Andrew Poturalski Hits The Post ~ With the game out of reach, UNH still pulled Tirone for an extra attacker. They maintained the puck in the Notre Dame zone and Poturalski rang a shot off the post.
UNH's Hockey East record is now 4-9-1. They are in 9th place in Hockey East one point behind Maine. Overall, UNH is 9-15-2. Notre Dame's record in Hockey East is 6-5-3 and they are tied for fourth place with Vermont. Their overall record is 11-14-3. Next up for the Wildcats is a weekend series up in Burlington against the University of Vermont.