Notre Dame holds off BU, Ouellette rolls in Hockey East Tournament

By Marc Jean-Louis

Notre Dame's T.J. Tynan (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/ Minneapolis star Tribune/MCT)
Notre Dame’s T.J. Tynan (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/ Minneapolis star Tribune/MCT)

Three goals and 25 saves from Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays were enough to knock off Boston University 3-2 on Saturday night in the opening round of the Hockey East Tournament.

The Fighting Irish (21-12-2, 9-9-2 Hockey East) wasted no time getting after the Terriers. Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead at the end of the first when right winger Bryan Rust received the puck from T.J. Tynan on a 2-on-1 breakaway and put it past BU goaltender Matt O’Connor.

The two teams battled back and forth to start the second period. But nine minutes, 25 seconds into the second period, Irish senior captain Jeff Costello bested O’Connor on a wrist shot through a screen to give Notre Dame a 2-0 advantage.

The period didn’t close without a Terriers (10-21-4, 5-12-3 HEA) response, however. BU got its first goal when Evan Rodrigues put one in the net off a rebound from Summerhays. The two teams went into the second intermission with Notre Dame holding a 23-14 shot advantage and a 2-1 lead.

The Irish again got off to a fast start in the third period, regaining their two-goal lead when Peter Schneider beat O’Connor for his 10th goal of the season. The Terriers answered back with a goal of their own, but Notre Dame’s defense tightened from there and the Terriers could not tie the score.

Summerhays got the win for the Irish. Next up for them will be No. 1 Boston College in a best-of-three series beginning on Friday. The Irish won against the Eagles at home on March 1, in overtime.

Ouellette posts a shutout

Maine  goaltender Martin Ouellette stopped all 29 shots on goal from Merrimack, as the Black Bears defeated Merrimack 2-0 in the opening round of the Hockey East Tournament on Saturday night at Alfond Arena.

Just two minutes into the opening period, Mark Anthoine received a pass from Steven Swavely and fired it past Merrimack (8-22-3, 3-15-2 HEA) goalie Rasmus Tirronen for his ninth goal of the season to give the Black Bears a 1-0 lead.

That would stand for the next 58 minutes of action.

The game became a goaltender showdown as both Tirronen and Ouellette stopped everything shot their way. Heading into the final minute of the third period and still trailing by a goal, the Warriors pulled Tirronen in favor of an extra attacker. Ben Hutton of Maine (16-13-4, 9-8-3 HEA) fired the puck toward the empty net, but missed. Devin Shore, however, beat a Merrimack defender to the puck and put it in to ice the game. Maine outshot the Warriors 35-to-29 and both teams went 0-for-5 on the power play.

With the win, the Black Bears will take the road on Friday and face Providence in a best-of-three Hockey East Quarterfinals series.

Marc Jean-Louis can be reached at [email protected]