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Irish on to Hockey East quarterfinals

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ND bounced back from a gut-wrenching Game 1 loss to advance. Next up: UMass-Lowell.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

You already heard about Game 1. ND went 5 overtimes with last-place UMass in Game 1 of the opening round of Hockey East tournament play at Compton Family Ice Arena. It was the longest game in NCAA history. Cal Petersen set a new NCAA record for saves, with 87. And the Irish still lost, 4-3. It was the kind of backbreaker that kills seasons.

ND managed to bounce back from that one, though, and claim two relatively uneventful victories, the second a resounding 7-0 blowout, to keep its season going and advance to the Hockey East quarterfinals - a best-of-3 set at UMass-Lowell. ND was 0-1-1 against Lowell in the regular season.

UMass took an early 2-1 lead in Game 2, but the Irish stormed back with the next three goals. With the game tied in the third period, Vince Hinostroza, ND's best puckhandler, made things happen and scored the decisive two goals within three minutes of each other. Steven Fogarty had an insurance goal in the game, and Mario Lucia's deflection-score to open the scoring was his 20th goal of the season. Cal Petersen had a mere 22 saves in the game.

Game 3 turned into a laugher before it was all said and done. Thomas DiPauli got ND on the board less than a minute into the game with a wrist shot from deep that glanced off UMass netminder Steve Mastalerz' pad and into the net, and in the second period he did it again, scoring in virtually the exact same fashion. Later in the second period, ND scored twice in 14 seconds, and the rout was on. Six different Irish scored, and Peter Schneider dished out three assists. Hinostroza had two.

ND opens up quarterfinal play at UMass-Lowell Friday night, at 7:15 p.m. For your enjoyment, here are the highlights of the decisive Game 3 blowout.