After disappointing losses from both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, it looked to be another miserable March for Irish athletics. Fortunately, the Irish hockey team was there to salvage the month, as they advanced to the Frozen Four on Sunday.
After a dispatching of the top seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday, the Irish met up with longtime nemesis UMass-Lowell in the regional final. Going into the matchup, the Irish had had serious trouble with the Riverhawks in the past. They previously had a record of just 2-9-2, including a 5-1 loss last weekend in the Hockey East Tournament.
Freshman forward Cam Morrison and junior forward Anders Bjork led the way for the Irish. Morrison kicked off the scoring in the first period when he received a pass form Bjork at center ice. Morrison was off to the races and buried a breakaway goal to make it 1-0.
Off to the races ... can't catch Cam Morrison! pic.twitter.com/nVHCqhagjY— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) March 26, 2017
The Riverhawks would respond with two goals of their won. One in the first on a one-timer by Ryan Collins. Then another one in the second period when John Edwardh redirected a slap shot from the blue line into the net.
Notre Dame would come back with an equalizer from none other than the duo of Morrison and Bjork. Morrison backhanded a loose puck in front of the crease into the net to tie the game at two with just over five minutes remaining.
The Irish and Riverhawks couldn’t settle it in regulation and went to overtime.
Just two and half minutes into overtime Irish sophomore forward Andrew Oglevie snapped a Howitzer off the feed from Bjork for a goal. The tally gave the Irish the 3-2 victory and secured their spot in the Frozen Four.
An OT Winner to send the Fighting Irish to the Frozen Four!— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) March 26, 2017
You are a LEGEND, Andrew Oglevie!! pic.twitter.com/fTDTeioTvf
Bjork finished the afternoon with three points, while Morrison had two. Junior goalie and captain Cal Petersen had 27 saves for the Irish.
Notre Dame will undoubtedly have a home ice advantage as this year’s Frozen Four is being held in Chicago at the United Center.
The Fighting Irish will now get a week and half off to rest and prepare for number one overall seed Denver Pioneers. The Irish are the only team in the Frozen Four that is not one of the top four overall seeds. Harvard (3) and Minnesota-Duluth (2) are the two others.
The Irish and Pioneers are set to face off on April 6th. Puck drop is set for 9:30pm ET or after the conclusion of the Harvard/Minnesota-Duluth game.