Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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50 FEBRUARY 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED ND SPORTS BY DAVID MCKINNEY A fter a two-game losing skid to start off the month of December, the Notre Dame hockey team put together a five-game winning streak that included three shutouts and a 3-2 victory over then-No. 3 Boston College. That strong stretch was thanks in large part to the play of junior goalie Cal Petersen, who was named the Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the week Jan. 2. Head coach Jeff Jackson said that while he's been impressed with Pe- tersen's play, he certainly isn't sur- prised by it. "We expect him to make the saves he should make and then make some that he probably shouldn't," Jackson said. "He's been real solid for us since the break, and obviously the game before break. "We're going to go as far as he takes us. He's one of the best netminders in the country, and we have to play well in front of him." As far as the streak itself, Jackson attributed the team's success to not only its stellar play, but also the effort the group is putting in day in and day out in practice. "Hopefully it's our strength and conditioning, what [coach] Tony [Ro- linski] does with these guys," Jackson said. "Also it's a bit of our depth, es- pecially on the back end. Our defense has really started to settle in and be more consistent, which has helped us a lot. "The play of [defenseman] Bobby Nardella and [defenseman Andrew] Peeke, along with [defenseman Jor- dan] Gross, and I think [defenseman Tory] Dello started to show some good signs again. That's where it starts, that and in goal." During the five-game winning streak, the Irish outscored their op- ponents 18-3, including 4-0 and 5-0 victories over visiting Alaska in a two- game series on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The streak came to an end for Jack- son and Notre Dame on the week- end of Jan. 6-7, when Michigan Tech came to town. After dispatching the Huskies 3-1 on Friday, Michigan Tech came back on Saturday to beat the Irish 4-2, ending the run of consecu- tive wins. Jackson said the team simply didn't create enough opportunities for itself to win the game and extend the streak. "We dropped off after the first pe- riod, and I can't necessarily explain why," Jackson said. "I just thought they out-gritted us, especially at both nets. We didn't get the chances at their net, and they were getting a number of chances in and around our goal. "That was the difference in the game for me, in that area out in front of the net." Even with the loss, Notre Dame is hot at the right time, heading into its Hockey East schedule. Conference play kicked off Jan. 13- 14 with the Irish hitting the road for a two-game series at Merrimack. ✦ Irish Roundup FENCING Notre Dame was off from collegiate competition from Nov. 21 to Jan. 20. However, senior foilist Lee Kiefer took gold at the first Fencing Federation Grand Prix of the season in Turin, Italy, in early De- cember. Sophomore Sabrina Massialas also competed at the Turin Grand Prix, finishing in 26th place. The Irish returned to action at the St. John's Invitational Jan. 21 in Queens, N.Y. SWIMMING AND DIVING After being off since Nov. 19, the Irish returned to competition Jan. 12-13 with a meet against Iowa and Illinois in South Bend. TRACK AND FIELD Notre Dame's indoor season kicked off Dec. 2, and four-time national champion Molly Seidel is back competing for the Irish. She won national titles in the indoor 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter events in 2016, and captured Notre Dame's first individual track and field championship in 2015 in the outdoor 10,000 meters. She also was victorious at the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The Irish returned to action Jan. 14 in the Illini Classic at the University of Illinois. — David McKinney Hockey Team Playing Well Heading Into Conference Play The Irish fashioned a five-game winning streak from Dec. 3 to Jan. 6, a stretch that included three shut- outs and a 3-2 victory over then-No. 3 Boston College. PHOTO BY MIKE BENNETT/LIGHTHOUSE IMAGING

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