NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The UConn Huskies fell behind 5-0 at No. 7/6 Notre Dame Friday night and despite third period goals from Spencer Naas (Minnetonka, Minn.) and Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) couldn't recover on the way to a 6-2 Hockey East loss at Compton Family Ice Arena. The Huskies split the series with the Irish and take back two-points in the standings as the fall to 3-2-3 overall and 1-1-0 in league.
The Irish were led by junior Anders Bjork, who came into the series leading the league in scoring, and finished the night with a pair of goals and an assist. Four other ND players found the back of the net while defenseman Dennis Gilbert dished out a pair of assists.
Notre Dame finished with a 39-32 edge on shots and finished with a power play goal on their only attempt. The Huskies were 1-for-2 on the power play and blocked 20 shots in the loss.
UConn trailed 2-0 heading into the third before the Irish exploded for three-straight goals to open the period and take a commanding lead. Naas ended the shutout bid with his fourth on the season and Masonius followed with his first on the year, coming on the power play.
Senior Rob Nichols (Dallas, Texas) got the start in goal and made 33 saves in taking his first loss on the season. ND's Cal Petersen stopped 30 shots to get his fourth win between the pipes.
The Huskies are now 1-4-1 all-time against Notre Dame and 1-1-1 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
UConn was called for just one penalty in the loss, a season low for the Huskies.
Nichols took his first loss of the season but made 33 saves, a season-high mark.
Sophomore Karl El-Mir (Montreal, Quebec) saw his three-game goal streak come to an end in the loss.
Ronan had a pair of assists in the loss, a career-high and also his second career multi-point game.
The Huskies held a 12-11 edge on the shot chart in the first and both teams had one power play opportunity.
The Irish capitalized on their first power play chance after going 0-for-6 last night with the extra skater. Sophomore Joe Wegwerth collected a loose puck off a blocked shot in front and put a wrist shot past Nichols at 4:23 for his third this year. Anders Bjork and Tory Dello were credited with assists on the goal.
Notre Dame outshot the Huskies 13-6 in the second period and tacked on another early period goal to push their lead to 2-0.
Andrew Oglevie left the puck for a streaking Jake Evans up the right boards who then carried towards the corner before let go a slick centering pass to Cam Morrison crashing toward the net who put it home for his second of the season at 3:44.
The Irish struck fast for a third time Friday night, scoring their third goal just 1:09 into the third period. ND got a 3-on-2 rush with Dylan Malmquist carrying into the zone up the left wing. Malmquist shuffled a centering pass to Connor Hurly who one-timed it past Nichols for a 3-0 lead.
ND struck for back-to-back goals just 41 seconds apart to take a commanding 5-0 lead. Jack Jenkins put home a loose puck in a scrum in front at 8:41 and Bjork followed at 9:22 with his sixth on the season.
The Huskies put an end to the Notre Dame Shutout bid at the 12:39 mark as Naas came-up with his fourth of the season. Petersen stopped a one-timer bid by Benjamin Freeman (Falmouth, Maine) but the rebound found Naas in the left circle for the empty-net score. UConn struck again at 15:11 as Masonius buried a feed at the right post on a feed from Ronan from behind the net.
The Irish closed out the scoring at 18:08 as Bjork got his second on the night on a break-away.
UConn will head to UMass on Friday night, November 4th for a 7:00 pm start
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