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Anders Bjork at least thought about passing.
Streaking down the ice alongside Andrew Oglevie on an odd-man rush, Bjork opened up with a mind to slide the puck toward his teammate. Instead, Bjork fired it on net and beat the goalie to the near post, scoring a short-handed goal and spurring No. 14 Notre Dame to a 3-2 win over No. 4 Boston College.
“I actually wanted to pass,” Bjork said. “I kinda opened up and I wanted to feed (Oglevie) because he’s got a great one-timer. But the D-man kinda faked like he was gonna take away the pass, so I just shot it so at least I would get a shot on net or something.
“Luck goal there. I kinda wanted Ogie to shoot it honestly, because he’s got a better shot than me most times.”
Bjork had two goals in the victory, pushing his season total to 13. Oglevie also scored as the Irish rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the first period to win.
Irish coach Jeff Jackson indicated he would lean on Bjork well before the game by dressing an extra defenseman instead of four full forward lines. Doing so meant double-shifting some wingers.
“With a single game on the weekend and we don’t play for three weeks, yeah, I was gonna certainly empty the tank,” Jackson said. “That’s why I dressed one less forward tonight.”
Bjork seemed to be on the ice almost at all times and his first goal spurred a comeback.
Boston College (13-6-1) took a 2-0 lead in the first period through two power-play goals. David Cotton scored at 6:18 and Julius Mattila added another at 13:07.
Bjork pulled one back with a power-play goal of his own at 9:16 of the second, sparking the Irish rally. Eagles coach Jerry York found Bjork difficult to contain throughout the game, whether it was on special teams or otherwise.
“(He) was really hard to control out there,” York said. “Game breaker. He’s just a really flat out good player. He gave us some problems not just with his two goals, but just with the way he plays.”
Oglevie scored at 14:57 of the second period to draw the Irish level.
Not quite three minutes later, Bjork finished off the scoring. Notre Dame (9-6-2) went on the penalty kill after Dylan Malmquist went off for mishandling the puck during a faceoff, but in its aggressiveness to score another goal, Boston College sprung Bjork and Oglevie for a two-on-one.
Bjork shot a wrister past Eagles goaltender Joseph Woll, who finished with 29 saves.
“(Bjork) was awesome,” Jackson said. “He played like an All-American in the second and third periods. When he’s moving his feet, I thought the whole team was slow in the first period. But second period, man, he just turned it up a notch. He breaks people down with his speed.”
Notre Dame made the 3-2 lead stand up by allowing only nine shots on goal over the final two periods, including just four in the third. Goalie Cal Petersen made 17 saves.
“We’ve been saying we need to have like a playoff mindset,” Bjork said. “Do or die because all these games matter. The games that we’ve lost, some of the close losses we’ve had, those are gonna come back to haunt us if we don’t start having that playoff mindset and playing every game like it’s a championship game or an elimination game.
“I think with it being the last game before break that was definitely the mindset we had.”
Hockey East roundup
No. 9 Massachusetts-Lowell 5, at Merrimack 1
Five different players scored for Lowell as it rolled to victory. Joe Gambardella gave the River Hawks a 1-0 lead at the first intermission. Two more goals followed in the second and still two more in the third. Tommy Panico ended the scoring with a shorthanded goal, the first of his career, to go along with an earlier assist. Jake Kamrass and Mattias Goransson also had two assists a piece.
No. 5 Boston University 4, at No. 12 Vermont 0
Goalie Jake Oettinger made 28 saves and recorded a shutout for Boston University in a win over Vermont. Oettinger faced double-digit shots in the second and third period, turning them all away. Chase Phelps scored what turned out to be the game-winner in the first period. After a scoreless second, Clayton Kelly notched a power-play goal in the second. He later added an assist. Nick Roberto and Brandon Hickey also scored in the third.
Maine 7, American International 2
Chase Pearson and Blaine Byron scored two goals apiece to lead Maine in a 7-2 win. American International took a brief 2-1 lead late in the first period. Pearson’s first goal tied things up with one second left before the intermission. Five more unanswered goals followed in the second and third periods. Maine goalie Rob McGovern made 22 saves, including 12 in the first period.
Dartmouth 5, New Hampshire 1
Dartmouth built a 4-0 lead over the first 41 minutes and 36 seconds en route to a nonconference win over New Hampshire. Goalie Devin Buffalo made 24 saves in the win. New Hampshire surrendered 33 shots in the loss and failed to convert on its two power-play chances. Jason Salvaggio scored its only goal, his ninth of the season, in the third period.
Providence 3, at RIT 1
Scott Conway had a goal and an assist and Providence never trailed in its win over RIT. Conway opened the scoring at 4:52 of the first period, then picked up the secondary assist when Erik Foley made it a 2-0 game not quite three minutes later with a power-play goal. RIT pulled within one goal late in the third period after a scoreless second. Conor MacPhee tossed in an empty-netter to seal the Providence victory.