BOSTON -- As the Hockey East season draws to a close, Notre Dame continues to heat up.
Junior assistant captain Jake Evans scored the first and last goals of the game while his classmate Cal Petersen made 37 saves as the No. 13 Fighting Irish en route to a 3-1 victory over No. 6 Boston University on Friday at Agganis Arena, riding their unbeaten streak to seven games.
On this night, there was a lot of positivity in defeat for BU head coach David Quinn. His team put 38 shots on goal, including 23 in the third period.
But, two "gifts" in the back of the net were the difference.
"There's a lot to like about our game tonight," said Quinn, whose team snapped a three-game winless streak with last Saturday’s 8-4 win at New Hampshire. "Two great goalies. Their guy made some big saves. Our guy (Jake Oettinger) made some big saves. The difference in the game was I thought we gave them two gifts for goals. You just can't do that in a game of this magnitude."
Notre Dame stands 12-5-4 in Hockey East play after the win, which follows up last weekend's three-point effort against Providence and road sweep at Maine.
The Irish — who also received a second-period goal from senior Ben Ostlie, his first goal and point of the season —have not lost since Jan. 28 at Boston College.
"I think our team has grown up," head coach Jeff Jackson said. "All those young kids, the freshmen and sophomores, get that experience and that confidence and become a much better team with that confidence. A lot of it just has to do with having gone through tough times. ... Some of the things we're doing now we weren't doing in the first half."
The Irish drew first blood in a fast-paced first period. Off a turnover, Evans took freshman Cam Morrison's pass in the slot and whistled his 11th goal of the season across the grain past Oettinger at the 9:19 marker.
Just after killing off the game's first penalty to junior Jordan Greenway, the Terriers drew even at 16:39 as freshman Clayton Keller's shot from the center point caught a piece of classmate Patrick Harper and bounced past Petersen. It was Harper’s 12th goal this season.
With just 1:27 left in the second frame, Ostlie pushed in a loose puck in front of Oettinger for the winning goal. Goaltender interference originally resulted in a no-goal call on the ice, but BU's Bobo Carpenter pushed a Notre Dame body into Oettinger and in turn reversed the ruling.
Physical play was a theme of the night, and it continued in the third period as BU pressed for a tying goal, out-shooting the visitors, 23-6.
"There were a lot of scrums in front of the net," BU senior defenseman and captain Doyle Somerby said. "We like the fact we went with grit in the whole third period. We made life difficult for Petersen, and hopefully we can bring that tomorrow for a full 60 (minutes)."
The equalizer never came though, even with the benefit of two power plays in the first nine minutes in the frame. Greenway had a golden chance with less than seven minutes left, but Petersen finished a flurry with a right pad stop.
"He's very quick," Quinn said of Petersen, who was making his 83rd consecutive start in the Irish net, the fourth-longest streak in NCAA history. "He's strong and doesn't waste a lot of movement. He's just a great goalie, and he's been a great goalie for a long time."
The Irish added insurance at 17:25. Oglevie, a sophomore, sent Evans ahead on an odd-man break with Bjork and scored a one-timer off a nifty cross-ice feed.
Bjork has three goals and six points during a current five-game point streak, and now leads the Irish with 25 assists and 44 points. Additionally, Evans extended his to four games over which he has scored three goals and added three assists.
"It happened by accident a few weeks ago," Jackson said of their combination. "We lost two or three players, so I put them together and then put those three young kids (Cal Burke, Andrew Oglevie and Jack Jenkins) as our second line and something just clicked.
"Chemistry sometimes happens in strange ways, and coaches can't take credit for it."