Oct. 19, 2002
Kalamazoo, Mich. – Junior center Aaron Gill scored his first collegiate hat trick and Notre Dame scored four power-play goals to lead the Irish to an 8-5 road win at Western Michigan.
The win gave Notre Dame head coach Dave Poulin his 100th career victory behind the Irish bench.
“It feels good mainly because it was a big win for us tonight,” said Poulin following the game.
“The key is to keep it rolling. This was a tough game to play, getting the big lead and then holding Western off at the end. The bottom line is that we beat a good hockey team twice this weekend, once at home and once in their barn.”
The win improved the Irish to 3-0-1 overall and 2-0-0 in the CCHA. Western Michigan falls to 2-2-0 overall and 2-2-0 in the league. The Irish are off to their best start since 1998-99 when they opened with a 6-0-0 record. This is also the first time since 1998-99 that the Irish have won two games in a row to start the CCHA schedule.
The hardworking Gill broke into the scoring column once in the first period and twice on the power play in the second to score his first points of the season.
“It was great to finally get on the board. My linemates both at even-strength and on the power play really set me up for some easy chances,” said Gill.
After winning 4-2 at Notre Dame on Friday, the Irish came out flying in the first period Saturday scoring three times. Neil Komadoski got the Irish going at 5:54 of the first period with a power-play goal.
The Irish got another power-play chance at 11:08, but Western Michigan turned it into a shorthanded goal by Paul Davies at 12:07 to tie the game at 1-1.
Tim Wallace put the Irish ahead to stay at 13:53. Kyle Dolder deflected a Bronco clearing attempt off his skate to Wallace all alone in the slot. The freshman wasted little time depositing it behind Western goaltender Scott Foster for his second of the season.
Gill staked the Irish to a 3-1 lead at the first intermission as he redirected Tom Galvin’s centering pass through Foster’s pads at 18:03 as the Irish outshot the Broncos 14-3 in the opening period.
The lead would go to 5-1 as John Wroblewski scored at 8:25 and then set up Gill’s second goal (ppg) on a pretty centering feed at 11:05. Gill’s second goal of the night sent Foster to the Western Michigan bench in favor of Mike Mantua.
The Broncos broke through with a power-play goal of their own at 12:32 when Dana Lattery beat Morgan Cey in close. Just over a minute later, Lattery was handed a five-minute major for clipping after a knee-on-knee hit with Notre Dame’s Jake Wiegand. The Irish left wing was forced to leave the game and did not return.
The Irish made the Broncos pay as they scored twice on the power play. Gill got his hat trick goal at 15:58 off a great feed from Rob Globke. Michael Chin closed the second-period scoring at 17:20 with the fourth Irish power-play tally of the night and a 7-2 lead after two periods.
The Broncos made their late rally with three goals in the third. Vince Bellissimo (1:47) and Pat Dwyer (3:08) made it 7-4 and when Andy Townsend flipped one over Cey at 10:28, it was 7-5.
“It’s always difficult when you are up 7-2. They loosen up, get a couple chances,” said Poulin.
“I thought on Bellissimo’s goal, we made a good decision to try to pinch on the play and they broke it up and scored. This team will learn to finish games when they are 7-2.
Poulin added, “We got a lot of guys involved in the scoring, the power play was terrific and we played with poise and patience at the end.”
Cey finished with 17 saves on the night as the Irish outshot WMU by a 28-22 margin. Foster made 14 saves while Mantua had six stops during his time in the game.
Notre Dame returns to action at home next weekend. The Irish will play host to the Ferris State Bulldogs on Fri.-Sat., Oct. 25-26 with faceoff both nights set for 7:05 p.m.
The last time the Irish scored four power-play goals in a game was Feb. 12, 2000 in a 7-4 win at Nebraska-Omaha.
Aaron Gill joined Rob Globke as Irish players with hat tricks this season. This marks the first time since 1994-95 that the Irish have had two or more hat tricks in one season. Tim Harberts, Brian Urick and Ben Nelsen had hat tricks that season.
With the win, Morgan Cey is now 9-2-1 in his last 12 games going back to last season.
The win over Western Michigan was just the seventh for the Irish in 26 games in Kalamazoo. Western leads the all-time series, 28-19-4.
GAME SUMARY: 1 2 3 F Notre Dame (3-0-1/2-0-0) 3 4 1 8
Western Michigan (2-2-0/2-2-0) 1 1 3 5
First Period: ND: Neil Komadoski 1 (unassisted), PPG, 5:54; WMU: Paul Davies 1 (Ben Gagnon, Mike Jarmuth), SHG, 12:07; ND: Tim Wallace 2 (Kyle Dolder), 13:53; ND: Aaron Gill 1 (Tom Galvin, Jake Wiegand), 18:03.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; WMU: 3 for 6 minutes
Second Period: ND: John Wroblewski 3 (Yan Stastny), 8:25; ND: Gill 2 (Wroblewski, Evan Nielsen), PPG, 11:05; WMU: Brent Walton 2 (Jarmuth, Pat Dwyer), PPG, 12:32; Gill 3 (Rob Globke, Komadoski), PPG, 15:58; ND: Michael Chin 2 (Connor Dunlop, Galvin), PPG, 17:20.
Penalties: ND: 5 for 18 minutes; WMU: 4 for 11 minutes.
Third Period: WMU: Vince Bellisimo 4 (Dana Lattery, Reid Yantzi), 1:47; WMU: Dwyer 1 (Davies, Walton), 3:08; WMU: Andy Townsend 2 (Jeff Campbell, Walton), 10:28; ND: Stastny 3 (Wroblewski, Brett Lebda), ENG, 19:13.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; WMU: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 14 – 9 – 5 – 28
Western Michigan 3 – 5 -14 – 22
ND – Morgan Cey (60:00) 2 – 4 – 11 – 17
WMU – Scott Foster (31:05) 11 – 3 – x – 14
Mike Mantua (29:07) x – 2 – 4 – 6
ND: 4 for 7
WMU: 1 for 3