Feb. 19, 2000
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Three Notre Dame freshmen combined for the team’s only goal while their classmate Tony Zasowski continued his stellar play with 20 saves, but Bowling Green took some of the luster out of the weekend by scoring midway through the final period, as the Irish and Falcons played to a 1-1 tie Saturday night at the BGSU Ice Arena.
Notre Dame (14-15-7, 11-10-6) retained its fifth-place position in the CCHA standings (the final home ice post for the CCHA Tournament), with Saturday’s win ensuring that the Irish can finish no lower than ninth. The Irish hold a two-point lead on sixth-place Ferris State (12-12-2)-which rallied for three late goals to beat Ohio State, 3-2-while seventh-place Nebraska-Omaha (10-10-5) plays host to eighth-place Miami (9-11-3) on Sunday afternoon.
The Irish goal came from an unlikely source, as fourth-line left wing Jake Wiegand registered the first point of his brief Notre Dame career. But the Irish-who had totaled 12 goals in the previous two games-failed to extend their lead, with the team’s surging power play going 0-for-6.
Bowling Green (13-17-0, 10-14-0 CCHA) slipped back onto the CCHA Tournament bubble, as the ninth-place Falcons lead Western Michigan (8-13-3) by three points while 11th-place Ohio State (6-15-3) gets its chance to close ground on BG next week.
The tie is Notre Dame’s seventh of the season-extending the team record set three weeks at Alaska Fairbanks (the 1993-94 and ’98-’99 teams each posted five ties)-while Saturday’s game was BG’s first tie and third overtime game of the season.
The Irish have played to overtime in seven of the last eight weeks and in nine games overall (2-0-7), one shy of equaling the team record set in 1997-98 (2-4-4).
Center Connor Dunlop initiated the Irish goal midway through the second period, after winning a rightside faceoff and drawing the puck back to the point. Defenseman Evan Nielsen then carried the puck towards the right side of the net before dropping a pass into the slot, with Wiegand banging the puck by sophomore goaltender Shawn Timm at the 8:17 mark.
The Falcons netted the equalizer at the 11:41 mark of the third period, with senior left wing Zach Ham working the puck to senior center Adam Edinger at the top of the right circle. Edinger then executed a tough backhanded pass that carried through the slot before finding the stick of the waiting freshman right wing Ryan Fultz, who lifted the puck into the right side of the net for a 1-1 game.
The Irish were forced to play with just 17 healthy skaters, due to an injury to junior defenseman Ryan Clark and illness with senior center Troy Bagne (the team’s other four players did not make the trip, due to injury and/or rehabilitation).
A quick-moving first period featured few stoppages of play and just one power-play chance per team, with the Irish holding the Falcons to three shots on goal during the first 20 minutes.
NOTES: ND missed out on the chance to even its record at .500 for the first time this season, with a 7-3-4 mark in the last 14 games (the Irish were 7-12-3 after the Jan. 1 loss to Colorado College) … Dunlop has points in each of the last three games (1G-4A) while Nielsen has 1G-3A in the last three … junior LW Dan Carlson saw his five-game goal streak come to an end … ND improved to 33-0-6 in its last 39 games when holding a second-intermission lead (10-0-3 this season) … in other CCHA action Friday, first-place Michigan (17-5-3) played to a 2-2 tie at third-place Northern Michigan (14-6-4) … second-place Michigan State (17-7-1) moved two points back of Michigan, after posting a 5-2 home win over last-place Alaska Fairbanks (3-22-1).
PLAYOFF PICTURE: ND-which has a bye week before closing with a home-and-away series vs. MSU-can finish anywhere from 4th-7th, with Lake Superior (14-8-2) holding a two-point lead on the Irish (with two games in hand) … LSSU finishes with a series at Western Michigan and a home-and-away series vs. NMU … the Lakers would earn the higher seed should they finish tied with the Irish (based on having more league wins, 14, than ND can total) … FSU joins ND with a bye week before finishing with a series at WMU … the Bulldogs also would win a potential tiebreaker with the Irish (FSU would have more league wins) … in addition to Sunday’s game vs. Miami, UNO has a series next week at UAF … the only way that ND would win a tie in the standings with UNO would be if the Mavericks tie their final three games (meaning that ND would have more wins, UNO holds the second tiebreaker, after winning the season series 2-1-1) … Miami still can catch ND, with a home series vs. NMU and an away-and-home series vs. OSU (plus Sunday’s UNO game) … the only way that ND would win a tie with Miami would be for the RedHawks to go 2-0-3 in their final five games (and thus finish with an identical record to ND, with the Irish then holding the head-to-head tiebreaker, thanks to a tie and win over Miami early in the season) … BG’s slim chances at overtaking the Irish would require that the Falcons pick up at least seven points in their final four games (away-and-home vs. OSU, away-and-home vs. Michigan).
NOTRE DAME (14-15-7, 11-9-5 CCHA) 0 1 0 – 1
BOWLING GREEN (13-15-1, 10-13-1 CCHA) 0 0 1 – 1
2nd: ND 1. Wiegand 1 (Nielsen, Dunlop) 8:17.
3rd: BG 1. Fultz 11 (Edinger, Ham) 11:41.
SHOTS: ND 9-13-8-1/31, BG 3-10-5-3/21.
SAVES: ND (Zasowski) 3-10-4-3/20, BG (Timm) 9-12-8-1/30.
POWER PLAY: ND 0-for-6, BG 0-for-3.
PENALTIES: ND 5 for 10:00, BG 8 for 16:00.