March 2, 2001
Kalamazoo, Mich. – Notre Dame’s late season playoff rush continued Friday night as Ryan Dolder’s third period goal gve the Fighting Irish a hard-fought 5-4 win at Western Michigan’s Lawson Arena.
The win runs Notre Dame’s current unbeaten streak to 4-0-2 and improves the Irish to 10-21-7 overall and 7-14-6 in league play good for 20 points. Notre Dame goes into the season finale on Saturday agains Western Michigan with a one-point lead over Bowling Green for the final playoff spot as BG pulled out a 1-0 overtime win versus Ferris State on Friday. Lake Superior State was eliminated with its 4-3 loss to Northern Michigan.
“Needless to say, this was a huge win for us. We got some enormous efforts from a lot of people tonight,” said head coach Dave Poulin following the game.
“We’ve been playing playoff hockey for the last month and now we have one more to go tomorrow night. All we can do is go out and play,” added Poulin.
David Inman led the Irish with a goal and two assists on the night and goaltender Jeremiah Kimento made 33 saves in the all important win for the Irish.
Western Michigan got on the board first scoring at the 2:11 mark of the first period. Defenseman Andy Townsend put right wing Jeff Campbell into the Irish zone on what appeared to be an offsides play. Campbell carried the puck in on Kimento before dishing off to Mike Bishai who slid a backhander past the Notre Dame goaltender for his 17th of the season.
The Irish came back just over four minutes later as Inman collected his 11th goal of the season at 6:18. Center Rob Globke won the draw back to defenseman Ryan Clark who fired a low wrist shot from the left point. Inman was parked to the right of the Western goal and redirected the puck past Bronco goaltender Jeff Reynaert to even the score at 1-1.
Notre Dame would score three times in the second period and wasted little time getting the first one. Just 15 seconds into the second stanza, defenseman Brett Lebda found left wing Connor Dunlop all alone at the Western Michigan blue line. Dunlop skated in all alone and ripped a wrist shot past Reynaert for his seventh goal of the season.
Jeff Campbell, the CCHA’s top freshman scorer, tied the game at 11:05 with his 22nd goal of the year. With ND’s Jake Wiegand off for hooking, Western’s power play went to work. Defenseman Mike Jarmuth had his shot stopped in front, but Campbell beat Kimento to the loose puck at the right side of the goal, flipping the loose puck over the sprawling goaltender.
The Irish scored the next two goals to open a 4-2 lead. Globke one-timed an Inman centering pass through Reynaert’s past for his 17th of the year at 11:37.
Defenseman Neil Komadoski gave the Irish a two-goal lead at the 14:56 mark when he jumped into the play late and took a centering pass from Inman behind the Western goal. The freshman wasted little time burying his shot behind Reynaert for his second goal of the year.
Just 29 seconds later, Western cut the lead to 4-3 off another scramble in front of Kimento. Left wing Chad Kline corralled the rebound of a Ryan Crane shot and flipped it over Kimento at 15:25 for his second goal of the season.
Western evened the game at 4-4 at 6:29 of the third as the Irish were forced to kill a two-minute, five-on-three man advantage. With Brett Lebda and Neil Komadoski in the penalty box, Bishai got his second goal of the night at 6:29 when he redirected defenseman Dave Cousineau’s wrist shot from the left point through Kimento’s pads.
That released Komadoski from the penalty box, but Western still had a five-on-four. Notre Dame’s penalty killers took care of the remaining time and as Lebda stepped on the ice, Carlson chased down a loose puck in the right wing circle and found Dolder all alone in front of the net. The senior right wing wasted little time as he drilled a wrist shot past Reynaert for the eventual game winning goal, his 15th of the year at 7:40.
“Ryan’s goal was a huge goal. It was basically a shorthanded goal, since it came right after the penalty expired. Dan Carlson had a tremendous effort to get to the puck. I think he’s playing as well as any player in the league right now,” said Poulin.
“From there, it was crunch time. Jeremiah (Kimento) played well and our defense did a great job tonight. It was a great team effort in a big game,” commented the sixth-year head coach.
Kimento finished the game with 33 saves and picked up his first career assist on Dunlop’s second period goal. The junior goaltender is now 2-0-1 in his last three games.
Western is now 18-11-6 on the year and 11-10-6 in CCHA play. Reynaert made 23 saves in the game.
The two teams close out the regular season on Saturday, March 3 when they face-off in a 7:05 p.m. game at the Joyce Center.
IRISH NOTES: Dan Carlson extended his point streak to nine games with two assists on the night. He has seven goals and seven assists for 14 points in that span. Carlson also moved into 20th on Notre Dame’s all-time scoring list with the two assists. The senior from Edina, Minn., now has 52 goals and 80 assists in his career for 132 career points.
Notre Dame will honor its graduating senior class on Saturday night at the Joyce Center. Carlson, Ryan Dolder, defenseman Ryan Clark, goaltender Kyle Kolquist and forwards Matt Van Arkel and Chad Chipchase will play the final home game of their careers.
Game Summary: 1 2 3 F
Notre Dame (10-21-7/7-14-6) 1 3 1 5
Western Michigan (18-11-6/11-10-6) 1 2 1 4
First Period: WMU: Mike Bishai 17 (Jeff Campbell, Andy Townsend), 2:11, ND: David Inman 11 (Ryan Clark, Rob Globke), 6:18.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes, WMU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Second Period: ND: Connor Dunlop 7 (Brett Lebda, Jeremiah Kimento), :15, WMU: Campbell 22 (Mike Jarmuth, Bishai), PPG, 11:05, ND: Globke 17 (Inman, Dan Carlson), 11:37, ND: Neil Komadoski 2 (Inman, Evan Nielsen), 14:56, WMU: Chad Kline 2 (Ryan Crane, Brett Mills), 15:25.
Penalties: ND: 4 for 8 minutes, WMU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: WMU: Bishai 18 (Dave Cousineau, David Gove), PPG 5X3, 6:29, ND: Ryan Dolder 15 (Carlson), 7:40.
Penalties: ND: 5 for 10 minutes, WMU: 6 for 12 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 6 – 13 – 9 – 28
Western Michigan 14 – 10 -13 – 37
Notre Dame – Jeremiah Kimento (60:00) 13 – 8 – 12 – 33
Western Michigan – Jeff Reynaert (59:12) 5 – 10 – 8 – 23
Notre Dame: 0 for 6
Western Michigan: 2 for 7