Dec. 8, 2001
Bowling Green, Ohio – The only thing that standing between Notre Dame and a four-winning streak on Saturday night versus Bowling Green stood 5-10, weighed 165 pounds and wore a bright orange-trimmed mask.
That would be goaltender Tyler Masters who did his best imitation of a brick wall as he kicked out 45 of Notre Dame’s 47 shots in a 4-2 Falcons’ win over the Fighting Irish Saturday night at the BGSU Ice Arena.
The loss snapped Notre Dame’s three-game winning streak and drops the Irish to 5-7-4 overall and 5-4-3 in CCHA. Bowling Green improves to 5-9-4 overall and 4-8-2 in CCHA play.
“Tyler Masters was enormous for them tonight,” said Notre Dame head coach Dave Poulin.
“We knew that coming in. He’s one of the better goaltenders in college hockey and he came up big in the game.”
Even though the Irish poured a season-high 17 shots on goal in the first period, the Falcons scored first, getting a power play goal at the 6:38 mark of the first period. Sophomore defenseman Brian Escobedo banged home a rebound of his own shot after Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey had stopped Mark Wires’ point blank shot.
The power play goal for the Falcons was their third in a row going back to Friday night’s game after the Irish had killed seven straight penalties.
Bowling Green took advantage of a Notre Dame turnover right in front of their own net to make it 2-0. Greg Day pounced on the loose puck in front of Cey and got off a quick shot. With the freshman goaltender sprawling on the ice, Day was able to lift the rebound over Cey for his ninth goal of the year at 13:22.
Notre Dame’s offense came to life early in the second period. Brett Lebda broke up a Bowling Green rush in front of his net and found Connor Dunlop all alone at center ice. Dunlop beat the defense, made a nice move on Masters and slid the puck home for his fifth goal of the year at 4:49.
Irish goaltender Morgan Cey had his chance to show his goaltending talents at 9:52 of the second period. With Bowling Green on the power play, referee John Gosger awarded the Falcons a penalty shot after he whistled Lebda for covering the puck in the crease.
Day, Bowling Green’s top scorer, took the shot and after faking Cey to the ice got off a shot that the Irish freshman goaltender got his pad on for the stop.
“Morgan made a big save for us on the penalty shot. It changed the momentum and got our offense going,” said Poulin.
“I was surprised that he called a penalty shot with them on the power play. It puts the puck on their best player’s stick. It was an interesting decision.”
The penalty shot was the first against the Irish since March 13, 1999 when Michigan’s Bill Muckalt was stopped by Matt Eisler in a 4-2 Notre Dame win. Globke scored on a penalty shot for Notre Dame earlier this season versus Union College.
The Irish failed to take advantage of the momentum swing though as Masters repeatedly made big stops in front. His sparkling play in goal held Notre Dame off the scoreboard until his offense was able to add one.
Tyler Knight gave Bowling Green that 3-1 lead when he cashed in a two-on-one with Day at 13:51. With the Irish caught up ice, Day pulled a Notre Dame defenseman toward him and slid the puck to Knight who had the entire net to hit for his second goal of the season.
The Irish kept coming in the third period and finally broke through via the power play at 13:12. Nifty stickhandling by Rob Globke between the circles freed up John Wroblewski to the left of Masters. The junior forward wasted little time in firing the puck under the junior goaltender for his fifth goal of the season.
Notre Dame continued to press the attack but could not solve Bowling Green’s goaltender. Roger Leonard closed the scoring at 19:42 when he scored into an empty net for the 4-2 win.
“We had our chances tonight. We battled and played hard right to the end,” said Poulin.
“It’s awfully tough to get a sweep in this league. Even though we didn’t play as well tonight as we did last night, I still thought we played well enough to win. Masters was the difference.”
Notre Dame outshot Bowling Green 47-29 on the night. Cey finished with 25 saves for the Irish.
The Irish now break for finals and will return to action on Friday, Dec. 21 when they play host to the USA Under-18 Team in an exhibition game at the Joyce Center. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Notre Dame will return to regular season action on Friday, Dec. 28 when they travel to New Jersey to face ECAC foe Princeton in a weekend series.
Game Summary: 1 2 3 F
Notre Dame (5-7-4/5-4-3) 0 1 1 2
Bowling Green (5-9-4/4-8-2) 2 1 1 4
First Period: BGSU: Brian Escobedo 3 (Mark Wires, Austin de Luis), PPG, 6:38, BGSU: Greg Day 9 (unassisted), 13:22.
Penalties: ND: 4 for 8 minutes, BGSU: 3 for 6 minutes.
Second Period: ND: Connor Dunlop 5 (Brett Lebda), 4:49, BGSU: Tyler Knight 2 (Day, Dennis White), 13:41.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes, BGSU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: BGSU: ND: John Wroblewski 5 (Rob Globke, Evan Nielsen), PPG, 13:12, BGSU: Roger Leonard 4 (de Luis), ENG, 19:42.
Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes, BGSU: 3 for 6 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 14 – 17 – 16 – 47
Bowling Green 11 – 8 – 10 – 29
ND – Morgan Cey (58:55) 9 – 7 – 9 – 25
BGSU – Tyler Masters (60:00) 14 – 16 – 15 – 45
ND: 1 for 6
BGSU: 1 for 6