March 1, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – It was one of those wierd nights for hockey at the Joyce Center Friday night. Notre Dame fired 50 shots at Bowling Green goaltender Tyler Masters and had to hold on for a 4-3 win.
None of Notre Dame’s big scorers got on the scoreboard, but the team’s unsung heroes made sure the Irish left the Joyce Center with a victory and a four-game winning streak in hand.
Paul Harris (2nd), Jon Maruk (2nd), Jake Wiegand (1st) and Kyle Dolder (3rd) did the scoring for the Irish and goaltender Morgan Cey made 28 saves in the Notre Dame win.
The victory extended the current Irish winning streak to a season-high four games and improved Notre Dame to 13-15-5 overall and 11-12-4 in CCHA play. Bowling Green falls to 9-22-6 overall and 7-17-3 in league play. The four-game win streak is the longest for the Irish since a five-game streak from Jan. 3-16, 1999.
“There was nothing pretty about this one, but we won the game,” said head coach Dave Poulin following the game.
“It’s a long season and every now and then you are allowed to win an ugly one. Tyler Masters (Bowling Green goaltender) is a very good goaltender and he showed it tonight.”
The first period was a wild one as five of the game’s seven goals were scored and the two teams combined for 33 shots on goal.
Defenseman Paul Harris, playing in just his sixth game of the season, gave Notre Dame a 1-0 lead at 6:09 when his shot from the right point broke through Masters’ pads and trickled over the goal line.
Bowling Green came back 51 seconds later when Ryan Wetterberg capped a two-on-one with Greg Day, redirecting a centering pass behind Cey at the 7:00 minute mark. The goal was Wetterberg’s seventh of the season.
D’Arcy McConvey, who was a thorn in Notre Dame’s side all night with two goals and an assist, gave the Falcons a 2-1 lead at 14:27 with his ninth of the season.
Notre Dame’s offense came alive led by the team’s fourth line. Senior Jon Maruk tied the game when he whipped a Brad Wanchulak pass past Masters to tie the game 2-2 at 15:27 for his second of the year.
Junior Jake Wiegand put the Irish ahead to stay at 3-2 with his first of the season when he tapped the rebound of a Wanchulak shot behind Masters. The junior goaltender had made one of his 20 first-period saves on Wanchulak and was out of position on the rebound.
The Notre Dame lead would go to 4-2 when Kyle Dolder scored his third goal of the season at 6:37 of the second as he fired the rebound of Brett Lebda’s shot over Masters for what proved to be the game-winning goal.
With the 4-2 lead, the Irish continued to put the pressure on, but couldn’t get another puck past Masters.
“The two-goal lead is the worst lead in hockey,” said Poulin.
“I thought we had a great second period creating some great scoring chances but Masters made some great saves.”
Bowling Green’s offense came to life in the third period and McConvey picked up his second goal of the night when Greg Day’s centering pass from the right wing corner hit him in the shoulder and deflected behind Cey at 5:07.
From there, Cey made enough saves to give Notre Dame the win, stopping 11 of 12 third-period shots.
With one game left in the regular season, the playoff picture did not clear up. The best the Irish can do is finish eighth or ninth. Ferris State upset Michigan State on Friday and remains one point behind the Irish in ninth place. If the season were to end tonight, the Irish would travel to Nebraska-Omaha next weekend for the start of the CCHA playoffs.
Notre Dame closes out the regular season at the Joyce Center on Saturday with Senior Night. Game time versus the Falcons is 7:05 p.m.
Friday CCHA scores:
Miami 3, Ohio State 1
Northern Michigan 3, Lake Superior 2
Michigan 4, Western Michigan 2
Ferris State 3, Michigan State 2
Bowling Green (9-22-6/7-17-3) 2 0 1 – 3
Notre Dame (13-15-5/11-12-4) 3 1 0 – 4
First Period: ND: Paul Harris 2 (Cory McLean, Kyle Dolder), 6:09, BGSU: Ryan Wetterberg 7 (Greg Day, D’Arcy McConvey), 7:00, BGSU: McConvey 9 (Wetterberg, Bieksa), 14:27, ND: Jon Maruk 2 (Brad Wanchulak), 15:27, ND: Jake Wiegand 1 (Wanchulak, Tom Galvin), 18:04.
Penalties: BGSU: 0 for 0 minutes, ND: 0 for 0 minutes.
Second Period: ND: Dolder 3 (Brett Lebda, Cory McLean), 6:37.
Penalties: BGSU: 4 for 8 minutes, ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: BGSU: McConvey 10 (Day), 5:07.
Penalties: BGSU: 0 for 0 minutes, ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Bowling Green 10 – 9 – 12 – 31
Notre Dame 23 – 21 – 6 – 50
Bowling Green – Tyler Masters (58:48) 20 -20 – 6 – 46
Notre Dame – Morgan Cey (60:00) 8 – 9 – 11 – 28
Power Plays: BGSU: 0 for 2, ND: 0 for 2