Mike Johnson made 24 saves in the 2-2 tie with Western Michigan.  His personal unbeaten streak is now nine games (6-0-3).

Irish Battle Western Michigan To A 2-2 Tie; Broncos win shootout, 2-0

Nov. 23, 2011

Final Stats

Kalamazoo, Mich. – For the fifth time in the last seven games, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish saw one of their games go to overtime as they battled the Western Michigan Broncos to a 2-2 overtime tie Tuesday night at Lawson Arena. The Broncos picked up the extra point in the CCHA standings by winning the shootout, 2-0.

For the second game in a row, Notre Dame’s Bryan Rust proved to be the Irish hero as he scored the game-tying goal with 6:11 left in the third period. He won Notre Dame’s last game, scoring with 1.1 seconds left in a 3-2 overtime win with Boston College on Nov. 18.

Austin Wuthrich also scored for the Irish while Dennis Brown and J.J. Crew had the Broncos goals in what proved to be a defensive struggle and a battle of two excellent goaltenders. Notre Dame out shot Western Michigan 30-26 in the game. The Bronco’s Frank Slubowski had 28 saves on the night while Mike Johnson finished with 24 stops in the Notre Dame goal.

The tie extends Notre Dame’s current unbeaten streak to 10 games (7-0-3), a streak that started on Oct. 21. The No. 3/No. 2 ranked Irish are now 9-2-3 overall and 6-1-3-0 in the CCHA, good for 21 points, two points behind first-place Ohio State in the conference standings. Western Michigan, ranked 13th in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll and 12th in the USCHO.com poll, is now 6-4-4 overall and 4-4-2-2 in conference play. That gives the Broncos 16 points in the CCHA.

Notre Dame broke through first in the opening period when Wuthrich scored his fourth of the season at the 5:24 mark for a 1-0 lead. Mike Voran controlled the puck along the left wing boards and found Wuthrich at the top of the right circle. The freshman from Anchorage, Alaska, whipped a wrist shot past Slubowski, beating him over his blocker and under the crossbar.

Western Michigan scored both goals of the second period as Brown and Crew put pucks past Johnson. Brown tied the game at 1-1 at the 3:24 mark when he took a loose puck off the right boards and moved towards center before unleashing a blast that beat Johnson high to his glove side for his second goal of the season.

Crew put the Broncos ahead at 13:51 with his first of the year off some strong work in the right corner from Derek Roehl and Brett Beebe. Roehl came away with the puck as Crew cut to the goal from the right circle and slid the puck through Johnson’s pads to make it 2-1.

The score would stay that way until the 13:49 mark when Rust tied the game with his third goal of the season and second in as many games. Defenseman Sam Calabrese kept the puck in at the blue line and fired a shot on goal. Anders Lee deflected the shot off Slubowski’s pads and the rebound found its way to Rust’s stick near the left post and he banged it in to make it 2-2.

The goaltenders held the score at 2-2 as Slubowski made 14 stops in the third period and Johnson had 11 as both teams opened the game up.

In overtime, the Broncos got two shots on Johnson while the Irish had one on Slubowski and after 65 minutes, the game remained tied 2-2.

In the shootout, Western shot first with Greg Squires missing his shot. T.J. Tynan shot first and Slubowski stopped his shot. The second Bronco shooter was Brown and he came in and made a nice move on Johnson before sliding the puck past him to put Western Michigan up, 1-0. Mike Voran was Notre Dame’s second shooter and he tried to make a move but lost control of the puck. Chase Balisy sealed the shootout victory when he beat Johnson on the Broncos’ third shot for the 2-0 victory.

The Irish are now 0-3 in shootouts and have yet to score a goal. In overtime games, Notre Dame is 2-0-3 for the year and extended its unbeaten streak in overtime games to 26 (7-0-19), dating back to March 21, 2008, when they lost to Miami in the CCHA playoffs. The Irish have not lost a CCHA overtime game since Jan. 8, 2005.

Notre Dame returns to the road this weekend with a pair of games on Nov. 25-26 at Lake Superior State. Game time both nights is 7:05 p.m.

GAME SUMMARY                               1     2     3   OT  -  F#3/#3 Notre Dame (9-2-3/6-1-3-0)           1     0     1    0  -  2#13/#12 Western Michigan (6-4-4/4-4-2-2)   0     2     0    0  -  2
ScoringFirst Period: ND: Austin Wuthrich 4 (Mike Voran), 5:24.Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; WMU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Second Period: WMU: Dennis Brown 2 (unassisted), 3:24; WMU: J.J. Crew 1 (Derek Roehl, Brett Beebe), 13:51.Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; WMU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: ND: Bryan Rust 3 (Anders Lee, Sam Calabrese), 13:49.Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; WMU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Overtime: No ScoringPenalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; WMU: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shootout: (WMU wins, 2-0)WMU - Greg Squires (save)ND - T.J. Tynan (save)WMU - Dennis Brown (goal)ND - Mike Voran (miss)WMU - Chase Balisy (goal)
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 8 - 6 - 15 - 1 - 30Western Michigan 7 - 6 - 11 - 2 - 26
Goaltender Saves:ND: Mike Johnson (65:00) 7 - 4 - 11 - 2 - 24WMU: Frank Slubowski (65:00) 7 - 6 - 14 - 1 - 28
Power Plays:ND: 0 for 3WMU: 0 for 1
Attendance: 3,381