Jan. 13, 2012
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Western Michigan Broncos scored twice in a 14-second span in the third period to overcome a 2-1 Notre Dame lead on the way to a 3-2 win over the Irish in front of 4,824 at the Compton Family Ice Arena on Friday night.
Chase Balisy and Kyle O’Kane notched the goals for the Broncos that helped snap Notre Dame’s three-game winning streak. Dane Walters opened the scoring for Western Michigan only to see the Irish take the 2-1 lead on goals by Sam Calabrese and Austin Wuthrich.
The loss drops the third-ranked Irish to 13-7-3 overall and 8-4-3-0 in the CCHA as they fall out of a second-place tie with the Broncos into a third-place tie with Miami. Western Michigan, ranked 10th in the nation, is now 11-7-5 overall and moved past Notre Dame into second place in the conference with an 8-4-3-3 record, good for 30 points, just four points behind first-place Ohio State.
The Broncos got on the scoreboard first, taking a 1-0 lead just 3:21 into the game when Walters beat Irish goaltender Steven Summerhays with a wrist shot over his glove hand from the slot. Balisy set up Walters with a pass on a two-on-one with the goal being Walters’ 10th of the season.
Notre Dame would get the equalizer at 11:48 when Calabrese picked up his second of the season off the rebound of a Bryan Rust shot. Rust got around the Western Michigan defense and fired a shot from inside the right circle. Bronco goaltender Frank Slubowski made the save but kicked the rebound into the high slot where Calabrese fired it inside the left post to make it a 1-1 game.
The Irish scored the lone goal of the second period off some great forechecking by center T.J. Tynan. The sophomore forced the Broncos into a turnover along the left boards and was able to center the puck to Wuthrich. The freshman right wing whipped a shot from between the hashmarks past Slubowski for his fifth of the season and Notre Dame had its only lead of the game, 2-1.
Neither team mounted much pressure early in the third before Western Michigan erupted for its two goals with under eight minutes left in the game with the help of the power play.
The Irish were assessed a bench minor penalty at 11:26 after a non-call on a hit near the Notre Dame bench.
With the man advantage, Balisy was able to tie the game with his eighth goal of the season at 12:07 as he converted a feed from Dennis Brown, beating Summerhays in front to make it 2-2.
Before Balisy’s goal was even announced, the Broncos took the lead just 14 seconds later at 12:21. Trevor Elias moved the puck from below the Notre Dame goal line to defenseman Dan DeKeyser at the left point. DeKeyser’s big shot went off O’Kane in front of the goal and past Summerhays for his third of the season and the Broncos led 3-2.
Western Michigan held the Irish off the scoreboard the rest of the way and took the 3-2 road win. On the night, Notre Dame out shot the Broncos, 26-25. Slubowski finished with 24 saves while Summerhays had 22 in the game.
The Broncos were 1-for-4 on the power play while the Irish were 0-for-2.
The two teams will be back in action on Saturday evening when the series moves to Kalamazoo, Mich. Game time at Lawson Arena is set for 7:05 p.m.
** IRISH NOTES ** * Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays saw his streak of three consecutive wins in three consecutive starts snapped with the loss. He also saw his string of five consecutive wins that started on Nov. 11 come to an end. Summerhays is now 6-2-0 on the season.
* In three games this season, Notre Dame and Western Michigan are now 1-1-1. The Broncos have an extra point as they won a shootout on Nov. 22 in Kalamazoo.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#11/#10 Western Michigan (11-7-5/8-4-3-3) 1 0 2 - 3#3/#3 Notre Dame (13-7-3/8-4-3-0) 1 1 0 - 2
Penalties: WMU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Penalties: WMU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 3 for 17 minutes.
Third Period: WMU: Chase Balisy 8 (Dennis Brown, Matt Tennyson), PPG, 12:07; WMU: Kyle O’Kane 3 (Dan DeKeyser, Trevor Elias), 12:21.
Penalties: WMU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 3 for 6 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Western Michigan 9 - 10 - 6 - 25Notre Dame 15 - 6 - 5 - 26
Goaltender Saves:WMU: Frank Slubowski (59:53) 14 - 5 - 5 - 24ND: Steven Summerhays (59:41) 8 - 10 - 4 - 22
Power Plays:WMU: 1 for 4ND: 0 for 2