Feb. 7, 2010
Kalamazoo, Mich. – After putting in a lackluster performance in Friday night’s 7-2 loss at Western Michigan, Notre Dame did everything possible on Saturday night except win the game. The Irish ran into red-hot goaltender Riley Gill and the Broncos got a hat trick from Derek Roehl, on the way to a 4-1 win over Notre Dame in front of 3,171 at Lawson Arena on Saturday.
Notre Dame peppered Gill with 55 shots and the senior kicked out 54 in the win. Roehl, a sophomore left wing, who came into the weekend series with just one goal on the year, scored three in the victory and had four in the weekend series to lead Western Michigan to the sweep.
Defenseman Tyler Ludwig had the fourth Bronco goal while Irish blue liner Brett Blatchford had the lone lamplighter for Notre Dame.
On the night, the Irish had 12 power-play chances and failed to score while Western Michigan was 3-for-4 with the man advantage. The Broncos had five power-play goals in the series while Notre Dame was 0-for-18 on the weekend. The Irish penalty-killing unit came into the week ranked No. 1 in the nation only to see Western Michigan go 5-for-6 in the two games.
The loss dropped Notre Dame into a tie for eighth place with Lake Superior in the CCHA standings as the Irish are now 12-13-7 for the year and 8-10-6-2 in the CCHA, good for 32 points in league play. Notre Dame is just one point ahead of 10th-place Ohio State and both the Buckeyes and the Lakers have two games in hand. The Broncos, who snapped an 11-game unbeaten streak (0-8-3) on Friday, improved to 8-15-5 overall and 4-14-4-1 in the conference.
As the shot totals would indicate, Notre Dame dominated the first period but had nothing to show for it as Western Michigan scored twice. Through the first 13 minutes of the period, the Irish out shot the Broncos by a 10-0 margin, but Western got the opening goal of the game off a scramble in front on its second shot of the night at 13:11.
The Broncos worked the puck to the slot where Jared Katz fired a shot, Western’s first of the night. Johnson made the stop but couldn’t control the rebound as it came loose in the crease. Roehl was there to jam it in for his first goal of the contest to make it 1-0.
Less than four minutes later, the Broncos capitalized on a Notre Dame penalty to score the first of three power-play goals. Left wing Dane Walters moved it from the sideboards to Ludwig at the left point. The senior captain hammered a slap shot over Johnson’s glove hand and under the cross bar for his third of the season, this one at 16:53, to give Western the 2-0 lead. The Irish finished the period with a 15-7 shot advantage.
The Broncos ran the lead to 3-0 just 55 seconds into the second period, picking up their second power-play goal of the night.
Roehl would get his second goal of the night when he deflected a shot by defenseman Matt Tennyson past Johnson for his fourth of the year. That goal sent Johnson to the bench for the second consecutive night, this time in favor of senior Tom O’Brien. Johnson finished the night with six saves on nine shots while O’Brien had six saves on seven shots.
The second period was dominated by the Irish as they out shot Western Michigan by a 19-2 margin. The Irish were 0-for-4 on the power play in the period but Gill held them off making 19 saves to run his two-period total to 34.
Notre Dame continued to push to score as the Irish fired 21 shots in the third but could get the puck past Gill just once.
With the teams skating four aside, Blatchford flipped a shot from the left point that fluttered over Gill’s glove at 11:22 for his third of the season. Teddy Ruth and Dan Kissel picked up assists on the goal.
Roehl would cap the scoring with his third goal of the night at 13:58 of the final period when he beat O’Brien off a scramble in front. That goal made it 4-1 and sealed the deal for the Broncos.
The 55 shots were the most for the Irish in a game this season since November of 2004 when they fired 54 shots on Bowling Green in a 4-4 tie.
Notre Dame’s 12 power-play chances saw the Irish get 27 shots but no goals to show for it.
The sweep by Western Michigan marks the third time this season that Notre Dame was swept in a weekend series as Miami and Ferris State turned the trick earlier this winter.
The Irish will take a break from hockey action next week as they are idle. Notre Dame will return to action on Friday, Feb. 19 when the Irish travel to Bowling Green, Ohio for a weekend series with the Falcons. Game time at the BGSU Ice Arena is 7:05 p.m.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - FNotre Dame (12-13-7/8-10-6-2) 0 0 1 - 1Western Michigan (8-15-5/4-14-4-1) 2 1 1 - 4
Scoring First Period: WMU: Derek Roehl 3 (Jared Katz, Luke Witkowski), 13:11; WMU: Tyler Ludwig 3 (Dane Walters, Roehl), PPG, 16:53.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; WMU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Second Period: WMU: Roehl 4 (Matthew Tennyson, Dane Walters), PPG, 00:55
Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; WMU: 4 for 8 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 4 for 8 minutes; WMU: 9 for 26 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 15 - 18 - 21 - 55Western Michigan 7 - 2 - 7 - 16
Goaltender Saves:ND: Mike Johnson (20:55) 5 - 1 - x - 6 Tom O'Brien (38:45) x - 0 - 6 - 6WMU: Riley Gill (60:00) 15 - 18 - 20 - 54
Power Plays:ND: 0 for 12WMU: 3 for 3