Jan. 21, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Dan Carlson delivered on Friday night as the cover boy on the Notre Dame hockey game program, as the junior left wing scored the game-tying goal with 1:23 left in regulation and then scored 52 seconds into overtime, lifting the Irish to a frenetic 4-3 victory over visiting Western Michigan-and spoiling Jeff Reynaert’s 52-save night-in the first game of a Central Collegiate Hockey Association series at the Joyce Center.
The wild game saw Reynaert stop 48 of Notre Dame’s first 49 shots on goal while his WMU teammates had scrapped their way to a 3-1 lead, after junior right wing Brett Mills had converted on what would be the Broncos only shot of the third period (compared to 25 for the Irish). But the hosts put the puck past the sophomore goaltender on three of their final seven shots, including a goal by sophomore center David Inman that cut WMU’s lead to 3-2 with 3:26 left to play.
Notre Dame (9-13-5, 6-7-4 CCHA) continued to edge up the CCHA standings, moving into a tie for sixth with Western Michigan (8-11-2, 7-8-2), just one point out of the fifth and final home-ice spot for the CCHA first-round playoff series.
The Irish finished with a huge 56-12 edge in shots on goal (plus four shots off the pipes), representing the team’s most shots in a game since Notre Dame rejoined the CCHA in the 1992-93 season.
Senior right wing Joe Dusbabek continued his recent surge by being credited for the first Irish goal (his pass deflected off a WMU player and went into the net) before assisting on each of Carlson’s clutch scores.
Both teams scored on their second shots of the night-WMU on a power-play score from freshman defenseman Dan Cousineau-but Reynaert stopped the next 48 Irish shots on net while the Broncos added to their lead, including a goal from freshman center Ben Gagnon early in the second period.
The victory ends a string of 11 straight overtime games in which Notre Dame had failed to record a victory (0-1-10), stretching back to a 5-4 win at Bowling Green on Jan. 24, 1998.
GOAL RECAPS (reverse order)
The game-winning goal came on the power play, after a rare “illegal stick” penalty on WMU’s Mike Bishai in the closing moments of regulation (19:30) … Reynaert had lost his own stick off to his left and borrowed Bishai’s stick while the sophomore center went to fetch the goalie stick … but Bishai made the mistake of playing the puck with Reynaert’s stick, leading to the penalty … senior D Tyson Fraser set the winning sequence in motion by nudging the puck to Dusbabek as he skated by Fraser near the right boards … Dusbabek managed to avoid several WMU players as he fought his way down the boards before sending a pass towards the right circle for senior C Ben Simon … the WMU defense converged on the Irish captain but Simon calmly slid the puck to the top of the slot for Carlson, who drilled a low wrister into the left side of the net for his eighth goal of the season (0:52).
Carlson’s earlier goal game just 15 seconds after an Irish timeout … 10 seconds after the timeout, the Irish pulled freshman G Tony Zasowski with a faceoff in the WMU end … Simon beat WMU junior RW David Gove on the faceoff and Irish junior LW/C Jay Kopischke tracked down the puck behind the net before shoveling a backhanded shot on goal from the bottom of the left circle … Reynaert made the save but Dusbabek flicked a rebound shot that found its way through a jammed crease area before clanging off the far right post … Kopischke and Carlson then were among a scramble of bodies lunging after the puck, with Carlson nudging the puck into the right side of the net-igniting the crowd and sending the game into overtime (18:37).
Inman’s team-leading ninth goal of the season was set up by a shot from the top of the right circle by senior D Sean Seyferth … the shot deflected off Irish senior LW Andy Jurkowski near the right side of the slot but kicked towards the other side of the goalmouth … Reynaert was positioned to his left, leaving the other half of the goal open for an easy flick-in by Inman (16:34).
Mills’ third goal of the season had given WMU a two-goal cushion five minutes earlier … the power-play goal was set up by passes in transition from Bishai and Gove, with Mills rushing down the left side of the slot and beating Zasowski to the far post (11:03).
Gagnon notched his sixth goal of the season early in the second period, with assists from senior LW Corey Waring and freshman D Andy Townsend … Gagnon skated into the top of the slot and showed good patience before firing a low stick-side shot into the left side of the net (2:50).
Dusbabek was credited with his sixth goal of the season after attempting a pass from the bottom of the right circle … the puck kicked off the leg of a WMU player and angled in the other direction, sailing past Reynaert’s right leg and into the net (4:52).
Cousineau opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the season, launching a low shot from the blue line that beat t Zasowski to the stick side, with assists from junior LW Steve Rymsha and Bishai (3:18).
NOTES: The Irish improved to 17-3-5 (.740) at home during CCHA regular-season games over the past two seasons … 11 of Notre Dame’s last 17 games have been decided by 0-1 goals (5-3-3 in those games) … Dusbabek has 3G-4A in the last six games while Carlson has 5G-4A in the last 10 … Carlson became the first Notre Dame player with multiple game-winning goals this season (seven others have one each) … ND improved to 5-2-2 in first games of CCHA series this season … ND had managed just five goals in its previous four games before Friday’s explosion … six of the last 10 Irish goals have been scored on the power play, plus one 6-on-5 … Notre Dame is 6-3-1 in its last 10 games vs. WMU (5-0-1 in the last six games of the series at the Joyce Center) … Simon has 13 career points in 10 games versus WMU (2G-11A) while Carlson has 10 in seven games (6G-4A) … prior to Friday, Dusbabek had totaled just two points in seven games vs. WMU (2G) … Kopischke has four assists in eight career games vs. WMU … Inman has 3G-2A in four career games vs. the Broncos … other CCHA action Friday saw first-place Michigan (14-4-0) pull away in the third period for a 6-4 win at 11th-place Ohio State (4-11-1) … fourth-place Lake Superior (10-6-1) won yet another one-goal game, with a 2-1 win at Nebraska-Omaha (5-8-4) that dropped the Mavericks into ninth … Ferris State (8-8-1) moved into sole possession of fifth place with a 4-4 tie at Miami (6-6-3), which dropped back to eighth.
WESTERN MICHIGAN (8-11-2, 7-8-2 CCHA) 1 1 1 0 - 3NOTRE DAME (9-13-5, 6-7-4 CCHA) 1 0 2 1 - 4
1st: WMU 1. Cousineau 6 (Rymsha, Bishai), PP, 3:18, ND 1. Dusbabek 6 (unassisted), PP, 4:52. 2nd: WMU 2. Gagnon 6 (Waring, Townsend) 2:50. 3rd: WMU 3. Brett Mills 3 (Gove, Bishai), PP, 11:03, ND 2. Inman 9 (Jurkowski, Seyferth) 16:34, ND 3. Carlson 7 (Dusbabek, Kopischke) 18:37. OT: ND 4. Carlson 8 (Simon, Dusbabek), PP, 0:52. SHOTS: WMU 5-6-1-0/12, ND 9-21-25-1/56. SAVES: WMU (Reynaert) 8-21-23-0/52, ND (Zasowski) 4-5-0-0/9. POWER PLAY: WMU 2-for-4, ND 2-for-6. PENALTIES: WMU 8 for 16:00, ND 6 for 12:00.