Feb. 15, 2003
Bowling Green, Ohio – For the second night in a row, Notre Dame got stellar goaltending from Morgan Cey and clutch play on special teams highlighted by John Wroblewski’s game-winning shorthanded marker to knock off Bowling Green 3-2 at the Bowling Green Ice Arena.
The win improves the Irish to 11-13-6 overall and 9-10-3 in league play and moves them into eighth place in the CCHA with 21 points. Notre Dame is now just two points out of sixth-place for the final home playoff spot. Bowling Green falls to 7-19-2 and 4-16-2 in league play. The Irish have swept all four games with Bowling Green this season.
“These wins give us momentum that we can build on,” said Irish head coach Dave Poulin.
“It really gives individuals some confidence. That’s something you have to earn and we’re working towards that. Several of the teams ahead of us in the standings (Western Michigan and Northern Michigan) are still on the schedule, so we have things back in our hands.”
Notre Dame did something it hasn’t done in recent weeks – jump out to and early lead – as the Irish power play put them in front just over five minutes into the game as BG’s Steve Pilkington was called for boarding at 5:16 and the Irish cashed in just five seconds later at 5:21.
Connor Dunlop won the draw at the top of the right circle back to Brett Lebda. Lebda slid the puck to Yan Stastny on the left point and his pass in front found Jake Wiegand all alone in the slot. Wiegand waited for goaltender Jordan Sigalet to go down and lifted a shot over his glove for his fifth goal of the year, snapping a personal nine-game scoring drought.
“It was a faceoff play and Dunny (Connor Dunlop) won it back to Brett (Lebda) who moved it over to Yan (Stastny),” said Wiegand.
“They forgot about me and Yan put it right on my stick. The goalie showed me under his blocker and that’s where I put it.”
The goal marked just the 11th time this season in 30 games that the Irish scored first and just the first time in the last eight games. The Irish are 8-0-3 this season when they score first.
Bowling Green tied the game early in the second period with the two teams skating four-on-four. Steve Brudzewski got the goal just 1:24 into the stanza as he drilled a rebound of Brian Escobedo’s shot from the slot through Cey’s pads for his 12th of the season.
The Irish would build a two-goal lead on goals by Connor Dunlop and John Wroblewski.
Dunlop fired home a Michael Chin rebound at 10:28 of the second period and Wroblewski scored shorthanded at 18:38 to give the Irish a 3-1 lead. For Dunlop the goal was his third of the season.
“Michael Chin did a great job taking the puck to the net. I got the rebound and just tried to outwait (Jordan) Sigalet. I put it in over his glove,” said Dunlop.
Wroblewski credited some luck on his 14th goal of the year and second shorthanded.
“I guess you could say half of it was luck and then so was the other half,” laughed the senior left wing.
“BG’s defense coughed up the puck and I went in wanting to go top shelf with it and missed. I guess I got enough on it to still beat the goalie low to his glove side,” added Wroblewski.
Bowling Green wasn’t done though as they scored a power-play goal of their own with just 10 seconds left in the second to make it a 3-2 game.
Tyler Knight got his sixth of the season when he took a feed from behind the net and whipped it past Cey at the 19:50 mark of the period.
After combining for 45 shots in the first two periods, the two teams had just 11 in the third, but again Cey did enough to give his team its second straight win.
The sophomore goaltender finished with 30 saves on the night and was recognized as the game’s first star for the second night in a row.
“Morgan really did a nice job again,” said Poulin.
“He’s played this way most of the last month, but he never seemed to get any breaks and now he is.”
For the night, the Irish were outshot 32-24. Falcon goaltender Jordan Sigalet made 22 saves on the night.
“It’s great to get back on the winning track,” said Wroblewski.
“We have a great feeling back in this room. Now we have to make the most of it.”
Wroblewski and his teammates will look to continue their solid play when they return to action next weekend at home, Feb. 21-22, to face the Lake Superior State Lakers. Game time on Friday and Saturday at the Joyce Center is 7:05 p.m.
IRISH ICE BITS:
Senior defenseman Evan Nielsen became Notre Dame’s all-time “Iron Man” as he played in his 104th consecutive game breaking Ryan Dolder’s mark of 103 which was sent in the 2000-01 season. Right behind him is John Wroblewski who has played in 103 in a row.
Senior forward Michael Chin had a strong weekend for the Irish picking up an assist in each of the Irish wins. That marks the first time since October versus Western Michigan that the veteran forward recorded points in back-to-back games.
The Irish have now won six straight versus Bowling Green and are 10-1-1 in the last 12 meetings. The Irish are 5-2-1 versus the Falcons at the Bowling Green Ice Arena in the last eight games played there.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 F
Notre Dame (11-13-6/9-10-3) 1 2 0 3
Bowling Green (7-19-2/4-16-2) 0 2 0 2
First Period: ND: Jake Wiegand 5 (Yan Stastny, Brett Lebda), PPG, 5:21.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; BGSU: 1 for 2 minutes
Second Period: BGSU: Steve Brudzewski 12 (Brian Escobedo, Roger Leonard), 4X4, 1:24; ND: Connor Dunlop 3 (Michael Chin, Neil Komadoski), 10:28; ND: John Wroblewski 14 (unassisted), SHG, 18:38; BGSU: Tyler Knight 7 (Mark Wires, D’Arcy McConvey), PPG, 19:50.
Penalties: ND: 6 for 12 minutes; BGSU: 5 for 10 minutes.
Third Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; BGSU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 7 – 13 – 4 – 24
Bowling Green 14 – 11 – 7 – 32
ND – Morgan Cey (60:00) 14 – 9 – 7 – 30
BGSU – Jordan Sigalet (58:34) 6 – 11 – 4 – 21
ND: 1 for 7
BGSU: 1 for 7