Feb. 13, 2011
Notre Dame, Ind. – Sophomore right wing Billy Maday scored a pair of goals with Jeff Costello, T.J. Tynan and Jared Beers scored single goals as Notre Dame handed Bowling Green a 5-1 loss in front of a sell-out crowd at the Joyce Center on Saturday night.
Freshman goaltender Steven Summerhays stopped 13-of-14 shots he faced with only Falcon forward Cameron Sinclair getting the puck past him in the second period.
The Irish used a pair of power-play goals by Maday and Costello to build an early lead with Maday’s second goal coming on a breakaway following a penalty kill as he picked up the puck coming out of the penalty box.
The win gives the Irish a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2) since Jan 22 and improves their record to 18-9-5 overall and 15-6-3-2 in the CCHA. Notre Dame is in first place in the league with 50 points and is one point ahead of second-place Miami (49) and Michigan (49) in the standings. The Irish and the Wolverines have four regular-season games left while the RedHawks have two games remaining. The loss dropped Bowling Green to 8-21-3 overall and 3-19-3-1 in the CCHA.
With the sweep this weekend, Notre Dame has clinched a bye in the first round of the playoffs. With 11 teams in the league this season, five teams will sit out the first weekend of play (Mar. 4-6). The Irish need any combination of one point versus Ferris State next weekend to clinch home ice for the second round (Mar. 11-13) as the fifth-place team will play on the road in that second round against the fourth-place finisher.
“It’s great once you get to this position,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
“For me, it’s more about how well you are playing going into the playoffs. It doesn’t matter if you finish first or fifth, you’re going to play a tough opponent in the second round.”
For his team’s win on Saturday night, Jackson was pleased with his team’s play in all areas.
“I thought we were a lot sharper tonight. Our approach was much better,” explained Jackson.
“Guys were focused and we did what we had to do. I was happy with our special teams. We got a couple of power-play goals and even the breakaway goal (Maday’s) was basically a short-handed goal. That was really the difference in the game.”
Notre Dame scored first, converting its second power-play chance of the night with Maday scoring at 7:59 of the first period.
Tynan, who had three points in the game, found Anders Lee at the bottom of the left circle. The freshmen left wing snapped a shot that Bowling Green goaltender Nick Eno kicked out. The rebound ended up on Maday’s stick and he tucked it under the cross bar for his sixth of the season and a 1-0 lead.
The Irish clicked on their next power-play chance early in the second period with Costello doing the honors at 3:50, as he picked up his eighth goal of the year and team-best sixth on the power play.
Ryan Guentzel and Joe Lavin (two assists) made the play from the point. Guentzel moved it from right to Lavin on the left. When the defense slid in that direction, Lavin went back across the ice to the bottom of the right circle where Costello was all alone. The freshman sniper wasted no time as he drilled a shot past Eno to give Notre Dame a 2-1 lead.
The Falcons answered back less than two minutes later on a goal by Sinclair that was set up by the hustle and hard work of linemate Camden Wojtala to make it a 2-1 game.
Wojtala got the puck in the slot where he fired the puck on goal. Defenseman Kevin Lind slid across to block the shot with the puck going into the right corner. Wojtala tracked it down near the goal line and snapped a pass across the front of the goal to Sinclair who drove down the slot. Sinclair had a wide-open net and deposited the puck past Summerhays for his second goal of the season.
Maday answered with his second goal of the game to make it 3-1 at 9:56. He was called for high sticking at 7:48 of the middle period. As the Irish were killing off his penalty, Lavin and Ben Ryan won possession of the puck deep in their zone. Lavin turned and fired it down the middle of the ice as Maday was coming out of the penalty box. Maday scooped it up at the Bowling Green blue line and race in to beat Eno for his seventh of the season.
“Joe Lavin made a great clear off the penalty kill,” said Maday.
“I don’t know if he saw me but it was perfectly timed as I came out of the penalty box. I was first to the puck and it was just me and the goalie. I had already missed two breakaways this weekend and I didn’t want to miss a third.”
Notre Dame would add two more in the third period to lock up the win. Tynan scored his 19th goal of the season just 24 seconds into the final stanza as he teamed with Bryan Rust on a two-on-one.
Freshman defenseman Jared Beers closed the scoring at 4:02 when he scored his first collegiate goal on a shot from the right point that eluded Eno with Rust and Tynan setting the goal up.
With the season winding down to its final weeks, Jackson was happy to see his team start to play a more consistent game.
“We’ve made some progress in that area since the loss at Ohio State,” said Jackson.
“There are no easy games in this league. It will be no different next week. It’s (Ferris State) one of the tougher places to play in our league. It’s all about being prepared to play every night. When you get to the playoffs and you don’t, you’re out. Learning to play back-to-back games is part of the process.”
For Notre Dame, the learning process will continue next weekend on the road as the Irish travel to Ferris State for a pair with the Bulldogs on Feb. 18-19. Game time both nights is 7:05 p.m.
** IRISH NOTES **
** Notre Dame was 2-for-8 on the power play while Ferris State was 0-for-6.
** Freshman center T.J. Tynan became the 11th freshman in Notre Dame history to score 40 or more points in his rookie season with a four-point weekend versus Bowling Green. Tynan now has 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points, which is the seventh-best point production for a freshman at Notre Dame.
** With a pair of assists in Saturday’s game, freshman left wing Anders Lee now has five consecutive multi-point games since Jan. 22 at Ohio State. In his streak, Lee has five goals and six assists for 11 points.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - FBowling Green (8-21-3/3-18-3-1) 0 1 0 - 1#10/#10 Notre Dame (18-9-5/15-6-3-2) 1 2 2 - 5
Penalties: BGSU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: BGSU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: BGSU: 6 for 12 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Bowling Green 6 - 5 - 3 - 14Notre Dame 7 - 13 - 15 - 35
Goaltender Saves:BGSU: Nick Eno (60:00) 6 - 11 - 13 - 30ND: Steven Summerhays (59:46) 6 - 4 - 3 - 13
Power Plays:BGSU: 0 for 6ND: 2 for 8
Attendance: 2,820 (sellout)