Feb. 14, 2003
Bowling Green, Ohio – It’s finally over. Notre Dame’s nine-game winless streak (0-6-3) came to an end on Friday night as the Irish took a 3-2 victory versus the Bowling Green Falcons at the Bowling Green Ice Arena.
The Irish got 33 saves, including 19 in the second period, from goaltender Morgan Cey and John Wroblewski and Aaron Gill had a goal and an assist each in the win that moves the Irish to within a point of eighth-place Nebraska-Omaha and Alaska Fairbanks with three games in hand in CCHA play.
Wroblewski and Gill combined on the game-winning goal with a little help from center and linemate Yan Stastny.
Stastny won a draw in the right wing circle that Wroblewski was able to redirect to Gill outside the circle. The junior wasted little time and whipped a shot past Bowling Green goaltender Tyler Masters at 10:14 of the third period for the winning goal.
“Wrobo (Wroblewski) said on the bench that he thought something good was going to happen on this shift,” said Stastny following the game.
“We tried something different. I got good wood on the puck and pulled it back to Gilly (Gill). Wrobo was able to redirect it to Gilly and he just ripped it. I think he caught the goaltender by surprise.”
Gill was glad that the Irish were able to celebrate a win.
“Yanny (Stastny) won the draw and Wrobo chipped it to me. John stepped in front of me so I went to the far post,” said Gill.
“It’s great to finally get a win. Now we have to use it to build our confidence and get on a roll.”
Things didn’t start well for the Irish as Bowling Green got on the board first taking a lead just 1:41 into the game.
After breaking up an Irish rush at center ice, center Ryan Minnabarriet and right wing Roger Leonard combined on a two-on-one versus Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey two-on-one. Minnabarriet held the puck until the last second before sliding it across the crease where Leonard tapped it in at the left post. The goal was Leonard’s sixth of the season.
That would be the only goal Cey would give up until a second-period power play.
“Morgan was tremendous tonight,” said head coach Dave Poulin.
“He had some difference making saves early and again in the second period. The first two shots of the game were the goal and a breakaway. If he doesn’t stop that, were down by two goals early.”
Trailing 1-0 after the first, the Irish finally snapped their goal-scoring drought at 9:26 of the second period. Michael Chin knocked down a Bowling Green clearing pass at the top of the left wing circle and threw the puck at the goal. Freshman right wing Tim Wallace cut in front of the goal and was able to redirect the puck through Tyler Masters’ pads for his fourth goal of the season.
Prior to Wallace’s goal, the Irish had gone 115:32 without a goal since Brett Lebda scored at 18:54 of the second period versus Ohio State on Jan. 31.
The Irish would take their first lead since that Lebda goal (over five-and-a-half periods) at 12:36 when John Wroblewski banged home a power-play goal for the 2-1 edge.
Defenseman Neil Komadoski started the play at the center-point as his shot was blocked. Aaron Gill picked up the loose puck in the high slot and fired it at Masters. The rebound came out to Wroblewski coming off the right circle and he tucked it over Masters’ glove and under the crossbar for his 13th goal of the season and his team-best seventh power-play marker.
The lead was shortlived though as the Falcons took advantage of their third power-play opportunity of the night at 15:15. Sophomore left wing Steve Brudzewski was parked on the doorstep when Cey stopped a shot by Tyler Knight on the right side of the goal. The rebound popped out to Brudzewski who shoveled it in to the goal for his 11th of the season.
From there Cey, Wroblewski, Stastny and Gill took things into their own hands.
“That line has played well together since we put them together,” said Poulin.
“They work hard and have come up with some big plays for us this season.”
Notre Dame outshot Bowling Green 37-35 in the game. Masters made 34 stops in goal for the Falcons
The win improves Notre Dame to 10-13-6 overall on the year and 8-10-3 in CCHA play. Bowling Green falls to 7-18-2, 4-15-2 in league play.
The Irish face Bowling Green again on Saturday night at the BGSU Ice Arena. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
IRISH ICE BITS:
Senior defenseman Evan Nielsen played in his 103rd consecutive game for the Irish tying the record set by Ryan Dolder (1997-01). Right behind Nielsen and Dolder with 102 consecutive games played is senior left wing John Wroblewski who has played in 1-2 consecutive games.
Notre Dame’s nine-game winless streak was the longest for the Irish since the Irish went 0-7-2 between Nov.4 and Dec. 19, 2000.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 F
Notre Dame (10-13-6/8-10-3) 0 2 1 3
Bowling Green (7-18-2/4-15-2) 1 1 0 2
First Period: BGSU: Roger Leonard 6 (Ryan Minnabarriet, Ryan Barnett), 1:41.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; BGSU: 2 for 4 minutes
Second Period: ND: Tim Wallace 4 (Michael Chin), 9:26; ND: John Wroblewski 13 (Aaron Gill, Neil Komadoski), PPG, 12:36; BGSU: Steve Brudzewski 11 (Tyler Knight, Kevin Bieksa), PPG, 15:15.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; BGSU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Third Period: ND: Gill 9 (Wroblewski, Yan Stastny), 10:14.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; BGSU: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 11 – 15 – 11 – 37
Bowling Green 10 – 20 – 5 – 35
ND – Morgan Cey (60:00) 9 – 19 – 5 – 33
BGSU – Tyler Masters (58:37) 11 – 13 – 10 – 34
ND: 1 for 3
BGSU: 1 for 4