Nov. 15, 2011
Notre Dame, Ind. – Senior center Riley Sheahan scored a pair of goals and sophomore defenseman Shayne Taker added a solo marker as fourth-ranked Notre Dame handed 10th-ranked Western Michigan a 3-2 loss on Tuesday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
Ian Slater and Shane Berschbach scored solo goals for the Broncos. The win extended Notre Dame’s current unbeaten streak to eight games (6-0-2) and gives the Irish a 4-0-0 mark at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
The victory moves Notre Dame into sole possession of first place in the CCHA as the Irish are now 8-2-2 overall and 6-1-2-0 in the conference, good for 20 points and a three-point lead on Lake Superior and Ohio State in the league race. Western Michigan has now lost four straight games and the Broncos fall to 6-4-3 on the year and 4-4-1-1 in the CCHA.
Tuesday’s contest got off to a slow start as the two teams kept their offensive games close to the vest with Notre Dame out shooting the Broncos, 6-3, with goaltenders Mike Johnson of the Irish and Western’s Frank Slubowski hardly being tested.
That would change in the second period as the teams combined for four goals with Notre Dame taking a 3-1 lead. The Broncos scored first at the 9:30 mark when Slater converted a feed from Dane Walters and lifted a shot over Johnson for his third goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.
That lead lasted just nine seconds as the Irish came back to score at 9:59 with Taker making a nice rush up ice and a better move to beat Slubowski for his first goal of the year.
Off the face off, the Broncos attempted to dump the puck into the Irish zone. Left wing Nick Larson stopped it at the blue line and as he chipped the puck ahead was knocked down by defenseman Dennis Brown. Taker picked up the puck and moved down the left side before swooping in on Slubowski and tucking a shot over him for the goal to tie the game at 1-1. On the play, Brown was called for interference so Notre Dame also received a power play.
Taker’s goal was his first in 40 games as he last scored on Oct. 10, 2010, against Boston University in the Warrior Ice Breaker Classic in St. Louis, Mo., to start the 2010-11 campaign.
Forty seconds later, the score was 2-1 as Sheahan hammered home his first goal of the night and third of the year at 10:39 for a power-play goal.
The Irish worked the puck in the Bronco zone with T.J. Tynan throwing a pass through the slot to Robbie Russo at the left face-off dot. Russo had a shot but saw Sheahan move over to the high slot for a one-timer and the big centerman blasted a shot through a screen past Slubowski for the 2-1 lead.
Notre Dame protected the one-goal lead until the 15:08 mark when Sheahan struck again for his first career multiple-goal game. Austin Wuthrich started the play in the right corner, moving the puck back to defenseman Sean Lorenz. The senior blueliner whipped a shot that appeared wide. At the right hashmarks, Jeff Costello deflected the shot on goal. Slubowski got a piece of the puck but the rebound fell at Sheahan’s feet in the crease and he flipped it home to give the Irish a 3-1 lead.
In the third period, Western Michigan tested Johnson in goal, out shooting Notre Dame, 14-5, but Johnson gave up just one goal.
The Broncos were able to cut the lead to 3-2 at the 12:23 of the final period as Berschbach scored off a nice passing play for his fourth goal of the season.
Chase Balisy won a face off in the right circle and pushed it to the right corner. Kyle O’Kane moved in along the boards and picked up the loose puck before centering it to Berschbach at the bottom of the left circle. He fired it up under the cross bar to cut Notre Dame’s lead to one goal at 3-2.
From there, Johnson, who was pulled after one period in his previous start, held the Broncos at bay as the Irish held on for the 3-2 win. The win extended Johnson’s personal unbeaten streak to seven games (5-0-2) in his last nine appearances.
Western Michigan out shot Notre Dame in the game, 25-21. Johnson finished with 23 saves. Slubowski made 18 saves for the Broncos.
The Irish will now wrap up their four-game homestand on Friday, Nov. 18, when they play host to the third-ranked Boston College Eagles at the Compton Family Ice Arena in a 7:35 p.m. game. The game is the “Dedication Game” for the new arena and is a complete sellout. The game will be televised by CBS Sports Network.
IRISH NOTES: The last time Notre Dame went more than eight games without a loss was from Feb. 13 to March 21, 200,9 when the Irish won 10 games in a row. While the game was the first multiple-goal game of Riley Sheahan’s career, it was his fifth multiple-point game this season and the 10th of his career. Notre Dame has now scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of its first 12 games this season.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#10/#10 Western Michigan (6-4-3/4-4-1-1) 0 1 1 - 2#4/#4 Notre Dame (8-2-2/6-1-2-0) 0 3 0 - 3
ScoringFirst Period: No Scoring.Penalties: WMU: 0 for 0 minutes; ND: 0 for 0 minutes.
Second Period: WMU: Ian Slater 3 (Dane Walters), 9:30; ND: Shayne Taker 1 (Nick Larson), 9:59; ND: Riley Sheahan 3 (Robbie Russo, T.J. Tynan), PPG, 10:39; ND: Sheahan 4 (Jeff Costello, Sean Lorenz), 15:08.
Penalties: WMU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: WMU: Shane Berchsbach 4 (Kyle O'Kane, Chase Balisy), 13:23.Penalties: WMU: 0 for 0 minutes; ND: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Western Michigan 3 - 8 - 14 - 25Notre Dame 6 - 10 - 5 - 21
Goaltender Saves:WMU: Frank Slubowski (59:00) 6 - 7 - 5 - 18ND: Mike Johnson (59:54) 3 - 10 - 5 - 21
Power Plays:WMU: 0 for 2ND: 1 for 2