Dec. 12, 2008
Bowling Green, Ohio – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish continued their impressive first-half run on Friday night as they ran their unbeaten streak to 13 games (11-0-2) with a 3-1 win over the Bowling Green Falcons at the BGSU Ice Arena.
The No. 1 ranked Irish scored once in each period with Teddy Ruth, Ben Ryan and Christian Hanson (shg) doing the honors. Senior captain Erik Condra assisted on all three goals in the road win. Bowling Green’s Kevin Schmidt broke up Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce’s shutout run with a second period power-play goal for the lone Falcon score of the night.
Notre Dame’s win, their eighth straight on the road this season which sets a new school record, improves the Irish to 13-3-2 overall and 9-2-2-2 in the CCHA, good for 22 points, just one behind first-place Miami with one game in hand. Bowling Green falls to 5-9-3 overall and 4-6-1-0 in conference play.
“It was a hard fought game which I expected,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
“I thought Bowling Green played with a lot of energy and discipline. I knew they would come out and play hard after the last game here. I was nervous about this one because I know how difficult it is to go through that. We’ve all been there before.”
For his four years at Notre Dame, Condra has proven to be a Falcon killer as he now has five goals and 18 assists for 23 points in 15 games during his career against Bowling Green.
The Irish scored the lone goal of the first period as Condra got his first helper of the night setting up Ruth’s second goal of the season at the 3:25 mark.
Condra moved the puck from the left wing boards to Ruth on the left point. The sophomore defensemen moved toward the goal as the Bowling Green defense backed in on goaltender Jimmy Spratt. Ruth fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that beat Spratt over his blocker for the 1-0 lead.
The Irish lead would go to 2-0 at 8:51 of the second period as Ryan picked up his second point of the night when he redirected a Condra pass behind Spratt for his fourth of the year.
Defenseman Kyle Lawson controlled the puck at the right point and made a cross-rink pass to Condra in the left circle. Condra threw the puck towards the net where Ryan, stationed to the left of Spratt was able to get his stick on it to deflect it past the Bowling Green goaltender for the two-goal lead.
Bowling Green was able to cut that lead in half as the second period was coming to an end. Just five seconds after a Falcon power play came to an end, Schmidt was able to unleash a long shot from the right point that found its way through a maze in front to beat Pearce for his second goal of the season at 19:35.
The goal snapped a Pearce shutout streak of 138:42 that started on December 5 at Ferris State.
The two teams played it tight defensively in the third period as Notre Dame nursed the 2-1 lead. Bowling Green coach Scott Paluch pulled Spratt with 1:41 left and the Falcons on a power play, giving them a two-man advantage.
With the Falcons pressing, Pearce stopped a shot with the rebound going to Condra in the slot. He moved the puck ahead to Hanson who whipped it down the ice and into the open net for the final goal of the night. Hanson’s short-handed, empty-net goal was his 11th of the season and came at the 18:29 mark.
Bowling Green left its net empty for the final 1:31, but Notre Dame was able to kill off the final seconds of the game to take the road win.
On the night, Notre Dame out shot Bowling Green by a 26-20 margin. Pearce finished the night with 19 saves while Spratt had 23. Both teams were 0-for-5 on the power play.
The Irish will close out the first half of the season on Saturday night when they play host to the Falcons in the second game of the weekend series. Face off at the Joyce Center is 7:05 p.m.
** IRISH NOTES **
* Notre Dame has not lost on the road since the season opener on Oct. 11 at Denver (5-2) and is currently 8-1-0 on the road this season. The previous record for consecutive road wins was seven and was set from Jan. 7 to Feb. 4, 1977 when the Irish were members of the WCHA.
* The Irish have now won 11 in a row versus Bowling Green and are 14-0-1 against the Falcons since the start of the 2005-06 season.
* Christian Hanson’s third-period short-handed goal was the fifth of the season for the Irish.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#1/#1 Notre Dame (13-3-2/9-2-2-2) 1 1 1 - 3Bowling Green (5-9-3/4-6-1-0) 0 1 0 - 1
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; BGSU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes; BGSU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; BGSU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 11 - 6 - 9 - 26Bowling Green 6 - 10 - 4 - 20
Goaltender Saves:ND - Jordan Pearce (59:54) 6 - 9 - 4 - 19BGSU - Jimmy Spratt (58:26) 10 - 5 - 8 - 23
ND: 0 for 5
BGSU: 0 for 5