Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey made a career-high 47 saves while John Wroblewski and Evan Nielsen recorded three-point nights to lead the Irish to a 5-2 win over Bowling Green Sunday night at the Joyce Center.
Cey, who surrendered a first-period power-play goal and a second-period goal on an Irish giveaway was especially tough in the final 3:27 of the game when Bowling Green, with its goaltender pulled for a sixth attacker had a three-man advantage playing six-on-three.
“Tonight was the most comfortable I’ve felt this season,” said Cey. “I got to see a lot of pucks this weekend and that really helped me work out some of the kinks in my game. On the six-on-three, I just tried to cover as much of the net as I could and hoped that the puck hit me.”
The win gave the Irish a weekend sweep of the Falcons for their second four-point weekend this season in the CCHA (they also swept Western Michigan, Oct. 18-19). The Irish are now 7-6-2 overall and evened their CCHA record to 6-6-0 that ties them for sixth in the league with Western Michigan as each team has 12 points. Bowling Green goes to 3-10-1 overall and 1-9-1 in league play.
The Irish wasted little time taking a 1-0 lead as Globke scored just 20 seconds into the game as his hard wrister from the left wing faceoff circle beat goaltender Tyler Masters to the short side. The goal was the 14th of the season for the junior right wing who leads the CCHA in goals and is fifth in the nation in lamplighters.
With an assist later in the game, Globke extended his season-high scoring streak to five games (7-5-12) and has scored at least two points in each of those five games.
Mike Falk evened the game for Bowling Green on the power play at 9:34 as he rapped the rebound of Brian Escobedo’s wrist shot past Cey for his third goal of the year as the first period ended tied 1-1.
An Irish defensive turnover put the Falcons ahead as Derek Smith’s clearing attempt bounced in front of the goal where D D’Arcy McConvey jumped on the loose puck to backhand it past Cey for a 2-1 lead at 12:23.
According to head coach Dave Poulin, that goal was the turning point of the game for his team.
“BG’s second goal was the turning point of the game. We had no energy. We stressed between periods getting that second goal. It seemed to bring us to life and got us back in the game. We got the next two goals and we were fine after that,” explained Poulin.
It took less than two minutes before the Irish tied the game and they ended up getting two goals in the span of a minute and 35 seconds.
Nielsen, who had six points on the weekend (2-4) got the game-tying goal at the 14:00 minute mark when he took Yan Stastny’s drop past and drilled a shot past Masters from between the hashmarks for his second of the season.
Michael Chin snapped a seven-game point drought with the eventual game-winning goal at 15:35 when his shot from along the goal line near the left wing boards hit Master’s stick and deflected into the goal for his third of the season.
“Those are the kind of goals that we need from Michael Chin,” said Poulin. “He’s playing with two of the better players in the league (Globke and Connor Dunlop) and he has to take advantage of his scoring chances. That was a big goal for Michael and for the team.”
The Irish went into the second intermission with the 3-2 lead. The third period belonged to Cey and Wroblewski.
Cey made 20 of his saves in the third period including 12 on five Falcon power-play chances. Wroblewski sealed the win with his two goals.
The senior left wing got his first of the night and fifth of they year at 9:39 on great second effort in front of the goal. Stastny fed Wroblewski in front and Masters got a pad on his first shot. The rebound lay in the crease and Wroblewski managed to jam it into the net for a 4-2 lead.
His second goal came unassisted at 14:10 when he raced down the left side, made a move to the outside and cut back inside to beat the defenseman at the top of the left wing circle. He then deked Masters to the ice with a move to his backhand, pulled it back before sliding it into the goal on his forehand for his sixth of the season.
The game was the last CCHA contest for the Irish until Jan. 3-4 when they travel to Nebraska-Omaha. The Irish play next Saturday (Dec. 14) versus Wayne State at Joe Louis Arena and then travel to Hanover, N.H., to play in the Ledyard National Bank Tournament on Dec. 28-29.
“This was a great weekend for us. We got back to .500 in the league and stayed within striking distance of the top teams in the conference going into finals,” said Poulin. “We are over .500 overall after playing a schedule that prior to this weekend was ranked the toughest in the nation. We’re not where we have to be yet, but we are getting there. Some of our guys played their best hockey of the season this weekend.”
Notre Dame outshot Bowling Green 49-45 in the game. Masters made 40 saves for the Falcons.
The win for the Irish was their fourth straight and fifth of the last six meetings versus Bowling Green in the last two seasons. Notre Dame has won seven straight games versus the Falcons at the Joyce Center and is now 8-0-1 in the last nine contests played at the Joyce Center.