SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Evan Nielsen’s game-winner was the difference Saturday night as Notre Dame completed a series sweep of Bowling Green, 5-3, at Joyce Arena.
After Notre Dame jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, BGSU was able to post a late goal to end the first period. Greg Day pushed a cross-ice feed to Curtis Valentine, who was able to pick the corner over ND netminder Tony Zasowski.
Austin de Luis tied the game early into the second with his fourth lamplighter this season. McConvey corralled a loose puck after Notre Dame’s defense was unable to clear and slid the puck to de Luis, who wristed it through Zasowski’s legs at 1:36.
Midway through the middle period Ryan Dolder reclaimed the lead for Notre Dame. Aaron Gill and Nielsen helped set up Dolder’s 14th of the year.
The Falcons fought back to tie the game again six minutes later. While Dan Globke served a tripping penalty for the Fighting Irish, BG’s power play struck for its second tally of the night. Valentine recorded his second goal of the contest on the man advantage when he knocked a centering feed from Roger Leonard past Zasowski. McConvey’s helper on Valentine’s ninth of the season was his third point on the night, a career high.
Bowling Green and Notre Dame waged a defensive battle during the third period, which remained scoreless until the final minute of regulation. Nielsen broke the 3-3 tie with a breakaway goal, his first of the season. Neil Komadoski added an empty-netter with one second remaining to sew up the win for Notre Dame.
Tyler Masters stopped 33 Fighting Irish shots, including 22 in the third period, while Zasowski made 23 saves.
Bowling Green’s record stands at 10-16-4 (5-13-4 CCHA), while Notre Dame improved to 8-21-5 (5-14-4 CCHA). Bowling Green and Notre Dame are now tied with Lake Superior State for the 10th and final playoff spot in the CCHA with 14 league points.