SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame ended the 2001-02 regular season in grand style Saturday night at the Joyce Center, extending its season-best winning streak to five games with a solid 4-1 win over Bowling Green.
Sophomore right wing Rob Globke score a pair of goals, junior center Connor Dunlop had a goal and two assists and senior David Inman added his 17th of the season as the Irish jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and never looked back.
The win improved the Irish to 14-15-2 overall and 12-12-4 in the CCHA, good for 28 points and a tie for seventh place with Ohio State. The Buckeyes get the seventh spot via the tiebreaker as they won the season series with Notre Dame.
The Irish will open the CCHA playoffs on Friday, March 8, at Nebraska-Omaha. The loss dropped Bowling Green to 9-23-6 on the year and 7-18-3 in the league. The Falcons finished 11th and will open the playoffs at Michigan State.
“It’s great to finish the season winning five in a row. It’s positive to be playing well going into the playoffs,” said head coach Dave Poulin after the game.
Needing to stay ahead of Ferris State by one point to stay out of ninth place, the Irish scored twice to take control of the game in the first period.
Inman one-timed a shot from the slot past Bowling Green’s Jordan Sigalet at 6:45 of the first for his 17th goal of the season. Dunlop beat the Bowling Green defense to the puck in the corner and found Inman all alone in front for the goal.
Bowling Green let a perfect chance to get back in the game when they failed to score on a two-man advantage that lasted a minute and 29 seconds that late in the first.
“Stopping them on the five-on-three in the first period was huge,” explained Poulin. “Morgan made a couple of big stops and our penalty killers really shut them down.”
Globke put the Irish ahead by two when he scored on the power play at 12:39. Dunlop again had a hand in the scoring as he moved the puck from behind the Bowling Green net to defenseman Tom Galvin at the right point. Galvin found Globke inside the left wing circle where he fired it past Sigalet for his 10th of the year.
Globke made it 3-0 at 16:07 of the second period as he converted Yan Stastny’s centering pass into his 11th goal of the season and his third two-goal night of the season.
“The third goal was a big one for us,” said Poulin. “They cut the lead to 3-1 early in the third, but we went right back to work to finish it off.”
Bowling Green broke through on Morgan Cey at the 1:29 of the third period off an Irish turnover along the left wing boards. Greg Day found D’Arcy McConvey alone in front and his shot went off Cey’s pads into the goal.
That would be the only blemish on Cey’s record for the night as he stopped 29 of 30 shots on the night.
Dunlop sealed the victory with his ninth goal of the season into an empty at 19:17 for the 4-1 win.
Notre Dame outshot the Falcons 35-30 on the night as Sigalet made 31 saves on the night.
After starting the season with an 0-4-2 record, the Irish were 14-11-3 the rest of the season closed out by the five game winning streak down the stretch.
“Winning is a difficult thing. Being .500 in this league is a good record. We’re still young and I think as a team we learned a lot this season. We only have two seniors who played a lot this season and we have five defensemen that are sophomores and freshmen along with a freshman goaltender, so they’re still learning,” said Poulin.