SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Ferris State’s top gun, left wing Chris Kunitz, scored two goals and added two assists to lead the Bulldogs to a 5-2 win over Notre Dame at the Joyce Center on Friday night.
Kunitz and his linemates Jeff Legue and Derek Nesbitt combined for four goals and four assists on the night to hand the Irish their first loss of the season. Notre Dame falls to 3-1-1 overall and 2-1-0 in CCHA play. Ferris State improves to 4-1-0 on the year and remains undefeated in the CCHA with a 3-0-0 record.
The two teams took their time getting to know each other as they traded 12 shots in the first period with Ferris State getting eight to Notre Dame’s four.
The second period looked like it would follow the same defensive style before Kunitz broke the scoreless tie with his sixth of the year on the power play at 18:32. With Matt Amado off for the Irish on an interference call, Kunitz drilled a shot past Morgan Cey from the right point off after Nesbitt controlled a faceoff in the right-wing circle. Ferris State took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Irish tied the game on a power-play chance of their own at 5:13 of the final period. Evan Nielsen moved the puck from the right point to Neil Komadoski on the left side. The Irish defenseman slid the puck to Globke in the left faceoff circle, where he snapped a wrister to the upper right corner past Brown for his sixth goal of the year.
Notre Dame didn’t get to celebrate long; Kunitz scored just nine seconds later to put the Bulldogs on top, 2-1. Jeff Legue won the faceoff and slid the puck between the Irish defense to a streaking Kunitz, who beat Cey in close for his second of the night at 5:22
Nesbitt scored the goal that broke Notre Dame’s back at 10:29 when his wrist shot from the right side broke off Cey’s glove and rolled into the net for a 3-1 Bulldog lead.
The Irish power play (two-for-four on the night) clicked for the second time at 12:43 of the third when John Wroblewski flipped the rebound of Komadoski’s point shot over Brown for his fourth goal of the season.
Legue upped the lead to 4-2 when he was left alone in front and fired a Kunitz rebound past Cey for his fifth of the season at 15:57.
Matt York closed the scoring at 19:06 with an empty-net goal from deep in his zone. Troy Milam (three assists) wrapped the around the left-wing boards from behind his net and York fired it down the ice into the empty net for the 5-2 final.
On the night, Ferris State outshot the Irish, 31-25. Cey finished with 26 saves for Notre Dame while Brown made 23 stops in the Bulldogs’ goal.
Game two of the weekend series will be played Saturday. Faceoff at the Joyce Center is 7:05 p.m. (EST).