SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Bowling Green goaltender Jordan Sigalet stopped 56 of 59 Notre Dame shots and the Falcons broke a 3-3 tie in the third period with a pair of goals on the way to a 5-3 win over the Irish at Notre Dame’s Joyce Center.
The Bowling Green win snapped a six-game winning streak by the Irish in the all-time series and improved the Falcons to 1-2-0 on the year. Notre Dame falls to 1-2-0 overall, and both teams will go into Saturday night’s game at Bowling Green with 1-2-0 records in the CCHA.
D’Arcy McConvey, Rich Meloche, Ryan Minnabarriet, Kevin Bieksa and James Unger each had solo goals in the Falcon victory. Notre Dame got goals from Michael Bartlett, Cory McLean and Wes O’Neill in the loss.
“This was a very frustrating day,” said Irish head coach Dave Poulin.
“We have to figure out a way to win these games. We had plenty of offensive chances and just couldn’t put the puck in the net. Sigalet was tremendous in goal for Bowling Green. He played as good as any goaltender can play. We still had the chances and put the puck in.”
The Falcons took a 2-0 lead early in the second period scoring twice on the power play. McConvey got Bowling Green started at 13:34 of the first as he deflected a Kevin Bieksa shot in the slot past Irish goaltender Rory Walsh. The power-play marker snapped a streak of 10 straight penalties killed by the Irish to start the season.
The period ended that way with the Irish outshooting the Falcons 12-5.
Meloche scored his first of the season unassisted at 2:27 when he picked up a loose puck at the blue line and fired from the top of the right wing circle to beat Walsh and give Bowling Green the two goal lead.
From there the Irish found their offensive legs as they scored three straight goals. Freshman Michael Bartlett got the first of his career at 8:22 of the middle period when he jammed a rebound off an O’Neill shot from the left point past Sigalet to make it a 2-1 game.
Notre Dame’s power play produced the next goal as Cory McLean whipped a shot from the bottom of the right wing circle past Bowling Green’s junior goaltender to tie the game at 2-2 at the 15:12 mark.
The Irish went ahead 3-2 in the game just 18 seconds later at 15:30 when O’Neill took a pass from Matt Williams-Kovacs in the slot and one-timed it past Sigalet for his first career goal and Notre Dame had taken over the game’s momentum.
Less than two minutes later, Bowling Green tied the game at 3-3 when Minnabarriet flipped an Alex Rogosheske rebound past Walsh for his first goal of the game at 17:26. Sigalet stopped 22 of 25 Notre Dame shots in the period to keep the Falcons in the game.
“Their third goal was the critical goal in the game,” said Poulin.
“We had come back and taken the lead and we were getting some great scoring chances. They get the one good chance and score and that ties the game and takes the momentum away.”
Irish coach Dave Poulin replaced Walsh in goal with freshman David Brown. After dominating play for the first three minutes, the Irish lost the puck in their zone and Bieksa fired a shot from the right point that went through traffic in front past Brown for a 4-3 lead at 3:18.
Unger capped the scoring at 15:38 with his first career goal off assists from Bryan Dobek and McConvey for the 5-3 margin of victory. Sigalet stopped all 22 shots he faced in the third period for a 56-save night as Notre Dame finished with a 59-25 edge in shots.
Walsh made 13 saves in 40 minutes of action while Brown took the loss, stopping seven of nine shots in the final period.
The two teams close the home-and-home series at the Bowling Green Ice Arena on Saturday. Faceoff is 7:05 p.m. EDT.