KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Six goals from the Irish were not enough to top the eight put up by the Broncos as Notre Dame fell to Western Michigan in a CCHA clash on Friday night.
“We hadn’t given up eight goals in the last five total games,” said ND head coach Dave Poulin. “We certainly did not expect this tonight.”
Eric Marvin, playing in his first collegiate game, recorded his first victory, stopping 19 of 23 shots.
“Eric as a walk-on has done everything we’ve asked him to do,” said WMU head coach Jim Culhane. “I was excited for him to get in there and do the job to win the game.”
Bronco starter Scott Foster left the game just three minutes into the second period after surrendering the second Irish goal. In just under 24 minutes of play Foster had lost five pounds and his lunch on the ice as he struggled with a flu bug, prompting his departure.
“He started to cramp up in warmup before the game,” said Culhane. “I thought he played sensational in the first period, but eventually it all caught up to him.”
Entering the second period down 3-0, the Irish scored three straight goals, the third given up by Marvin on his first shot faced.
But the Broncos countered with goals from Vince Bellissimo, Jeremy Cheyne, and Dana Lattery in the period.
“At 3-3 we’re in great shape: we can’t give up the fourth and fifth goals,” Poulin said. “The whole night those were the two goals, senior defenseman making critical errors, errors that we haven’t made this year.”
Though consistently down the Irish were never out as five goals from five players kept them within striking distance all night.
“We battled back on different occasions, when it was 8-6 we had some real good chances,” said Poulin. “We didn’t quit, but it wasn’t indicative of the way we’ve played this year at all.”
Irish freshman standout Dave Brown had an eight-game unbeaten streak (6-0-2) snapped while giving up all six goals. Sophomore Rory Walsh replaced Brown to start the third period.
Bellissimo led the charge for the Broncos with a goal and three assists on the way to earning the game’s number-one star.
The Broncos will again host the Irish on Saturday night to close out the season series.