KALAMAZOO, Mich. — It would seem that the luck of the Irish has run out. Notre Dame entered the weekend series with Western Michigan ranked 14th in the nation and first in the CCHA. The Fighting Irish left Kalamazoo the victims of a Bronco sweep, falling 6-4 on Saturday night.
“It’s unreal,” said WMU captain Dana Lattery, who extended his goal-scoring streak to seven games. “To get four points on the weekend from the first-place team, it’s a great feeling.
“We wanted to get back to .500 in the league before we entered the break. Going into the weekend we said one win wouldn’t be good enough, and we got that. We proved to ourselves we can accomplish what we want.”
With the loss Notre Dame fell to 3-18-2 against the Broncos at Lawson Arena, dating back to the 1988-89 season. Despite a pair of goals from freshman Michael Barlett and Rob Globke’s 100th career point, the Irish were never able to get over the hump against a WMU team that dominated with physical play all weekend.
Entering the third period of play Notre Dame was down, but not out, having pulled within a goal at 5-4 to close the second period of play. However, final period of play would belong to Western as the Broncos locked down on defense.
“After the second period, we said let’s play our best 20 minutes of hockey this period,” said WMU head coach Jim Culhane. “The penalty kill was huge, with five minutes to go.”
“We made sure we weren’t going to give them anything,” said Bronco defenseman Mike Jarmuth. “We knew if we stuck tight, we’d come out with the win.”
Dave Brown did not look sharp in goal for the Irish for the second consecutive night, having allowed 11 goals on the weekend. Scott Foster returned to the net for the Broncos after leaving Friday’s game early due to illness, making 19 saves on the night.
The Irish entered the series with the stingiest defense in the league (2.00 GAA), but gave up 14 total goals on the weekend.
Jeff Campbell tallied four goals on the weekend giving him 18 points in 12 career games against Notre Dame.
The Broncos, who closed out a seven-game homestand with a 5-2-0 record, will play a series of exhibition games Dec. 17-19 against Canadian universities: Brock, Western Ontario, and Sir Wilfred Laurier, before taking time-off for the holidays. Notre Dame will next face Cornell on Dec. 27 in the Everblades Collegiate Hockey Tournament.