SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Bowling Green got two goals from Mike Falk and single goals from James Unger, Ryan Minnabarriet, Derek Whitmore and Ben Geelan, and standout goaltender Jordan Sigalet stopped 32 of 34 Notre Dame shots on the way to a 6-2 win Saturday night at the Joyce Center.
Junior center Matt Amado scored once and assisted on a Mark Van Guilder power-play goal for all the Irish scoring in the game.
The loss, the eighth in a row for Notre Dame, drops the Irish to 5-18-5 overall and 3-13-4 in the CCHA. The weekend sweep improved Bowling Green to 12-9-3 overall and gives the Falcons a 9-7-2 record in league play.
The first period saw Notre Dame carry most of the play as the Irish outshot Bowling Green by a 15-6 margin. Two costly mistakes though, ended up in the Notre Dame net.
Unger got Bowling Green on the board first at 13:30 after Michael Hodgson scooped up a loose puck behind the Irish goal. Hodgson slid the puck to Unger to the right of Irish starter Morgan Cey. He reached around Cey and tuck the puck in for his seventh goal of the year and a 1-0 lead.
Forty seconds later at 14:10, Bowling Green turned an Irish scoring bid into a goal. With play in the Bowling Green zone, defenseman Noah Babin caught Sigalet out of the goal and fired a shot that missed the net and came all the way around the boards and down the ice where Falk took a feed from Alex Foster and was all alone in front for his fifth goal of the season.
“I thought we were fine even after the first goal,” said Irish head coach Dave Poulin. “We came right back and Noah (Babin) had a wide-open net and missed with the shot. The puck comes all the way down and they score. I thought we had played pretty well up until then. They had two scoring chances and got two goals.”
The lead would go to 5-0 as Bowling Green scored three times in the third period with two goals coming on power plays and a third with a sixth attacker.
Falk made it 3-0 at 2:20 as the Irish were called for a delayed penalty. Brett Pilkington (three assists) controlled the puck at the left puck and found Jonathan Matsumoto at the bottom of the right circle. Matsumoto drew the defender over and slid it to Falk in front, where he redirected it behind Cey for his sixth of the year.
The Falcons then scored a pair of power-play goals just 10 seconds apart. Just seconds after Amado ripped a shot off the post behind Sigalet, the Irish were called for too many men on the ice. Thirty-five seconds later, referee Mark Wilkins whistled Jason Paige off for charging as he hit a Bowling Green defenseman behind the net and Sigalet, who was there to play the puck, also went down, giving Bowling Green a five-on-three.
Minnabarriet scored his third power-play goal of the weekend at 9:17 (his fifth goal of the year) and then Derek Whitmore whipped one past Cey from the slot at 9:27 for his 10th of the year to give the Falcons the 5-0 lead. That goal sent a frustrated Cey to the bench in favor of junior Rory Walsh, who held Bowling Green to just one goal over the final 30:33.
“Rory really did a great job in goal for us. That’s a tough situation to go into,” said Cey. For Walsh, it was his first appearance of the season and his first since Dec. 5th of 2003 at Western Michigan.
Poulin understood Cey’s frustration coming out at that point of the game.
“Obviously the first three goals weren’t his fault,” said Poulin.
“Morgan wants to lead, he wants to win badly, that’s his frustration. He wants to shut the other team out every game. He’s a winner and a leader and he’s always been strong for us late in the season.”
The Irish finally broke through on Sigalet at 19:14 of the second period. Defenseman Chris Trick intercepted a clearing pass at the right point and got the puck to Amado in the right wing circle. The junior center wasted little time in getting rid of the puck as he whipped a shot past the Falcon goaltender for his third goal of the season to cut the lead to 5-1.
The two teams traded goals in the third period for the final margin of 6-2. Ben Geelen one-timed a blast from the high slot past Walsh at 6:33 for his fifth of the season and Mark Van Guilder scored on the power play at 15:09 off a setup by Amado in front for his second goal of the season.
For the second night in a row, the Irish outshot Bowling Green, this time by a 34-26 margin. Cey finished with nine saves in 29:27 minutes of playing time and Walsh kicked out 11 shots.