SOUTH BEND, Ind. — After scoring nine goals on Thursday night versus Bowling Green, Notre Dame turned to good goaltending and excellent penalty killing to post a 4-2 win over the Falcons on Friday night in front of 2,469 fans at the Joyce Center.
The win gave the Irish their first CCHA series sweep since Feb. 27-28, 2004 when they took two in a row from Michigan at the Joyce Center. The back-to-back wins were the first for Notre Dame since winning games on Nov. 13 at Western Michigan and Nov. 26 at Alaska Fairbanks last season.
Notre Dame got two goals from Matt Amado – the first two-goal game of his career – and single tallies from Josh Sciba and Tim Wallace in the win. Junior goaltender David Brown made 36 saves on the night and Irish penalty killers stopped 8-of-9 Bowling Green man advantages.
Mike Falk paced the Falcon offense with two goals on the night.
“We bent but didn’t break tonight,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson. “Bowling Green had better chances than us and won the battles for loose pucks. We got excellent penalty killing and good goaltending tonight. Last night we got nine goals.”
The win improved the Irish to 3-5-0 on the year and evened their record in the CCHA to 2-2-0. The loss dropped Bowling Green to 2-6-1 overall and 2-4-1 in conference play.
Notre Dame’s offensive attack picked up where it left off Thursday night when Amado scored his fourth goal of the season just 20 seconds into the game. Tim Wallace and Amado broke in over the Falcon blue line with Wallace dishing off to Amado at the top of the left wing circle. Amado whipped a shot at goaltender Jon Horrell that went off his glove and into the goal. For Amado, the goal extended his goal-scoring streak to a career-best four games.
Sciba extended the lead to 2-0 at 15:07 of the first period on the power play. Wes O’Neill’s pass from the left point to Sciba in the right wing circle was deflected by a Bowling Green penalty killer, but bounced to Sciba. The junior center whipped a shot from the face-off dot past Horrell for his sixth goal of the year and fourth of the weekend.
Amado built the lead to 3-0 just 2:05 into the second period when he chipped a puck out past a Bowling Green defenseman at the Irish blue line and raced down the left side. At the top of the left-wing circle he blasted the puck past Horrell for his fifth of
The speedy left wing has as many goals as he had in 31 games last season and equaled his career high in just eight games.
“I don’t think I’m doing anything different than I have in the past,” said Amado. “I’m just trying to work hard and be a leader on this team. I’m trying to shoot more and get my shots on net. This was an important game for us. It gets us back to .500 in the CCHA.”
Bowling Green wasn’t done though. Falk scored his first of two goals just 33 seconds into the third period when he picked up the rebound of an Alex Foster shot and fired it past Brown from the bottom of the right-wing circle for his seventh of the season to make
it a 3-1 game.
Falk cut the lead to one at 12:32 with a power-play goal. Jonathan Matsumoto moved the puck from the right wing boards to Foster at the right point. Foster found Falk all alone in the left circle and he whipped a shot past Brown to make things interesting.
Brown came up big with several saves in the third period to preserve the lead until Wallace closed the scoring at 17:25 when he banged home the rebound of a Noah Babin shot from the right point for his fifth goal of the season, giving the Irish a 4-2 lead.
Bowling Green pulled its goaltender with 1:40 left in the game but Brown and the defense kept the Falcons at bay to give the Irish their first CCHA sweep since 2003-04.
“I thought David (Brown) played real well tonight as did our special teams,” said Jackson following the game. “David played tonight the way I was told he played his freshman year and we need that if we are going to be successful. Special teams are now more
important than the game itself.”
On the night, Bowling Green out shot the Irish by a 38-22 margin. Horrell made 18 saves for the Falcons. The Irish were 1-for-8 on the power play after going 4-for-10 on Thursday night. The Falcons just scored once on nine power-play chances.
The Irish will look to extend their winning streak to three games on Friday, Nov. 18 when they begin a weekend series at Miami. Game time on Nov. 18-19 is 7:35 p.m. at Goggin Arena.