BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Notre Dames steady offensive attack and steadier defensive prowess led the Irish to a 3-1 win over Bowling Green Friday night at the BGSU Ice Arena.
Teddy Ruth, Ryan Thang and Christian Hanson each scored a goal for Notre Dame, a program that is now 13-3-2 overall on the season and 9-2-2 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
As it has done so often during Notre Dames current 13-game unbeaten streak, which dates to an Oct. 25 loss at Miami, the Irish defense suffocated its opponent.
They have six good defensemen who like to play both ways, said BG defenseman Kevin Schmidt, who scored the lone goal for the Falcons (5-9-3). Theyre intelligent defensive players who play good defense first, and all their offense stems from turnovers.
Ruth, a defenseman, started the scoring at 3:25 of the first period with a big slap shot from the blue line that found its way past Falcon goalie Jimmy Spratt.
Thang notched his sixth goal of the season eight minutes and 51 seconds into the second period to give Notre Dame 2-0 insurance. The tally came four minutes before Notre Dame took several penalties that led to huge scoring chances for BG.
Penalties on Erik Condra (interference) and Billy Maday (hooking) led to the Falcons gaining a 10-6 second period edge in shots.
Schmidt finally capitalized 25 seconds before intermission when he snuck a wrist shot past Jordan Pearce to cut the lead in half.
Every one of these goals was scored at even strength, something neither teams coach could explain.
Our power plays been really good for us in the last six weeks, but its not always going to score, said Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson. It was a tough game, basically a 2-1 hockey game, and those are tough games to play for both benches, Im sure.
BG coach Scott Paluch agreed.
We had a couple decent looks where the puck was bouncing, especially with David Solway on his backhand, he said, but it didnt go in.
The Falcons hung with Notre Dame physically, which is not an easy task to accomplish this season. If college hockey kept track of hits in each game, BG likely would have won that battle Friday.
We had a physical edge to us, and clearly didnt lose that physical match up with this team, Paluch
said. Its frustrating to not capitalize against these guys.
The frustration reached a crescendo late in the third period when, down 2-1, BG gained a power play when Ian Cole was called for interference.
Paluch quickly pulled Spratt for the additional attacker, but Hanson thwarted any plans for a game-tying goal when he nailed the left side of the net for a 3-1 lead.
The goal clinched BGs 15th straight winless game against the Irish, a streak that began on Nov. 10, 2005.
Thats it. Its completely frustrating, Schmidt said. Were well aware of the streak.
Sooner or later, were going to put together a complete game against them and hopefully thats tomorrow.
The series concludes in South Bend, Ind., Saturday night at 7:35 p.m.