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    November 2, 1996

    Notre Dame Hockey Completes 7-5 Comeback Win at No. 3 Bowling Green

    Irish score five times in the 3rd as Karr comes on for a memorable first win

    Bowling Green, Ohio -- Sophomore goaltender Forrest Karr (DeForest, WI) came off the bench to stop 28 of 30 shots and collect his first career win while junior center Lyle Andrusiak (Foam Lake, SASK) snapped out of a two-year scoring funk in timely fashion as the University of Notre Dame hockey team scored five times in the final 16 minutes of the game to claim a stunning 7-5 comeback victory at #3-ranked Bowling Green, in Central Collegiate Hockey Association action Saturday at the BGSU Ice Arena.

    The victory vaults Notre Dame (3-2-1, 2-2-1 CCHA) past Bowling Green (6-2-0, 2-2-0) into fourth place in the early-season CCHA standings, with both of the Irish wins coming on the road (also 3-0 at Ohio State on Oct. 25). BGSU also lost on Friday night at Michigan State, which returned to the ice Saturday to record a 5-4 win over #1 Michigan.

    The upset ranks as a landmark result in the history of Irish hockey, marking the highest-ranked Notre Dame opponent defeated on its home ice in recent memory (stretching back to the playing days of current Irish coach Dave Poulin, 1979-82). The Irish shocked then-#1 Michigan during the 1994-95 season (6-3), but that victory came in the comfortable confines of Notre Dame's Joyce Center.

    The Falcons jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first nine minutes of the game, bunching their goals in a span of 2:40 to seemingly take control of the game. But Notre Dame senior Tim Harberts snapped out of a scoring drought of his own late in the first period, netting his first goal of the year, and the Irish played their hosts even in the second before rallying to the dramatic road win.

    Notre Dame junior Matt Eisler--who last week was named the CCHA defensive player of the week after a 47-save shutout at OSU and 120-minute shutout streak--was pulled from the game in favor of the relatively inexperienced Karr, after Eisler had allowed the Falcons to score on three of their first four shots.

    Saturday's effort was easily the biggest of his career for Karr, who had yet to see the ice this season and played in just two games last season while logging only 78 minutes. The win over the Falcons also made Karr's debut in a CCHA game all the more special.

    Notre Dame headed into the third period still trailing by two goals (4-2) and desperately looking to catch a break that might ignite a comeback rally. Such a chance came on Andrusiak's second goal, at the 3:56 mark, and co-captains Steve Noble and Terry Lorenz both followed suit over the next eight minutes to give the visitors their first lead.

    Two minutes later, Falcons freshman Adam Edinger converted on the powerplay for his second goal of the night, tying the game at 5-5. But Notre Dame's Benoit Cotnoir delivered on a slapshot from the blueline at the 17:15 mark and his fellow sophomore Aniket Dhadphale sealed the upset on an open-net goal with 17 seconds left to play.

    Andrusiak's sparkplug goal came after Molina had passed the puck to Dhadphale, who sent a pass from the left side across the middle of the ice. Falcons senior defenseman Kelly Perrault was skating back to cover on the play and appeared ready to intercept Dhadphale's pass at the center faceoff circle. But the puck skipped past Perrault and Andrusiak seized the opportunity, taking the puck in stride and skating in on sophomore goaltender Mike Savard before putting home a backhanded shot into the left side of the net.

    Prior to Saturday's game, Andrusiak--who enjoyed stellar scoring success in junior hockey--has totaled just one goal in his last 39 games for the Irish. But the native of Fort Lake, Saskatchewan had been showing renewed offensive spark since sliding over to the center spot, totaling three assists in the last three games before finally finding the net vs. the Falcons.

    Noble tied the game at 4-4 after freshman Ben Simon (from nearby Shaker Heights, OH) overskated a chance at the top of the crease and then unselfishly elected to send the puck back in front of the goal, rather than trying to tuck it around the left post. Noble was there to quickly redirect the puck into the net for his third goal in as many games (4;46).

    Lorenz scored at the 11:57 mark, swooping in from the left side and muscling the puck into the crease, where it kicked off the skate of a Falcons defenseman before sliding by Savard.

    BGSU made Notre Dame's first lead of the game a shortlived one, as a Fry pass from behind the net found Edinger' s stick near the right crease, with the first-year center quickly flicking the puck home for a 5-5 tie (13:50).

    Simon also played a big part in Cotnoir's goal, winning a faceoff at the left circle before kicking the puck back to Harberts, who then slid a pass across the blueline for the offensive-minded Cotnoir.

    Notre Dame trailed heading into the first intermission, 3-1, despite outshooting the Falcons 16-10 in the first 20 minutes. BGSU then stretched its lead back to three goals when Perrault scored at the 12:06 mark, assisted by fellow senior Curtis Fry, but Andrusiak made the game 4-2 three minutes later after gathering in a loose puck at the back boards and sliding around the net--to the left side of Savard--before tucking the puck inside the near post.

    The Falcons had a chance to pad their lead late in the second, after Irish freshman defenseman Sean Molina saved a sure goal with a holding penalty near the right side of the crease. But Karr and the Irish defense turned back five shots on goal, foiling the BGSU powerplay for the fifth consecutive time.

    Bowling Green jumped ahead at the 5:47 mark when Edinger finished a Falcons break. Two minutes later, BGSU senior Brett Punchard sent home a slapshot from the left point and freshman Zach Ham followed suit just 15 seconds later, blasting home a shot from a tight angle on the left boards, with the rising puck tucking inside the far right post.

    IRISH NOTES: In addition to the goaltender change, Notre Dame made what proved to be a timely change in its first two lines, with Harberts going from left wing of the second line to right wing on the first. Sophomore Brian Urick slid back from his right wing spot on the first line to right wing on the second while freshman Troy Bagne moved from right to left on the second line. Notre Dame's most consistent and productive line remains the third unit of Andrusiak, left wing Dhadphale and freshman right wing Joe Dusbabek, who have combined to score exactly half (7) of Notre Dame's 14 even-strength goals this season, since Andrusiak moved from his wing position on the fourth line to the third line center spot in the third game of the season (at OSU). Notre Dame's offensive balance can be seen in the fact that nine different players have combined to score the team's 19 goals this season, with seven having two or three goals (the other two have one each).

    CCHA HOCKEY (11/2/96) - at the Bowling Green Ice Arena
    NOTRE DAME          1    1    5    -    7
    BOWLING GREEN       3    1    1    -    5
    1st:  BG 1. - Edinger (Ilvonen, Desjarlais) 5:47;  
          BG 2. Punchard (Jones, Perrault) 8:12;  
          BG 3. - Ham (Perrault, Johnson);  
          ND 1. - Harberts (Simon, Cotnoir).
    2nd:  BG 4. Perrault (Fry);  
          ND 2. - Andrusiak (unassisted).
    3rd:  ND 3. - Andrusiak (Dhadphale, Molina);  
          ND 4. - Noble (Simon, Harberts);  
          ND 5. - Lorenz (Urick, Bagne);  
          BG 5. - Edinger (Fry, Johnson);  
          ND 6. - Cotnoir (Harberts, Simon);  
          ND 7. - Dhadphale (Andrusiak, Dusbabek).
    SHOTS ON GOAL:  ND 16-14-12/42;  BG 10-13-11/34.
    SAVES: Eisler (ND) 1-X-X/1;  Karr (ND) 6-12-10/28;  Savard (BG) 15-13-7/35.  
    PENALTIES:  ND 7 for 14;  BG 5 for 10.
    POWERPLAY:  ND 1-of-4;  BG 1-of-6.
    

    POSTGAME QUOTES - Notre Dame hockey at Bowling Green (11/2/96)

    Note: Quotes from BGSU coach Buddy Powers and Falcons players were unavailable due to time constraints.

    Notre Dame Coach Dave Poulin: "Overall, we are real encouraged by our manner of winning. I was fully confident during the second intermission that we would come back and win. Even when we fell behind 3-0, we had been getting our chances but they weren't going in. We've had flashes of good play all year, leading up to tonight. You could feel it on the bench that we weren't going to lose the game. This team just has a very special resiliency and consistently created chances out there tonight. This type of result is satisfying for a young team that just has to remember to be patient. The key tonight was that we worried more about ourselves than about the other team. After letting Michigan get off to a good start on Friday, we targeted having a quality start tonight--but Bowling Green's shots just ended up in the net. In regards to the line change, you don't want to change for the sake of changing; but, you also have to keep looking for the best combinations. Troy Bagne had skated well on the left wing in camp, so we switched him over there and then moved Brian Urick into the right wing spot on the second line. That allowed Tim Harberts to move to the right wing as well (on the first line) and helped Tim see the puck a lot more since the centers on both of our first lines are left-handed (Simon and Lorenz). We also made some critical adjustments to our powerplay unit before the Michigan game and that helped again tonight. You also can't overlook our fourth line of Craig Hagkull, John Dwyer and Neal Johnson--they did a great job for us all weekend. And of course the line of Dhadphale, Andrusiak and Dusbabek has been on a tear the last couple of weeks. Changing goalies is similar to taking out your best pitcher. You don't want to do it too quickly and yet Eisler didn't seem to be on tonight. Often time it also fires up the team and helps to slow momentum. It worked for us tonight, but it is a gamble and a decision you have to be confident in making."

    Notre Dame Junior Forward Lyle Andrusiak: "Since I've moved to center, I've been much more comfortable. Aniket and Joe have been great linemates. I just trey to keep my feet moving and driving to the net. The three of us are always out there talking and communicating--it's gotten to the point already where we almost know where the other guys are going to be."

    Notre Dame Sophomore Goaltender Forrest Karr: "I feel great right now. I can't give enough credit to the character of this team. Mentally, I always try to keep myself ready for the chance that I'll get the call. It's all about confidence. This team has a lot of confidence, character and talent. I was just glad to be a part of it."

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