Jan. 23, 2005
Rosemont, Ill. - For Notre Dame, only the venue changed. For the second night in a row, the Fighting Irish were blanked by fifth-ranked Wisconsin, 2-0. This time though, the loss came at Allstate Arena where 8,317 fans braved a winter storm to see the non-conference game for both teams.
The crowd, with over 3,000 no-shows, is the largest to ever see a college hockey game in the Chicago area and is the largest crowd ever to see the Irish play at "home." The on-campus Joyce Center's maximum capacity over the years was 4,500 and is now 2,713.
On Saturday night, the Badgers got all the offense they needed in the first period on goals by Robbie Earl and Matt Ford a little over four minutes apart.
Notre Dame was out shot in the game by a 36-14 margin as Morgan Cey did his best to hold the Irish in the game until his offense could get on track.
"We are really struggling as a team. We just aren't executing and generating offense. It's deep in their minds now," said Irish head coach Dave Poulin.
Earl picked up his second goal of the weekend as he took a pass at the Notre Dame blue line from Joe Pavelski and raced in to beat Cey high to his glove side at 13:39 for his 13th of the year.
The lead would go to 2-0 at 17:43 on a delayed penalty call versus the Irish. With the sixth attacker on the ice, Ford finished a nice tic-tac-toe passing play off a set up by Pavelski and defenseman Kyle Klubertanz.
From there, Cey slammed the door, making 27 saves over the final two periods while the Irish were mustering just seven shots of their own.
"Our penalty killing was good this weekend (the Irish killed all 13 Badger power-play chances and own the second-best power-play unit in the nation), our goaltending was good. Morgan gave us a chance to win again tonight. He battles every night," said Poulin.
Bernd Bruckler got the shutout for the Badgers, his second of the season, making 14 saves on the night.
The loss was the sixth in a row for the Irish as their record falls to 5-16-5 on the year. The Badgers move to 19-6-1 on the year and should move up in the national rankings this coming week.
Notre Dame returns to CCHA action next weekend when the Irish face Bowling Green in a home-and-home series. The Irish travel to Bowling Green on Friday, Jan. 28 for a 7:05 p.m. game and play host to the Falcons on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 7:05 p.m.