Feb. 12, 2005
Notre Dame, Ind. - It's been a season for shaking one's head for the Notre Dame hockey team. On Friday night, the Irish were again left shaking their heads as Ferris State's Matt Verdone scored a short-handed game-winning goal with 53 seconds left to give the Bulldogs a 4-3 win at the Joyce Center.
With Ferris State's Derek Nesbitt in the penalty box and time winding down, Irish forward Evan Rankin had a good scoring chance that was stopped by Bulldog's goaltender Derek MacIntyre. The puck went to the right wing boards where defenseman Adam Welch broke out of the zone on a three-on-two Ferris State rush. Welch carried deep into the Irish zone and fed the puck in front to Verdone who slid the puck past Cey at 19:07 for the game winner.
"They won a battle down low and their defenseman came away with the puck and he just moved it up the ice," said Irish forward Mark Van Guilder.
"He carried it deep and then made a nice pass to the guy in front and he put it away."
The loss extended Notre Dame's winless streak to 12 games (0-10-2) and dropped the Irish to 5-20-6 on the year, 3-16-4 in CCHA play. Ferris State improves to 10-17-4 overall and 5-14-4 in league play and moves three points ahead of the Irish into a tie for 10th with Western Michigan.
"This one is a heartbreaker," said Irish head coach Dave Poulin.
"We found another way tonight. The things that we've been looking for a year, we got. The scored two on the power play, we got goals from different people. Then to lose on a short-handed goal in the last minute, that's a tough one to take."
Notre Dame struggled early in their defensive zone, ending up on the wrong end of a 2-0 score at the 13:50 mark of the opening period.
Jeff Legue scooped up an Irish turnover inside the right wing circle and found an open lane to the goal, cut in front, pulling Cey down and then flipped the puck over the sprawling goaltender for his 18th of the year at 1:11 of the first period.
Defenseman Jim Jorgensen got his second of the year at 13:50 when he came late from the left point and took a nice centering pass from right wing Greg Rollo in the left wing circle. Jorgensen cut across the front of the goal and flipped a backhander past Cey for a 2-0 lead.
The Irish offense came to life less than three minutes later when Mark Van Guilder scored on a power-play deflection at 16:15.
Babin fired a shot wide from the right point. Rankin tracked the loose puck down near the left wing boards and whipped a shot towards the Bulldogs' goal. Van Guilder re-directed the pass through a defenseman and then MacIntyre's pads for his third goal of the season.
Ferris State would take advantage of the Irish defense not being able to clear the puck in front of Cey to take a 3-1 lead at 3:53 of the second period. With the puck bouncing around in front, center Adam Miller deflected the puck to Derek Nesbitt to the right of Cey. The senior wasted little time firing it past the Irish goaltender for his 10th of the year.
Again the Irish came back. Babin cut the lead to 3-2 at 9:41 when he drilled a shot from the center point past MacIntyre for his fourth goal of the season off assists from T.J. Jindra and Van Guilder.
The Irish would tie the game at 13:02 of the middle period on a Jason Paige power-play goal. Mike Walsh worked the puck around the left wing boards to Wes O'Neill at the left point. O'Neill's blast was blocked in front, but the rebound went right to Paige at the top of the left wing circle where he drilled a shot through a screen to beat MacIntyre for his third goal of the year.
Notre Dame would get their best chance late in the third period when Ferris State was called for too many men on the ice with 3:43 left and then Nesbitt was whistled off for obstruction hooking with 2:14 left to give the Irish a five-on-three power-play for 31 seconds left. The Irish failed to score while the Bulldogs cashed in down a man with the short-handed tally with 39 seconds remaining in Nesbitt's penalty.
"We have to find a way to score on the five-on-three and we didn't," said Poulin.
For the night, Ferris State out shot the Irish by a 40-24 margin. Cey finished with 36 saves while MacIntyre had 21 in the Bulldogs' goal.
"Morgan (Cey) was terrific all night. He made some great saves in the second and third period that kept us in the game. Our defensemen struggled tonight. Some of them had a real tough night," commented the Irish head coach.
The two teams will close the regular-season series on Saturday night at the Joyce Center. Face off is set for 7:05 p.m.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F
Ferris State (10-17-4/5-14-4) 2 1 1 - 4
Notre Dame (5-20-6/3-15-5) 1 2 0 - 3
Penalties: FSU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: FSU: 3 for 14 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: FSU: Matt Verdone 6 (Adam Welch), SHG, 19:16.
Penalties: UNO: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Ferris State 8 - 19 - 13 - 40
Notre Dame 9 - 9 - 6 - 24
FSU - Derek MacIntyre (60:00) 8 - 7 - 6 - 21
ND - Morgan Cey (59:20) 6 - 18 - 12 - 36
FSU: 0 for 5
ND: 2 for 7