Feb. 12, 2005
Notre Dame, Ind. - Left wing Derek Nesbitt sparked a four-goal Ferris State second period with a goal and two assists and center Jeff Legue added a goal and an assist to help lead the Bulldogs to a 4-2 win over Notre Dame at the Joyce Center sweeping the season series.
The Ferris State win extended the Irish winless streak to 13 games (0-11-2) as Notre Dame has been looking for a win since Jan. 2, when the Irish handed Rensselaer a 2-1 loss. The loss gives Notre Dame a 5-21-6 record overall and a 3-16-5 ledger in CCHA play. The weekend sweep for Ferris State improves the Bulldogs to 11-17-4 overall and 6-14-4 in conference action and moves them into sole possession of 10th place in the league standings, two points ahead of Western Michigan with four games left to play.
The Irish jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 9:26 of the opening period on a 5-on-3 power-play chance. Noah Babin took a feed from Josh Sciba in the high slot and whipped a shot past goaltender Derek MacIntyre for Babin's fifth goal of the season and his second in as many night. The goal gave Notre Dame its first, "first goal of the game" since Jan. 14 versus Ohio State. The goal also gave the Irish their first lead since the 15:52 mark of the first period in that game.
"I liked the way we were playing in the first period," said Irish head coach Dave Poulin.
"We took advantage of the 5-on-3 that we didn't on Friday and we controlled the play until the major penalty."
The major penalty was whistled on Irish left wing Mike Walsh for hitting Ferris State defenseman Matt York from behind, deep in the Ferris State zone. Walsh was given five minutes and the game misconduct and Ferris State was able to regain the momentum.
"Anytime there is a hit-from-behind, I want to see it called. It was a tough penalty to call at that point, but it has to be called," said Poulin.
"They didn't score on it, but they got one goal 4-on-4 and then we were playing back on our heels the rest of the second period."
Nesbitt got the Bulldogs going just 21 seconds into the second period when he deflected a Legue shot right in front of Notre Dame goaltender David Brown for his 11th of the season.
Matt Verdone made it 2-1 at 3:11 when the Irish defense failed to clear the puck from their zone as the major penalty to Walsh was coming to an end. Zac Pearson was able to find Verdone in front and he was able to deflect the pass behind Brown for his seventh of the season and second of the weekend.
The Irish were able to take advantage of a second 5-on-3 power-play chance midway through the second period. Wes O'Neill (two assists) slid the puck from the left point to Chris Trick on the right side. Trick found Cory McLean parked to the left of MacIntyre. The Ferris State goaltender stopped the first scoring try, but McLean was able to lift the rebound over MacIntyre for his fifth of the year at 10:02. Notre Dame would go 2-for-7 on the power play for the second night in a row.
Notre Dame's lead was short lived though. Greg Rallo scored on the deflection of a Nesbitt shot at 14:17 for the eventual game winner and Legue capped the four-goal period with a power-play goal off a Nesbitt set up, his second assist of the period. For Legue, the goal was his 19th of the year and it came at 18:47.
"Three of their four goals were tip-ins right in front of the goal with our defensemen standing right next to the man who scored the goal," said Poulin.
"I thought David (Brown) played well tonight for not playing in awhile. Sometimes goaltenders would rather the defenseman not be near the man in front. That way they know they have to play him. When the defenseman is there, he doesn't know if he's taking him or not. We have to do a better job of taking those guys in front of the net."
The score remained 4-2 through the third period, as the Irish were able to get just three shots on MacIntyre in the final stanza.
"We couldn't generate anything in the third period," said Poulin.
"They pulled back and played us tight. We didn't get many chances."
For the night, Ferris State out shot the Irish by a 29-19 margin. Brown, making his first start since Jan. 28, made 25 saves in the game. MacIntyre finished the night with 17 stops for the Bulldogs.
The Irish return to action next weekend when they face No. 6 Michigan in a pair of games. On Friday, Feb. 18, the two teams will meet in Ft. Wayne, Ind., at the Memorial Coliseum. That game will be played at 8:05 p.m. and will be televised nationally by College Sports Television (CSTV). Saturday's game will have a 7:35 p.m. start in Ann Arbor, Mich., at Yost Arena.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F
Ferris State (11-17-4/5-15-4) 0 4 0 - 4
Notre Dame (5-21-6/3-16-5) 1 1 0 - 2
Penalties: FSU: 6 for 12 minutes; ND: 4 for 19 minutes.
Second Period: FSU: Derek Nesbitt 11 (Jeff Legue, Matt York), 00:21; FSU: Matt Verdone 7 (Zac Pearson), 3:11; ND: Cory McLean 5 (Chris Trick, O'Neill), PPG, 10:02; FSU: Greg Rallo 6 (Nesbitt, Adam Miller), 14:17; FSU: Legue 19 (Nesbitt), PPG, 18:47.
Penalties: FSU: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: FSU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Ferris State 5 - 13 - 11 - 29
Notre Dame 10 - 6 - 3 - 19
FSU - Derek MacIntyre (60:00) 9 - 5 - 3 - 17
ND - David Brown (60:00) 5 - 9 - 11 - 25
FSU: 1 for 5
ND: 2 for 7