Feb. 13, 2004
Notre Dame, Ind. - For much of the 2003-04 season, the Notre Dame hockey team has struggled to score goals. At times it seems as if the Irish haven't been able to get any bounces go their way. That finally came to an end on Friday night at the Joyce Center as Notre Dame parlayed a couple of nice bounces into goals on the way to a 4-2 win over Ferris State.
Freshmen T.J. Jindra and Josh Sciba took advantage of the bounces, scoring 49 seconds apart early in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie to give the Irish the 4-2 victory.
The win moves the Irish into seventh place in the CCHA playoff chase as they improve to 10-10-3 in the league for 23 points to move a point ahead of Northern Michigan as the Wildcats play out of conference this weekend. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Notre Dame as the Irish go to 14-11-4 overall. The loss drops Ferris State to 14-14-3 on the year and 9-13-1 in CCHA play.
The victory also marked the 300th win in the history of the Joyce Center and extended Notre Dame's home-unbeaten streak to 11 (9-0-2).
Matt Amado (third) and Aaron Gill (12th) scored first-period goals for the Irish to offset one by the Bulldogs' Derek Nesbitt (his 10th). Ferris got the only goal of the second period as Trevor Large (4th) beat Notre Dame goaltender David Brown at 17:08 to send the game to the second intermission tied at 2-2.
Sciba opened the period by getting called for crosschecking just 46 seconds into the final period. One of the strengths of Notre Dame has been the team's penalty killing and they Irish turned it into two goals.
With a faceoff to the left of Brown, freshman Jason Paige won the draw and moved forward with the puck. He then made a short pass to Jindra who skated the puck out of the zone and dumped the puck down the ice off the glass in the Ferris State zone. Goaltender Mike Brown headed behind his net to stop it but the puck deflected off a stanchion near the left wing faceoff circle and deflected towards the net. Brown could not get back to stop it and the Irish had a 3-2 lead.
"We finally got a bounce to go our way," said Jindra following the game.
"It seemed to get us going with Josh (Sciba) scoring as the penalty ended. Anytime you can get a goal on the penalty kill it's a big goal. I just dumped it down and got a lucky bounce."
Jindra's short-handed tally was the break the Irish needed and it came at 2:03 of the period with Paige getting the assist. The Irish still had 43 seconds of a Ferris State penalty to kill and the Irish would score again, this time at 2:52.
Ferris State applied the pressure as the penalty was coming to an end. David Brown kicked out a Bulldog shot and the rebound went to defenseman Brett Lebda who back-handed into the neutral zone just as Sciba burst out of the penalty box.
The speedy forward raced in on Mike Brown and beat the Bulldog goaltender with a wrist shot to give the Irish the two goal lead at 4-2.
"We got a bounce tonight. It's the first time that I've seen a goal like that in my nine years here," said head coach Dave Poulin.
"The key is when you get those bounces, you have to take advantage of them. Josh followed with another goal coming out of the box. That may be the best penalty we've ever taken since we got two goals off it."
From there, David Brown held the fort in the battle of the Brown's, turning away 14 shots to finish with 27 saves on the game. Ferris State's Brown stopped 40 of the 44 shots he faced as the Irish launched 80 shots at the Bulldog goal.
"We really stressed getting the puck on the net this week in practice," said Poulin.
"Brown (Mike) played a good game tonight. There were some rebounds that we still need to get to. We have to take advantage when we get those chances," added Poulin.
The Irish extended their streak of consecutive penalties killed to 29 in a row by holding the Ferris State power play to 0-for-5 on the night. Notre Dame has not given up a power-play goal since Jan. 23 in the first period at Northern Michigan, a streak of 6+ games.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday night at the Joyce Center. Game time is 7:35 p.m. with the game being televised live by Fox Sports Detroit.
** Prior to Friday's game, the Irish had scored just 15 goals in the previous eight games with Rob Globke, Aaron Gill and Mike Walsh accounting for 12 of them. On Friday, the Irish got goals from three others as Matt Amado, T.J. Jindra and Josh Sciba found the back of the net. Gill had the fourth Irish goal on the night.
** Notre Dame's win on Friday was the 300th at the Joyce Center. The Irish are now 300-245-42 at the Joyce. The win also improved Notre Dame to 9-1-2 at home this season.
Ferris State (14-14-3/9-13-1) 1 1 0 - 2
Notre Dame (14-11-4/10-10-3) 2 0 2 - 4
Penalties: FSU: 0 for 0 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Second Period: FSU: Trevor Large 4 (Zac Pearson, Mike Kinnie), 17:08.
Penalties: FSU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: FSU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 3 for 6 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Ferris State 5 - 10 - 14 - 31
Notre Dame 16 - 14 - 14 - 44
FSU - Mike Brown (59:17) 14 - 14 - 12 - 40
ND - David Brown (60:00) 4 - 9 - 14 - 27
Power Plays: FSU: 0 for 5; ND: 0 for 3