Nov. 21, 2008
Notre Dame, Ind. - Senior center Christian Hanson recorded the first three-point game (2g, 1a) of his career and linemates Christiaan Minella (1g, 1a) and Garrett Regan (2a) picked up two-point nights as Notre Dame defeated Bowling Green, 5-1 on Friday night. The win ran the Irish unbeaten streak to seven straight games (6-0-1).
Joining Hanson and Minella on the scoreboard for Notre Dame were Justin White and Billy Maday (ppg) as the Irish played in front of their third consecutive sellout crowd (2,857) at the Joyce Center. Brandon Svendsen's second-period short-handed goal was the only blemish on Irish goaltender Jordan Pearce's 27-save victory.
The win improves Notre Dame to 8-3-1 on the season and 4-2-1-1 in the CCHA, good for 10 points in the standings. The loss drops the Falcons to 5-6-2 overall and 4-4-1-0 in conference play for nine points. The two teams play game two of the home-and-home series on Saturday night at the Bowling Green Ice Arena. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
Notre Dame has now defeated Bowling Green nine straight games and is unbeaten in the last 13 meetings (12-0-1) between the two schools, dating back to the start of the 2005-06 season.
Irish coach Jeff Jackson was pleased with his team's effort on the night. "We have to remember you have to get gritty in and around the net if you are going to score goals," said Jackson.
"Most goals aren't pretty. A lot of power play goals are a matter of getting body position in front and competing harder in front of the net and we did that tonight."
The two teams traded scoring chances over the first 15 minutes of the opening period before the Irish would capitalize on their third power-play chance of the game. Hanson, who had the second, two-goal game of his career on the night, would get his fifth of the season at 16:04 when he redirected a Kevin Deeth centering pass from the right wing corner through Bowling Green goaltender Billy Spratt's pads to make it 1-0. Calle Ridderwall also assisted on the goal.
"Christian (Hanson) is learning to compete every night," said Jackson.
"When he competes every night with his size and skill level, he's a factor. He's really becoming a more dominant player over the last couple of years. I'm proud of him. I'm proud of where he's come from. He plays with that edge that allows him to be a very productive player."
Notre Dame would make it 2-0 in the final minute of the opening period as White scored his second of the season at 19:06, unleashing a one-timer from the top of the right face-off circle. Kyle Lawson worked the puck free in the left wing corner and moved it around the boards to Ryan Guentzel. The sophomore whipped a pass across the rink to White who wasted little time burying it behind Spratt for the goal.
The Irish would go on the power play at 4:32 of the second period when James McIntosh was called for hooking. That power-play chance turned into a goal for the Falcons. David Solway intercepted a pass near the Falcon blue line and fed it ahead to Svendsen who went in alone on Pearce. He was able to make a move on Pearce and skid the puck under the Irish netminder at 5:03 to cut the lead to 2-1.
Notre Dame was still able to take advantage of the power-play chance as they would get the two-goal lead back at 6:09 when Maday fired a shot from the left point that deflected in front past Spratt to make it 3-1. Ridderwall picked up his second assist of the night when he moved the puck up the right boards to Brett Blatchford at the right point. Blatchford slid the puck across to Maday who notched his sixth of the season to answer the Bowling Green score.
"That goal was huge for us," said Hanson. "Especially after giving up a short-handed goal. It's a momentum goal after we gave up the goal and came back to score on the same power play. Coach always talks about getting a momentum goal and that was one that changed things for us.
The score would remain 3-1 until the final three minutes of the period when the Irish would score twice. Minella got his fourth goal of the season when he followed a shot by Hanson and flipped the rebound between Spratt's pads and the right post at 17:49 to make it 4-1 in favor of the Irish. The goal was the big right winger's third in as many games.
"I was just going to the net," said Minella.
"The puck came loose to me. It was bouncing and I could see out of the corner of my eye that Spratt was coming over. I knew I either had to tuck it inside the post or bank it off his leg. It kind of hung up for a second and then it went in."
Hanson would close out his big night with one second remaining in the period as he grabbed a loose puck off the stick of Regan and fired it past Spratt for his second of the night and sixth of the season at 19:59 to make it a 5-1 game.
"For our team to succeed, we have to score the dirty goals," said Hanson.
"You're seeing that now. If we aren't around the net, we've seen what happens. The weekend against Miami we didn't score any goals from within five feet. It's something that we work on every week in practice."
** IRISH NOTES **
* Freshman Billy Maday led Notre Dame with eight shots on goal in the game.
* The win improved the Irish to 4-2-1 on the season at home. They are 4-1-0 on the road, heading into Saturday's game at Bowling Green.
* Bowling Green's short-handed goal marked the second consecutive game that the Irish have given up a short-handed goal to the opposition. Notre Dame surrendered six short-handed goals in 47 games last season.
* During the current seven-game unbeaten streak, goaltender Jordan Pearce is 6-0-1 with a 1.70 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F Bowling Green (5-6-2/4-4-1-0) 0 1 0 - 1 #6/#5 Notre Dame (8-3-1/4-2-1-1) 2 3 0 - 5
Penalties: BGSU: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Second Period: BGSU: Brandon Svendsen 6 (David Solway), SHG, 5:03; ND: Billy Maday 6 (Brett Blatchford, Calle Ridderwall), PPG; ND: Christiaan Minella 4 (Hanson, Garrett Regan), 17:49; ND: Hanson 6 (Regan, Minella), 19:59.
Penalties: BGSU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: BGSU: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 4 for 8 minutes.
Shots On Goal: Bowling Green 10 - 5 - 13 - 28 Notre Dame 14 - 10 - 8 - 32