Nov. 7, 1997
Irish Hockey Holds On Against Bowling Green
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Junior left wing Aniket Dhadphale and sophomore center Ben Simon again came through with the timely goals as the University of Notre Dame held on for a 2-1 victory over visiting Bowling Green in Central Collegiate Hockey Association action Friday at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse.
Notre Dame (5-2-0, 2-1-0 CCHA) received a power-play goal from Dhadphale early in the first period and a memorable shorthanded score in the closing moments of the period from Simon, who extended his points streak to seven games after weaving his way from one end of the ice to the other to give the Irish a 2-0 lead.
Bowling Green (2-6-1, 1-1-1) failed to solve Notre Dame senior goaltender Matt Eisler on its first 21 shots of the game before Dan Price converted on the Falcons' eighth power-play chance of the night, with just 1:50 left to play. Prior to Price's goal, Notre Dame had stopped 22 straight opponent power plays. The Irish season penalty-killing efficiency now stands at 38-for-40 (.950).
Eisler came within 110 seconds of his third career shutout while lowering his season goals against average to 2.19 and raising his season save percentage to .928.
Sophomore defenseman Tyson Fraser initiated the first goal with a shot from the left point that failed to reach BGSU goaltender Mike Savard. Irish senior center Steve Noble then fired the rebound back on net and his shot was blocked by the defense. But Dhadphale was filling the middle of the crease and sent a shot past Savard for the 1-0 lead (4:23).
The goal was the seventh of the season for Dhadphale on just his 17th shot, showing clear signs that he has snapped out of a sophomore slump that saw him total just five goals for the entire 1996-97 season on 109 shots. Dhadphale now has scored in six Irish games this season while the Irish have notched at least one power-play goal in all seven games.
The Irish killed off three first-period BGSU power plays before Simon scored his sixth goal of the season, after putting on a display of his dangerous speed and offensive talent. With the Falcons working the puck in the Irish zone, Notre Dame freshman defenseman Mark Eaton dove to deflect an attempted shot. Simon skated onto the puck at the circle to Eisler's left (near the Irish bench) and then proceeded to weave in a large "S", angling right towards the penalty box before skirting the faceoff circle on the opposite, far side. Simon was able to shield a defender through the Falcons zone and glided through the slot before completing the journey by nudging the puck into the lower left corner as he skated by the left post (16:14).
BGSU had 10 shots in the first period but struggled in the second 20 minutes, managing just five shots (to Notre Dame's 11) despite three more power-play chances. With Irish sophomore defenseman Nathan Borega serving a late third-period cross-check penalty, the Falcons elected to go with a 6-on-4 advantage by pulling Savard at the 17:14 mark. As Borega's penalty neared its end, Savard returned to the net (17:48) but the Falcons still managed to score moments later (18:10), with two seconds left on the Borega penalty. Price notched his second goal of the season, putting home a rebounded shot from Doug Schueller.
BOWLING GREEN (2-6-1, 1-1-1 CCHA) 0 0 1 - 1 NOTRE DAME (5-2-0, 2-1-0 CCHA) 2 0 0 - 2
1ST: ND 1. Dhadphale 7 (Noble, Fraser) PP 4:24; ND 2. Simon 6 (Eaton) SH 16:14.
Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Poulin: "We started off real well, but the penalties destroyed the flow of the game. We made some bad plays that resulted in penalites and that hurt us in our attack. The bottom line is that we won. ... The penalty killing once again was terrific. We were exceptionally good in the neutral zone all night. I think if we keep this [penalty killing] up, we'll be a tough team to beat in the league. ... We didn't over look Bowling Green at all while heading to face Michigan State tomorrow night. This league is a strap up and go league. Bowling Green is a good team and coached by an excellent teacher. You can't overlook anyone in this league, especially with a team like Bowling Green. ... Ben Simon's goal was big time. From finish to start, Ben made a superb play that changed the swing of the game. Bowling Green was looking to tie the game at 1-1 with a man advantage, but all of the sudden Ben makes that goal and turns the game around for us. ... Once again, Matt Eisler stepped up when he had to. He was big all night in the penalty killing when he stepped out and saved some shots."
Bowling Green Head Coach Buddy Powers: "On the second goal, it was a two-on-one. . . Simon got a seam and used his speed to score. ... We created some opportunities . . . Maybe we need to play a little harder on the offensive end. First of all, we need to take more shots . . . But in the second and third periods we played hard. We got good goaltending and our defense played well."