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Turning the Paige

Justin Schuver | Tuesday, March 16, 2004

It wasn’t exactly pretty, but it got the job done.Notre Dame advanced to the second round of the playoffs Sunday night, defeating Western Michigan 5-4 in game three of the best-of-three first round. The Irish won the first game Friday 4-2 before suffering a setback on Saturday, falling to the Broncos by a score of 4-0.Notre Dame gained a two-goal lead near the start of the third period Sunday, but could not hold it and went into overtime tied at 4-4. But Jason Paige sent the Irish to Joe Louis Arena for the third time in a row by beating Bronco goaltender Eric Marvin at 12:35 of overtime to send the Joyce Center crowd into a frenzy.”I think that after we gave up the two-goal lead, we really started to play with poise and passion,” Irish coach Dave Poulin said. “To come away with that win was a real emotional night for us.”Forward Tim Wallace, who had already scored two goals on the night, made a nice play at the blue line to keep the puck inside the Irish offensive zone. A Bronco defender slipped, allowing Wallace to skate in unimpeded toward the slot. Rather than go for the hat trick, Wallace moved the puck over to a skating Paige, who flipped the puck past Marvin for the winning goal.”I knew that the guy coming back was a forward and didn’t really know what he was doing on defense,” Wallace said. “I just slid it across to Jason and I knew he would put it home for me.”The Irish had to deal with adversity throughout the game, as the Broncos took a pair of one-goal leads. Western Michigan opened the scoring at 1-0 on a goal by Dana Lattery at 17:57 of the first period.Aaron Gill tied the game for the Irish it just 1:42 into the second period, only to have Western Michigan’s Jeremy Cheyne score a power play goal at 8:14, putting home a rebound of a Lucas Drake shot past Irish goalie David Brown.Wallace helped get the Irish their first lead of the game, scoring two goals in a span of just four minutes and 12 seconds. The sophomore forward had only one goal on the season coming into Sunday night’s game.”Timmy Wallace has great hands, and he’s going to score goals in this league,” Poulin said. “If you had told me before the start of the year that he’d come into the playoffs with just one goal I’d say there’s no way – he just does too many things too well.”Rob Globke gave Notre Dame a 4-2 lead at 3:58 of the third period, using a nifty hesitation move to get past his defender and whip the puck past Marvin from close range. Western Michigan would not go away, though, as Vince Bellissimo scored a 5-on-3 power play goal at 9:24 of the period and Pat Dwyer tallied the equalizer a little more than two minutes later, setting the stage for Paige’s overtime heroics.Notre Dame will face Ohio State at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Western Michigan 4, Notre Dame 0Bronco goalie Marvin, in just his second career start, made 30 saves as Western Michigan knotted the first round CCHA playoff series at one game apiece at the Joyce Center Saturday.Cheyne, Lattery (with two goals) and Jeff Campbell provided the scoring for the Broncos, who outshot the Irish 31-30.

Notre Dame 4, Western Michigan 2Irish goalie Morgan Cey stopped 40 of 42 shots and helped Notre Dame take a one-game lead in their best-of-three series Friday.Brett Lebda, Matt Amado, Josh Sciba and T.J. Jindra scored goals for the Irish. Paul Davies and Brett Walton provided the scoring for Western Michigan, who lost despite outshooting Notre Dame 40-29.The Irish killed all six Bronco power plays in the contest, as the CCHA’s leading penalty-killing team came up strong in the victory.

Notre Dame 2, Lake Superior State 1Paige and Michael Bartlett each scored goals in a hard fought road victory for the Irish, as they defeated the Lakers Mar. 7 in the final game of the regular season.Cey needed to only make 13 saves in the victory, while Laker goalie Jeff Jakaitis stopped 29 shots in a losing effort. Chris Peterson gave LSSU the early lead just 34 seconds into the second period, but the Irish were able to storm back and come away with the win.

Lake Superior State 3, Notre Dame 0Perhaps still high from their sweep of first-place Michigan the weekend before, the Irish were blanked by Jakaitis and the rest of the Lakers in the first game of Notre Dame’s final road series of the regular season.Mike Adamek, Alex Dunn and Colin Nicholson scored the goals for the Lakers, who were outshot 23-21 in the game.

Contact Justin Schuver at jschuver@nd.edu