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Irish come back to tie Bowling Green 4-4

Justin Schuver | Monday, November 8, 2004

It’s not every day that a team is upset about tying a game in the last three seconds, yet that’s exactly how Notre Dame (1-5-3, 0-4-2 in the CCHA) felt after its 4-4 tie with Bowling Green (4-1-1, 2-1-1) Friday night at the Joyce Center.

“Normally you would be happy with a tie that close to the end of the game, but we were disappointed with how the game ended since we’d played so well,” Irish coach Dave Poulin said. “I told our guys that when you’re struggling as a team, sometimes you don’t always win right away even when you’re playing better.”

The Irish sent a season-high 54 shots on net Friday, but Falcon goalie Jordan Sigalet turned away 50 of them – including 28 in the second period. Notre Dame goalie Morgan Cey faced only 23 shots in the game.

Notre Dame jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and then saw the Falcons come back to make the score 4-3 late in the game. Sophomore defenseman Wes O’Neill picked up the equalizer with just three seconds remaining in the game, with Cey pulled for an extra attacker.

It was O’Neill’s second goal of the game, and came on a deflection of a Chris Trick shot from the right point.

“I thought Friday night might have been Wes’ best game in an Irish uniform,” Poulin said. “Wes doesn’t take a shift off, he plays hard the entire game.”

The four goals scored by the Irish were a season high, with Cory McLean and Evan Rankin picking up the other tallies. McLean also picked up assists on one of O’Neill’s goals and on Rankin’s marker, giving the senior captain three points in the game.

“Cory McLean really stepped up his game in a big way for us Friday,” Poulin said.

The Falcons got goals from James Unger, Ben Geelan, John Mazzei and Derek Whitmore.

McLean’s goal put the Irish ahead 1-0 at 3:07 of the first period, as the forward received a crisp pass from Mike Walsh and took a shot from the slot that deflected past Sigalet.

O’Neill gave the Irish a two-goal lead just a little more than six minutes later, sending a hard slapshot past Sigalet. Both of Notre Dame’s first two goals came on the power play, making the first time all season the Irish have scored two or more power-play goals in a game.

Rankin scored his second goal of the season at 4:11 of the second period off assists from Walsh and McLean. The goal only riled up the Falcons, who then came back to score four unanswered goals – two off the power play.

The Irish avoided their second loss to the Falcons, only because of O’Neill’s late-game heroics.

“It was a disappointing outcome for us,” Poulin said. “We did so many things well. We had guys in front of the net and tons of chances all over the ice. There were definitely a lot of positives we can take from this game.”

The Irish travel to Western Michigan this weekend to take on the Broncos in a two-game series.