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Irish look to reverse troubles

Justin Schuver | Thursday, November 4, 2004

Notre Dame can’t get caught up in Bowling Green’s problems. The Irish have enough troubles of their own to worry about.Notre Dame (1-4-2, 0-3-1 in the CCHA) travels to Bowling Green (3-1-0, 1-1-0) tonight to take on the Falcons in the first game of a home-and-home conference series. The Falcons return to the Joyce Center to face the Irish Friday night at 7:35 p.m. to close out the series.Bowling Green is still reeling from a disciplinary incident that has gutted the team of several of its best players for an undetermined amount of time.Falcon coach Scott Paluch suspended seven players indefinitely Oct. 19 after the coach was shown a picture of a nude Bowling Green player with profanity and racial slurs written on his body, according to uscho.com.The seven players suspended by Paluch included the team’s senior captain Alex Rogosheske. Also suspended were senior Steve Brudzewski and juniors Ryan Barnett, Bryan Dobek, Mike Falk, Don Morrison and Brett Pilkington. None of the seven will be available for tonight or Friday’s games. But Irish coach Dave Poulin isn’t letting his team get caught up in the controversy.”We just have to go out and win games,” he said. “We want to be rewarded finally for all the good effort we’ve put in so far this season.”The Irish head into Bowling Green tonight after the worst offensive start in the program’s 37-year history. Notre Dame has scored just 10 goals in its first seven games of the season, including only two last weekend at home in a two-game series against No. 15 Northern Michigan.”I think we really have to simplify some on offense,” Poulin said. “We continue to pass on our shots too often, so we really have to go out there and shoot the puck a lot more. There’s always the chance for a rebound, or a fluky bounce – good things happen when you shoot the puck.”We have a lot of unselfish players on this team, and that can actually be too much of a bad thing because goal-scoring takes a little bit of selfishness and the willingness to take a shot when you have it.”Perhaps one reason for Notre Dame’s slow start has been a schedule that can only be described as brutal. The Irish have yet to play a team who is not ranked in the top 15 in the country.That will change tonight, with both teams currently unranked. Even after being depleted by the suspensions, Bowling Green has still proven to be a competitive team – primarily because of the play of starting goalie Jordan Sigalet.Sigalet is considered one of the best goalies in the country, and his statistics so far do a lot to defend that status. The senior has started all four games for the Falcons so far, and has amassed a 1.75 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage.Last season, Sigalet was named a first-team all-CCHA team member after leading the nation in saves with 1,140 and in minutes played with 2,210 minutes, two seconds.”If you look at all the teams in this league I don’t really see any who have fallen off,” Poulin said. “That’s what makes this a great league, all the teams are good and so you’re really battle-tested anytime you play a conference game.”Poulin’s own hot goalie, Morgan Cey (1.92 GAA, .942 save percentage) will start tonight’s game. The coach said he would make the decision on who would start Friday night based on the results of tonight’s game.