HOCKEY: ND completes sweep of Bowling Green
Chris Khorey | Monday, November 14, 2005
Matt Amado scored two goals and Dave Brown made 29 saves as Notre Dame beat Bowling Green 4-2 at the Joyce Center Friday.
The Irish completed a two-game sweep of the Falcons after their 9-4 victory Thursday. The sweep was the first for Notre Dame since the Irish beat Michigan Feb. 27 and 28, 2004. It also represented the squad’s first back-to-back wins since November of last season.
“[Those wins were] huge for us,” Amado said. “We got two big wins to get to .500 in the CCHA. Now there’s a big ‘3’ on the board in the locker room because we’re looking for our third straight win.”
Irish coach Jeff Jackson credited the win to strong goaltending and penalty killing. Brown started the game in net after Jordan Pearce had started the previous two contests.
“We got great goaltending, and sometimes you have to win like that. Tonight was a war,” Jackson said. “Last night we scored on the power play, and tonight penalty killing came through.”
Bowling Green scored only one power play goal Friday, despite having nine chances and a 5-on-3 opportunity.
Jackson has rotated Pearce and Brown at goalie all season. There was some speculation that Pearce had won the job when he started Thursday’s game, but Jackson quelled that notion Friday.
“I changed the rotation for one reason,” Jackson said. “Pearce had the light academic schedule Thursday, and Brown had the light academic schedule today. These guys work really hard on their schoolwork, and I respect that, but I can work around it.”
Amado’s two scores earned him the first multi-goal game of his career. The senior center said his play has improved since he has been asked to take on a greater leadership role this season.
“I’ve always known that I can make plays and score goals,” he said. “I expect myself to be a leader. The team expects me to be a leader, and the coaching staff expects me to be a leader. Guys see me differently this year. They look up to me. I’m not going to be the one screwing around in the locker room. I’m the one keeping it loose, but not too loose.”
Jackson said he has been working with Amado on improving his fundamentals this year.
“I’ve been on him to use his speed more,” Jackson said. “I’ve also been on him about his shot because he usually puts it over the net. Tonight he put his shots on the net, and you saw what happened.”
Amado opened the scoring with a breakaway goal just 20 seconds into the game. The puck came loose soon after the opening faceoff, and Amado found himself racing down the ice with teammate Tim Wallace.
Wallace picked up the puck and passed to Amado, whose shot glanced off the glove of Bowling Green goalie Jon Horrell and went into the net.
Amado said he was excited to find himself on a breakaway.
“I haven’t had too many clear shots this year, so it was good to get one off and put it in the back of the net,” he said.
Jackson said the goal was important to get the game off to a positive start for the Irish.
“We scored on the first shift, and that certainly doesn’t hurt our chances to win,” he said. “Scoring the first goal is one of our team goals because the team that does that wins about 80 percent of the time.”
The Irish struck again with a power play goal by Josh Sciba at the 15:07 mark of the period.
Sciba took a pass on the left side from Wes O’Neill and blasted a slap shot past Horrell.
Notre Dame scored again early in the second as Amado broke free again and beat Horrell top shelf.
The Falcons did not give up, however. Thirty-three seconds into the third period, they got a goal from Mike Falk, who tipped in the rebound of a slapshot by teammate Alex Foster.
Falk scored again 12 minutes later on a power play to cut the Irish lead to one.
Amado said despite the sudden comeback by Bowling Green, the Irish never felt like they would relinquish the lead.
“There was never really doubt,” he said. “You always think you can win. There was a bit of a silence, but then people were right back yelling.”
The team’s confidence was rewarded as Wallace extended the lead to two with a putback of a Noah Babin, shot with 2:45 left in the game.
Notre Dame will be back in action this week in Oxford, Ohio against Miami University Friday and Saturday.