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Hockey: Squad leaves new home to face Bowling Green

Matthew DeFranks | Friday, October 28, 2011

This one will be without bells, without whistles, without banners and without grand openings. This will just be hockey.

After debuting the sparkling Compton Family Ice Arena last Friday, the Irish will abandon their new home and travel to Bowling Green for a pair of conference contests.

“I’m looking forward to actually playing on the road and getting away from here for a few days,” Irish coach Jeff Jackson said. “That’s where your team has to learn to play more intelligently, play with more discipline.”

Notre Dame (3-2-0, 1-1-0-0 CCHA), propelled by three goals from sophomore forward Anders Lee, downed RPI 5-2 in the opener at the new building. Junior defenseman Sam Calabrese chipped in three assists during the game, while two other Irish players also had two assists.

“He’s carrying on from where he finished last year,” Jackson said of Lee. “He was our leading goal-scorer last year and I expect him to do the same this year.”

The game marked the first time since the season opener that Notre Dame did not allow the opponent to score first. In each of the past three games, the Irish fell behind 2-0. They won two of those games.

“We’ve really been trying to focus on [our slow starts in games],” senior defenseman Sean Lorenz said. “We need to make sure we come out strong in the start. It started with RPI and hopefully [we will] continue it at Bowling Green.”

Lee leads the No. 5 Irish with eight goals, while sophomore center T.J. Tynan leads Notre Dame with nine assists. The pair pace the team with 11 points apiece.

In goal, Jackson has employed the services of both junior Mike Johnson and sophomore Steven Summerhays. Johnson, who has started each Friday night game, has posted a .896 save percentage and a 2.33 goals against average. Summerhays, meanwhile, owns a .821 save percentage and a 4.61 goals against average.

Last year, the Irish beat Bowling Green (4-1-1, 1-1-0-0) in three of the four meetings, outscoring the Falcons 15-8.

“Every year is a new year. We’re going to have to be prepared for some tough road hockey,” Jackson said. “They have a really young team that kind of mirrors us last year.”

Bowling Green returns to action after splitting a pair of games against CCHA foe No. 19 Lake Superior State last weekend. On Friday, junior goaltender Andrew Hammond stopped all 19 Laker shots he faced in helping the Falcons to a 1-0 shutout win. During Saturday’s contest, the Falcons allowed a season-high 37 shots in a 4-1 loss, marking the first time the Falcons had been outshot this season.

“[They are] young, fast, up-tempo,” Lorenz said. “They always work hard. They’re pretty disciplined. They’re well-coached and they’re going to work hard.”

Sophomore forward Camden Wojtala and freshman forward Ryan Carpenter lead the Falcons with seven and six points, respectively. The Bowling Green offense currently ranks last in the CCHA in scoring, netting just 2.17 goals per game.

“Bowling Green is an up-tempo team and I think they’re going to give us a bit of a challenge,” Lorenz said. “I think we’re prepared for it. We’ve been gearing up well.”

The Irish and Falcons take the ice Friday and Saturday night in Bowling Green, Ohio. Both games start at 7:05 p.m.

Contact Matthew DeFranks at mdefrank@nd.edu