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Irish suffer a pair of heartbreakers

Justin Schuver | Monday, January 26, 2004

Close, but no cigar. No points, either.

The Irish (12-9-3, 8-8-2 in CCHA) dropped a pair of one goal games to Northern Michigan (12-11-1, 10-10-0) this weekend, falling 4-3 in overtime Friday night and 1-0 Saturday. The Wildcats exacted a bit of revenge on Notre Dame, who defeated Northern Michigan in a home sweep earlier this season at the Joyce Center.

For the third consecutive week, the Irish opened a road series with a game that went into overtime, with the previous two a 5-4 overtime loss to Bowling Green Jan. 9 and a 2-2 tie against Wisconsin Jan. 17.

Wildcat forward Daren Olver scored the winning goal Friday with just 45 seconds left in the extra frame.

Notre Dame has struggled with consistency this year, defeating several ranked teams but having difficulty making any major strides in the conference standings. They are 1-5 in their last six CCHA contests.

The Irish were unable to take advantage of quality play from senior forward Rob Globke, who had two goals on the weekend. Senior captain Aaron Gill also scored two points in Friday’s game, picking up a goal and an assist.

The combination of Gill and Globke scored seven of the eight goals the Irish have scored in their past four games.

Junior Morgan Cey started in net Friday for the Irish, making 28 saves. Freshman David Brown allowed only one goal Saturday, collecting 22 saves, but was bested by senior Craig Kowalski’s shutout.

Kowalski made a combined 48 saves in the two Northern Michigan victories.

Friday, Northern Michigan got on the scoreboard first as Jamie Milan scored a power play goal just a little over halfway into the first period. The second period was full of end-to-end action, as both teams scored two goals in the frame.

Notre Dame scored the first two goals of the second, giving the Irish a 2-1 lead. Gill collected his ninth goal of the year nine minutes into the period, and Globke followed a little more than three minutes later.

That lead was short lived, as Northern Michigan tied the game just 19 seconds later, with Nathan Oystrick collecting a rebound of a Alan Swanson shot and flipping it past Cey.

Bobby Selden regained the lead for Northern Michigan with less than two minutes left in the second, flipping a shot past a screened Cey for the goal.

The Irish tied the game back up at 6:29 of the third period, with Globke scoring his second goal of the game. It was his team-best 15th goal of the season.

Olver’s overtime goal dropped Notre Dame to 0-2-3 in overtime this season. The Irish have not won in the extra frame since a win against Miami (Ohio) Jan. 25, 2002.

Saturday, the Irish put a lot of pressure on Kowalski, outshooting the Wildcats 27-23. They were unable to solve the Wildcat goalie, however, who collected his fourth shutout of the season.

Oystrick scored the only goal in the game for Northern Michigan, scoring on a slap shot that deflected past Brown with a little less than four minutes left in the first period.

Oystrick, the CCHA’s leading scoring defenseman, collected three points on the weekend (two goals, one assist) and played a part in both game-winning goals for the Wildcats.

The Irish return home for the first time in 2004 this weekend, facing fourth-place Alaska-Fairbanks. Face-off Friday is 7:35 p.m., and Saturday’s face-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.