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HOCKEY: Irish lose 2 straight to Falcons

Bobby Griffin | Monday, January 31, 2005

The look on Morgan Cey’s face midway through the third period of Saturday night’s game against Bowling Green said it all.The Irish goalie looked dismayed while leaning over the team bench, watching Notre Dame finish out a 6-2 loss, their eighth consecutive defeat dating back to Jan. 7.For the Irish, it has been a season of frustration, a seemingly endless amount of losing, which again came to light this weekend as the Irish dropped both games to Bowling Green in a home-and-home series.Friday night’s game started out with the Falcons getting three quick goals in the first 12:46 of the first period.Taylor Christie scored for Bowling Green at 8:33, putting a rebound past Irish goaltender David Brown.Just over three minutes later, Ryan Minnabarriet scored at 11:42 on the power play for the Falcons, after a Brett Pilkington shot deflected off Brown right to Minnabarriet who was in perfect position for the put back. Things did not improve for Notre Dame.About a minute later, at 12:46, Steve Brudzewski scored on a one-timer from James Unger, who was situated behind the net.Irish right wing Michael Bartlett scored midway through the second period at 10:23 to cut the Bowling Green lead to 3-1. But another Minnabarriet goal early in the third period at 5:23 put the game out of reach.Saturday night, both teams traveled to the Joyce Center to play the second of two games, but the only thing that changed for the Irish was the arena and the final score in the loss.Once again, the Irish quickly found themselves down early in the game.James Unger started the scoring at 13:30, when he took the puck from the left side, beat an Irish defender and found himself with an open net to give Bowling Green a 1-0 lead.Bowling Green quickly added on another goal at 14:10, when Alex Foster found Mike Falk in front of the net with another look at an open goalmouth. “At that point we had given up two scoring chances and two goals,” Irish coach Dave Poulin said. “We showed them tape this morning of the game [on Friday] and it was eerily like last night’s game where we played very well for a lot of the game, and we had our chances again tonight. “We have to bury our chances early in the game before it’s out of hand.”Unfortunately for the Irish, things did get out of hand.Early in the second period, Falk scored his second goal of the game at 2:20 when Jonathon Matsumato found the Bowling Green forward in front of the crease with another open look.The scoring continued for Bowling Green when they tacked on two more goals at 9:17 and 9:27 in the second period by Minnabarriet and Derek Whitmore, pushing the score to 5-0 – and prompting Poulin to pull goalie Morgan Cey from the game.Minnabarriet’s goal came on a 5-on-3, a play Poulin identified as the turning point in a game, which was still very much in reach.”The call to put us two men short … the interpretation was a directive on the NCAA video, and it didn’t fit the description to me at all,” Poulin said. “And then I watched it on video, and it clearly didn’t.”Jason Paige was whistled for hitting the goalie, despite Poulin’s contention that Sigalet was never touched.Matt Amado put the Irish on the board at 19:14 for the Irish after a Bowling Green turnover left the Irish forward with the puck in the slot. Amado beat Sigalet for the first Irish goal of the night.Bowling Green and Notre Dame traded third period goals, as Ben Geelan scored on a one-timer from Minnabarriet for the Falcons at 6:33, and Mark Van Guilder scored on the power play from in front of the net at 15:09 for the Irish.Following the game, Poulin had an optimistic view about the way in which the Irish played in the losses.”You’re going to look at this weekend and say we got swept 4-1 and 6-2, and I’m going to look at it and say you start to play well before you win and unfortunately we played better this weekend than we’ve had,” he said.Notre Dame will have to regroup for a pair of home games next weekend against Nebraska-Omaha. Of the eight remaining games for the Irish, six of them are home – one of those home matches scheduled to be played in Fort Wayne against Michigan.