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Hockey: Bowling Green wins one of two over Irish

Chris Allen | Monday, November 8, 2010

The Irish split a pair of road games with an especially motivated Bowling Green squad over the weekend, dropping a 3-2 decision Friday night before bouncing back to win 6-3 Saturday.

“[The Falcons] came off two losses up in Alaska,” Irish coach Jeff Jackson said. “So I think they got real emotional at home trying to knock us off.”

The Falcons (4-6-0, 1-5-0-0 CCCHA) got on the board first in the opening period, as a scramble in front of Notre Dame sophomore goalkeeper Mike Johnson led to a goal for Bowling Green freshman Marc Rodriguez.

Neither team found the back of the net in the second period, but the scoring resumed in the third. Falcons freshman Jordan Samuels-Thomas powered a wrist shot past Johnson midway through the third to give Bowling Green a 2-0 lead before Irish freshman center T.J. Tynan lit the lamp on a power play to inch No. 11 Notre Dame (6-2-1, 4-1-1-1 CCHA) closer just two minutes later.

The Falcons came back with a power play goal of their own to pull away for good, as freshman Camden Wojtala fired a rebound to put the Falcons two clear of the Irish. A late goal from junior right wing Billy Maday was not enough to keep the Irish from losing their first match in five contests.

“We were a little sloppy with the puck,” Jackson said. “With a team that’s as young as this, we have to make sure they’re emotionally prepared. When you’re a freshman, everything in your life is moving at 100 miles per hour. That’s shown up the last two Fridays.”

The squad shook off Friday’s setback in convincing fashion on Saturday, as Tynan and senior wing Ryan Guentzel each had three points to lead the Irish to a 6-3 win.

“I think [the team] was probably a little upset about the way they played on Friday night,” Jackson said. “We made some line changes and some changes on special teams as well. There was a lot more attention to detail, and I thought we were much better at controlling tempo.”

The six Irish goals in the game came from six different players, as Tynan and Guentzel were joined on the score sheet by freshmen David Gerths and Anders Lee, junior Sean Lorenz and senior Calle Ridderwall. The Irish trailed 2-1 after the first period, but scored three times in a period of six minutes in the second to pull clear of Bowling Green. Though Falcons junior forward James McIntosh narrowed the deficit to 4-3 early in the third, goals from Ridderwall and Lee — both assisted by Tynan — ensured the Irish win.

“[Tynan] is a very talented player, and like Ridderwall, he combines that talent with intensity,” Jackson said. “He may not be the biggest guy in the world, but he plays big. He’s going to be a very good college hockey player.”

Saturday’s win snapped a four-game winless streak for the Irish against the Falcons, as Notre Dame went 0-2-2 in the previous four contests. Jackson said Bowling Green played disciplined under first-year head coach Chris Bergeron.

“He’s doing a good job there,” Jackson said. “Their team plays a very disciplined style. They transition well, and their goaltending is very strong. The fact that we rebounded on Saturday was important to me, being a young team.”

The Irish will be back in action against No. 6 Michigan in Ann Arbor Friday.