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The BG News
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November 30, 2023

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Icers drop two to Notre Dame

It was an exciting weekend at the BGSU Ice Arena as Notre Dame came to town to play the Falcon hockey team. The two teams played two very tightly contested games, and in the end, Notre Dame swept the weekend series, winning both games 3-2.

“The games were just what we thought they would be, both very tightly contested and they came down to a play either you make or don’t make,” BG head coach Scott Paluch said. “Basically it was just six periods of the same type of hockey with a playoff atmosphere to them.”

The weekend began with Bowling Green getting off to an early lead in the first period of game one as Roger Leonard scored his sixth goal of the year, with assists from Ryan Minnabarriet and Ryan Barnett, just two minutes into the game.

Tyler Masters returned to the net in the game and made huge saves throughout the first period to keep the Falcons on top 1-0, going into the second period.

The second period belonged to the Irish as Tim Wallace backhanded one past Masters at the 9:26 mark to tie the game at one. Just over three minutes later, John Wroblewski added another goal for the Irish, giving them a 2-1 lead. The Falcons answered back on the power play as Steve Brudzewski gscored his eleventh goal of the year, with assists from Tyler Knight and Kevin Bieksa, at the 15:15 mark to tie the game at two.

In the final period, the two teams traded opportunities and continued to play a very physical and hard-hitting game. Notre Dame caught a break at the halfway mark of the period as Aaron Gill was able to beat Masters up top right off the face-off to give the Irish a 3-2 lead. The Falcons pulled Masters with just over a minute remaining in the game and generated a 2-on-1 breakaway.

Irish goaltender Morgan Cey came up big and made a great save to finish off game one.

Tyler Masters made 34 saves on the night to keep the Falcons in the game.

“I felt comfortable in the net tonight for the first time in I can’t remember how long,” Masters said. “Unfortunately the bounces didn’t go our way tonight and Gill made a great shot that I didn’t see till it was too late, and they won the game.”

Paluch also commented on Masters’ hard play in practice being the reason for getting the nod in Friday night’s game. Jordan Sigalet had played in the goal for five of the last six games, leading up to Friday.

The second game of the weekend began with the Falcons getting good chances early against Cey, but were held scoreless in the first period despite doubling Notre Dame’s shot total for the period. Jake Wiegand however, beat Falcon goaltender Sigalet at the 5:21 mark to give the Irish an early 1-0 lead.

Both Sigalet and Cey made some huge saves in the game and kept their teams in it.

“Morgan has been huge for us all year and really gives us stability in the net,” Irish coach Dave Poulin said.

In the second period, the Falcons struck fast as Steve Brudzewski scored his 12th goal on the power play from Roger Leonard and Brian Escobedo at the 1:24 mark.

Notre Dame answered back at the 10:28 mark with a goal up top from Connor Dunlop off a rebound from Michael Chin to give the Irish a 2-1 lead.

Bowling Green had a 5-on-3 power play twice in the period, but the Irish and Cey were able to kill them off.

Notre Dame then got a shorthanded goal from John Wroblewski off a costly turnover in the zone at the 18:38 mark to give Notre Dame a 3-1 lead. Bowling Green closed in on the Irish with a power play goal from Tyler Knight with only 10 seconds left in the period to make it 3-2. Knight was assisted by Mark Wires and D’Arcy McConvey .

During the final period of the game, both teams played tough defensively and generated very few shots on net. Notre Dame got a 5-on-3 power play that the Falcons were able to kill, but BG couldn’t generate any momentum into points and fell short in the end for the second night in a row.

“It was a battle all weekend, this Bowling Green team is playing as hard as any team in college hockey this year,” Poulin said. “We had good penalty kills tonight and Wroblewski made a huge play shorthanded to give us a good two goal lead.”

“We worked hard all weekend generating chances for goals, but Morgan Cey is a good goalie for them and came up with huge saves from them all weekend,” Paluch said. “I thought Notre Dame did a great job on the penalty kills and won the game tonight from getting a great play off a turnover.”

Roger Leonard was a big part of the offense on the weekend for the Falcons and is currently on a three-game point streak with a goal against Michigan State and one against Notre Dame this weekend to give him six on the year. He also added an assist this weekend against Notre Dame and Coach Paluch commented on his recent play.

“Roger has been rewarded with some offense here lately, but its been his ability to get on the puck quickly and force some turnovers off the forecheck that’s helped us,” Paluch said. “He’s an energy guy and when he’s moving quick and when he’s able to produce it’s a real asset to our team.”

The Falcons now (7-19-2 overall, 4-16-2 CCHA) will travel to Western Michigan next Friday for the first of a home-and-home weekend series.

By Jayme Ramson

Assistant Sports Editor

When the Bowling Green hockey team was winning by a goal after one period in Friday’s game against Notre Dame, the Falcons looked like they were in control of the game. They were pressuring the Notre Dame defense, and were looking to get a couple more pucks past Irish goalkeeper Morgan Cey.

But as in most sports, the momentum shifted quickly, and the Falcons suddenly found themselves tied with Notre Dame, 2-2, after two Irish goals in the second period.

In the third period, BG was close to scoring during a power play, but again, just couldn’t get the puck past Cey. Then, with 9:46 remaining in the third period, Notre Dame scored on a pivotal play that gave the Irish the lead, and eventually the win.

“Basically the game comes down to a line of scrimmage play off of a faceoff,” BG coach Scott Paluch said. “Notre Dame wins the draw, wins the line of scrimmage, shoots the puck in the back of the net, and wins the hockey game.”

The play happened so quickly that Bowling Green barely had time to react to the Irish shot on goal.

“It was unfortunate that their guy made a solid play and put a great shot on net apparently,” BG goalie Tyler Masters said. “In this particular situation, the guy just won the draw clean and I didn’t get the opportunity to see the puck until is was pretty much almost by me.”

Aaron Gill’s goal for Notre Dame proved to be the game-winner, as the Falcons were unable to score during the rest of the third period, even after pulling Masters with less than two minutes to go.

“We got the break at the end, that’s a break we haven’t been getting,” Notre Dame coach Dave Poulin said.

BGSU tried to play the comeback role on Saturday night, but the Falcons ran out of time. The Falcons pulled goalkeeper Jordan Sigalet in favor of an extra man for the last minute and a half of the period, but again, were unable to get the puck past Cey.

Although the Falcons were not able to pull out a win on Friday or Saturday night, they managed to keep the games close, the types of games that the Falcons expect for the rest of the season as the CCHA playoffs approach.

“That’s the way games are going to be from now on,” Masters said. “Low scoring and come right down to the end.”

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