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Falcons extend unbeaten streak against Irish

In what was shaping up to be a tremendous goalie duel, BG’s newfound offensive proficiency ended up stealing the show.

The Falcons scored four times — twice in both the second and third period — to upset No. 5 Notre Dame Tuesday night at the BG Ice Arena.

“I felt like we were here to play from the beginning,” said BG coach Chris Bergeron. “It was almost like we were gripping it a little tight early … but I thought as the game went on we hung in there and capitalized on some chances we had.”

BG took control of the game in the second period, outshooting Notre Dame 13-6.

The Falcons scored both goals in the period. Both were one-timer shots off perfect passes.

Ryan Peltoma tied the game at one with seven minutes left in the period. On the rush, he received a cross-ice pass from Ryan Carpenter and buried it past Notre Dame goalie Mike Johnson.

“It all started off the breakout … [Carpenter] did a good job of taking the puck up and pushing the pace wide,” Peltoma said. “I was the fourth guy in late. I saw an opening, and Carpenter did a good job finding me.”

The game remained tied for a minute and 20 seconds.

Dan DeSalvo scored his first goal since Nov. 16 on shot in the low slot. He was able to fight off Notre Dame defenseman Robbie Russo and swat the puck past Johnson off a pass from Ben Murphy.

For the second straight game, BG lost a player to a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct. Connor Kucera was called for checking from behind 6:25 into the first period.

Because of the game misconduct, Kucera was tossed from the game, forcing BG to play nearly the entire game with five defensemen.

“They all come to mind, I don’t want to just pick one guy out of the five,” Bergeron said. “All five of them sucked it up and did a good job. They did a good job of keeping things simple.”

However, like this past week against Michigan, BG was able to kill off the penalty without allowing a goal.

BG spent seven minutes shorthanded in the first period, but did not allow a power play goal.

“Their power play was what killed us the last time we played,” Bergeron said. “But I thought our guys played great tonight. Our forwards didn’t skate themselves out of position and our defense did a good job containing down below the tops of the circles.”

The penalty kill kept BG in the game during a period where much of the action was played on special teams.

“There were a few good blocked shots and [goalie Andrew] Hammond was great again,” Carpenter said.”We’ve been in that situation before so we just keep our composure. You can’t change the call, and we did our best to kill it.”

For the first two periods, both goalies were firmly in control of the game.

Johnson stopped 19 of 21 shots through two periods of play, before surrendering two goals on 10 shots in the third period.

Hammond stopped 15 of 16 shots through two periods. He stopped 20 of 22 shots for the game.

Notre Dame got on the board first with just more than three minutes to go in the first period. On an odd-man rush, T.J. Tynan fed a pass to Bryan Rust, who tipped it past Hammond.

Five minutes after Carpenter gave BG a two-goal lead, Tynan cut the lead back to one with a one-timer from the point on the power play.

But when adversity hit, BG didn’t fold. Instead, the Falcons responded almost instantly, with Bryce Williamson scoring his team-leading seventh goal 35 seconds later.

“That ‘here we go again’ [feeling] may show its head again, but it didn’t tonight,” Bergeron said. “I think that’s behind us.”

The Falcons are 4-0-1 in their past five games, bringing them to a tie with Michigan and Michigan State for eighth place in the CCHA.

“They played with a lot of energy and they’re getting confident,” said Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson. “They’re doing a lot of the same things but they’re getting confident.”

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