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Broncos upend ND

By JIM MEENAN
Irish Sports Report
6:59 am, January 13, 2012

SOUTH BEND – This one had to hurt.

No. 3-ranked Notre Dame saw a 2-1 third-period lead completely
disappear in a span of 14 seconds on back-to-back goals by Western
Michigan in a 3-2 Irish loss Friday at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

Chase Balisy and Kyle O'Kane did the damage for the Broncos with
Balisy firing one in over the left shoulder of Irish goalie Steven
Summerhays on a power play with 7:53 remaining in the game.

With 7:39 left, it was O'Kane whose rebound shot seemed to take the
Irish and the crowd of 4,824 by surprise.

Notre Dame hockey coach Jeff Jackson, though, felt it was the first
goal that tied the game that was most critical.

“It all initiated from taking that penalty,” said Jackson, who made it
clear he was not happy with the officiating, nor his team's reaction
to it. “Guys were chirping after the non-call, the (non) charging call
(when a Bronco hit) Stephen Johns. The guy left his feet and took
about 15 strides. It should have been a penalty but our guys are
chirping and that's just immaturity.

“We have to be smarter than that because that was the difference really.”

Notre Dame was given a bench misconduct penalty.

“We did a great job on penalty kill all night,” Jackson added. “It
never fails, you take a penalty like that and it bites you.”

Jackson said the officials also wrongly chose Notre Dame's Jeff
Costello for a 5-minute major, instead of another Irish player,
kicking Costello out of the game.

“First of all, it was a shoulder to shoulder hit,” Jackson said.
“Regardless of that, it wasn't Jeff that hit that guy. I didn't know
who it was frankly.”

It appeared to be Riley Sheahan.

No. 3 Notre Dame will take a 13-7-3 record (8-4-3-0 in the Central
Collegiate Hockey Association) mark into Saturday's rematch at Lawson
Arena in Kalamazoo.

The No. 10-11 ranked Broncos gained sole possession of second place in
the CCHA with 30 points, three ahead of the Irish, but still trailing
first place Ohio State, which entered Friday's games with 34 points.

“We were too hyper tonight,” Jackson said. “I had to calm myself down
because I was upset with the one official, too. Some of the non-calls,
some of the calls. I've got to make sure our team responds to that
adversity.”

The Broncos struck first on a Dane Walters goal off a nice pass across
the slot from Balisy before the game was even four minutes old.

But the Irish, who were on the attack from the outset, finally got one
past Bronco goalie Frank Slubowski on a shot from beyond the left
faceoff circle by Sam Calabrese with 8:12 remaining in the first
period.

Still, Slubowski was able to stop 14 other Irish shots in the period.

With the Irish beset by 25 minutes in penalties for the night, he only
had to stop 10 more over the next two periods.

The Irish remained aggressive in the second period early on. After
David Gerths' rebound goal was disallowed with 14:33 to go, the Irish
came back to take the lead anyway with 12:18 to go. T.J. Tynan made a
pass from nearly behind the goal to freshman Austin Wuthrich who shot
it in easily from four feet out for a 2-1 Irish lead.

The loss left Calabrese, and perhaps all the Irish in a bad mood.

“It's tough,” Calabrese said. “You are playing good hockey and in a
two-minute span, just like that, you are done.

“We took a couple penalties there that we shouldn't have. It's
frustrating, but that's the good thing about the CCHA, you get to play
them tomorrow night. We'll come back, hopefully a lot stronger.”

Western Michigan 1 0 2 — 3

Notre Dame 1 1 0 — 2

FIRST PERIOD: WM– Dane Walters 10, (Chase Balisy 15) 3:42. ND – Sam
Calabrese 2 (Bryan Rust 4, Sean Lorenz 10) 11:48. Penalties/minutes:
WM: 1-2, ND 1-2.

SECOND PERIOD: ND – Austin Wuthrich 5 (T.J. Tynan 22) 7:48.
Penalties/minutes: WM 2-4 ; ND 3-17.

THIRD PERIOD: WM Balisy 8 (Matt Tennyson 8) PP 12:07. WM – Kyle O'Kane
(Dan DeKeyser 6, Trevor Elias 4) 12:21. ND – Penalties/minutes: WM:
1-2. ND: 3-6.

Shots on goal: WM 9-10-6—25, ND 15-6-5 —26. Saves: WM: 14-5-5 –
24(Frank Slubowski). ND – 8-10-4— 22 (Steven Summerhays).

Power plays attempts/goals – WM: 1-4, ND 0-2. Penalties/minutes: WM
4-8, ND 7-25.

Referees: Matthew Miller, Keith Sergott. Linesmen: Bruce Viola, Brian Troester.

Attendance – 4,824.




Tom Lemming

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