No. 17 Western Michigan avenges shutout by No. 12 Irish with one of its own

John Fineran
Correspondent

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A night after playing its best hockey game of the season before a noisy home sellout crowd, No. 12 Notre Dame couldn’t find any offense Saturday in No. 17 Western Michigan’s house of horrors, Lawson Arena.

With 3,224 rowdy fans chanting from the opening faceoff to the final buzzer, coach Pat Ferschweiler’s Broncos avenged a 2-0 non-conference loss to the Irish as defensive partners Cedric Fiedler and Zak Galambos each scored two goals and Western outshot Notre Dame 38-22 as junior goalie Cameron Rowe stopped each one in a 4-0 victory.

The setback against the Broncos (5-2-0) ended a three-game winning streak for Notre Dame (3-2-1) which opens Big Ten play Friday and Saturday at Compton against an improving Michigan State. The Spartans finished a non-conference sweep of visiting Long Island with an 8-4 victory Saturday.

“This is a tough place to play,” Irish coach Jeff Jackson said of Lawson. “They play a different game in their building, and they play off the crowd. That’s what makes it tough for anybody who plays here. Coming into this barn is always a challenge.”

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A night after Notre Dame outshot Western Michigan 14-4 in the first period, Western returned the favor, outshooting Notre Dame 16-6 while taking the lead on junior defenseman Cedric Fiedler’s first two career goals at 10:06 and 12:48 against Notre Dame goaltender Ryan Bischel, who had 30 saves in his Friday night shutout.

Western continued its dominance in a scoreless second period by outshooting the Irish 13-4. Galambos, a senior transfer from American International, scored twice in the third period, at 8:13 on a power play and at 19:01 with a shorthanded empty-net goal, his fourth and fifth tallies of the season.

Notre Dame's Ryan Bischel in goal during the Western Michigan-Notre Dame NCAA hockey game on Friday, October 21, 2022, at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana.

Bischel, a senior, finished with 34 saves for Notre Dame, 12 more than Rowe, a first-year transfer from Wisconsin.

“Ryan played well; we didn’t give him a lot of help,” Jackson said. “We didn’t possess the puck enough. A lot of the offense comes off the faceoff (Notre Dame lost the puck drops 37-30). We couldn’t get pucks in (to the offensive zone) to create turnovers.”

Notre Dame also was penalized six times for 15 minutes, though surrendering just one power-play goal in five chances by the Broncos, who entered the weekend with the nation’s third-best power-play percentage at 37.5. The Irish came up empty in their four possessions with an extra skater.

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The first Western goal came a minute after the Irish killed off the first of two minor tripping penalties against sophomore forward Justin Janicke. Bischel made saves on Ryan McAllister and Galambos on the Western power play. But a minute after the penalty expired, the Irish goalie was helpless during a mad scramble in front of the Irish goal at 10:06. Bischel stopped Wyatt Schingoethe and Tim Washe, but the puck came to Fiedler in the left faceoff circle and he buried it behind Bischel for a 1-0 lead.

Then at 12:48, Washe got the draw to Bischel’s left back to Fiedler, whose shot from the top of the left faceoff circle made it 2-0. Washe would finish the night with three assists.

WESTERN MICHIGAN 4, NOTRE DAME 0

At Lawson Arena, Kalamazoo, Mich.

Notre Dame  0-0-0—0

Western Michigan 2-0-2—4

First Period—Scoring: 1. Western Michigan, Cedric Fiedler 1 (Zac Galambos, Tim Washe) EV 10:06. 2. Western Michigan, Cedric Fiedler 2 (Jamie Rome, Tim Washe) EV 12:48. Penalties: Notre Dame 2-4, Western Michigan 0-0.

Second Period—Scoring: None. Penalties (total): Notre Dame 2-4 (4-8), Western Michigan 1-2 (1-2).

Third Period—Scoring: 3. Western Michigan, Zak Galambos 4 (Tim Washe, Cole Gallant) PP 8:13. 4. Western Michigan, Zak Galambos 5 (Luke Grainger) SH/EN 19:01. Penalties (total): Notre Dame 2-7 (6-15), Western Michigan 3-6 (4-8).

Shots on goal: Notre Dame 22 (6-4-12), Western Michigan 38 (16-13-9). Goalie saves: Notre Dame, Ryan Bischel 34 (14-13-7); Western Michigan Cameron Rowe 22 (6-4-12).

Power-play opportunities: Notre Dame 0 of 4, Western Michigan 1 of 5. Faceoffs won: Notre Dame 30 (9-9-12), Western Michigan 37 (14-11-12). Blocked shots: Notre Dame 7 (2-2-3), Western Michigan 9 (2-2-5). 

Referees: Brian Hankes and Stephen Reneau. Linesmen: Logan Bellgraph and Nick Huff. Attendance: 3,224 (3,667).

Records: Notre Dame 3-2-1, Western Michigan 5-2-0.