Bowling Green's second-period outburst stuns Morris, Irish, 5-2

John Fineran
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND — No. 16 Bowling Green scored three unanswered goals in the second period to stun goalie Cale Morris and No. 5 Notre Dame, 5-2, on a black Friday night with a sellout crowd of 5,271 watching at the Lefty Smith Rink in the Compton Family Ice Arena.

Coach Jeff Jackson’s 8-3-2 Irish, who have lost two straight, boarded a bus to Bowling Green, Ohio, for an overnight stay and Saturday’s 7 p.m. conclusion of the home-and-home series, the teams’ first meetings since 2013 when they were members of the late Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Goals by linemates Alex Barber and Brandon Kruse, and all-star defenseman Akex Rauhauser in the middle period, broke a 1-1 tie for first-year head coach Ty Eigner’s Falcons, who improved to 9-5-0.

The usually stellar Morris, who stopped 17 shots in the first two periods, was pulled by Jackson before the start of the third period for freshman Ryan Bischel, who was seeing his first action since a 5-2 Irish victory over Lake Superior State on Oct. 25 and finished with nine saves. Morris had started the last 10 games since an undisclosed injury to begin the season, going 5-3-2.

Bowling Green goalie Eric Dop made 27 saves, only three in the final period as Bowling Green outshot Notre Dame 10-4 in the final period and 31-29 for the game.

Notre Dame’s goals came on the power play — a first-period tip-in by Cam Morrison, his third of the season, that tied it at 1-1, and a third-period tally by Jake Pivonka with the Irish trailing 5-1. Bowling Green’s other goals were by Casey Linkenheld in the first period and a power play goal by Freddy LeTourneau in the third.

The last time the teams met in the CCHA playoffs, the Irish swept on their way to beating Michigan 3-1 for the Mason Cup championship. Notre Dame then went to Hockey East until joining the Big Ten prior to the 2017-18 season. Bowling Green joined Notre Dame’s old league, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, where it is a power today.

The Falcons scored first when Linkenheld blocked a shot and broke free on a breakaway, beating the retreating Morris under his pads at 3:07. Morris kept it 1-0 with a save on Cameron Wright’s tip-in attempt at 8:37.

The Irish pulled even with their power-play unit. With Bowling Green’s Barber off for tripping at 9:25, the Irish showed good puck movement when Mike O’Leary shoveled the puck back to the point where Nick Leivermann sent a shot in that Morrison tipped past Dop at 10:23.

The Falcons later had a power play with Tory Dello in the penalty box for slashing at 16:24. But the best scoring chance belonged to penalty-killer Trevor Janicke, who blocked two shots and chased after the second for a breakaway at Dop, who made the save at 18:00. The period ended 1-1.

Bowling Green took a 2-1 lead in the second period with Dello off again, this time for holding at 6:59. Barber was left unguarded to Morris’ right and Max Johnson’s quick pass across the ice set up Barber’s tip-in at 7:32.

The Falcons made it 3-1 just shortly after Notre Dame’s Pivonka was denied by Dop on the doorstep. As play continued, Bowling Green’s Connor Ford broke Brandon Kruse in for a quick breakaway and he beat Morris over his blocker at 14:42.

Then at 17:07, Rauhauser scored his sixth goal of the season by beating Morris over his glove and the Falcons had a 4-1 lead they took into the third period.

The move to freshman Bischel didn’t slow down the Falcons. With O’Leary off the ice for slashing at 3:59, LeTourneau beat the Irish freshman goalie at 5:53.

BOWLING GREEN 5, NOTRE DAME 2

At Lefty Smith Rink, South Bend

Bowling Green 1 3 1 — 5

Notre Dame 1 0 1 — 2

First Period—Scoring: 1. Bowling Green, Casey Linkenheld 2 (unassisted) EV 3:07; 2. Notre Dame, Cam Morrison 3 (Nick Leivermann, Mike O’Leary) PP 10:23. Penalties: Bowling Green 1-2; Notre Dame 1-2.

Second Period—Scoring: 3. Bowling Green, Alex Barber 2 (Brandon Kruse, Max Johnson) PP 7:32; 4. Bowling Green, Brandon Kruse 1 (Connor Ford) EV 14:42; 5. Bowling Green, Alec Rauhauser 6 (Sam Craggs, Carson Musser) EV 17:07 Penalties (total): Bowling Green 0-0 (1-2); Notre Dame 1-2 (2-4).

Third Period—Scoring: 6. Bowling Green, Freddy LeTourneau 2 (Cameron Wright, Will Cullen) PP 5:53; 7. Notre Dame, Jake Pivonka 4 (Spencer Stastney, Cam Morrison) PP 15:29. Penalties (total): Bowling Green 2-4 (3-6); Notre Dame 1-2 (3-6).

Power-play opportunities—Bowling Green 2 of 3; Notre Dame 2 of 3.

Faceoffs won—Bowling Green 22 (3-10-9); Notre Dame 31 (14-12-5).

Blocked shots—Bowling Green 12 (4-4-4); Notre Dame 16 (8-7-1).

Shots on goal—Bowling Green 31 (9-12-10); Notre Dame 29 (13-12-4).

Goalie saves—Bowling Green, Eric Dop 27 (12-12-3); Notre Dame, Cale Morris 17 (8-9-x) and Ryan Bischel 9 (x-x-9)

Records—Bowling Green 9-5-0; Notre Dame 8-3-2.

A—5,271 (5,022).

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