Western Michigan University dealt with a difficult weekend, losing both games to #11 ranked Notre Dame in the Bronco’s third CCHA series of 2007.
Penalties were like the plague for Western Michigan, as they accumulated 12 minors on Friday night, which left the Broncos short-handed for almost half of the game. The Fighting Irish proved to be more controlled, only being escorted the penalty box twice.
Notre Dame’s Ryan Thang put his team up early, firing the puck past Western Michigan goaltender Riley Gill about halfway through the first period.
With less than a minute in the opening stanza, senior forward Mike Lesperance put some competitive fire back in the Broncos, scoring the equalizer for his first goal of the season. Tyler Ludwig and Dave Krisky both earned assists on the game-tying goal.
The Fighting Irish capitalized on many offensive opportunities in the following period, as they earned five power-play opportunities. After Dan VeNard score the go-ahead-goal at 2:16, Notre Dame converted two goals with the man advantage toward the end of the period.
While Patrick Galivan was serving a hooking penalty, Erik Condra lit the lamp a mere 19 seconds later to give the Fighting Irish an insurance goal.
Ludwig was sent to the sin bin for a holding penalty with 17:58 elapsed, but it didn’t end there for the Broncos. Left-winger Brian Bicek followed Ludwig to the box, after Western Michigan was caught by officials for having too many men on the ice.
Following the double dose of penalties, Notre Dame scored a minute later, using the 5-on-3 to their advantage. Mark Van Guilder sealed the 4-1 win at 18:52 for his seventh goal of the campaign.
The Broncos penalties coincided with their lack of shots, managing 12 to the Fighting Irish’s 44.
Gill denied 40 of Notre Dame’s shots, but fell to 3-4-0 as a starter.
Saturday night didn’t prove to be any better for Western Michigan, who established the tone early, only to see their lead disappear as quickly as it arrived.
Freshman center Max Campbell scored what was the Broncos’ only goal of the night, putting his team on the scoreboard with just over a minute and a half gone by in the first period. Defensemen Steve Silver and Galivan were both credited for the helper, which gave Galivan a CCHA-leading 11th assist.
The Fighting Irish shifted momentum to their side later in the period, registering goals at the 12 and 17 minute marks, much to the dismay of the Kalamazoo crowd.
Dan Kissel strengthened Notre Dame’s lead with his second goal of the season at 8:12 into the middle period. Thang scored his second goal in as many nights, this time on the power-play with a mere 11 seconds remaining.
Not to be outdone on their other special teams unit, Condra tallied a short-handed goal at 7:55 of the final period to give Notre Dame a 5-1 win.
Western Michigan struggled once again on getting shots fired toward the net, mustering up a measly 11 shots.
It was another busy night between the pipes for Gill, who stopped 27 of 32 shots.
The weekend sweep by Notre Dame drops the Broncos to 3-7-0 on the year, and a 1-7-0 record in conference play.
The Ohio State Buckeyes will trek across the border next weekend to face Western Michigan for a two-game set on November 23-24.