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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bulldogs, Irish split home-and-home series

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Home ice went a long way this past weekend for Notre Dame and Ferris State, as both teams walked away with a 4-1 decision in a series featuring two of the nation's top 10 teams.

A week after being swept by Western Michigan, the No. 9 ranked Bulldogs ended their skid by rattling off three goals over the first two periods on Friday to build a comfortable lead against the Fighting Irish.

Although Sam Calabrese of Notre Dame would break-up goaltender Taylor Nelson's shutout bid at 8:13 of the third, Ferris State responded less than a minute later with a power-play marker by senior forward Jordie Johnston.

Nelson tallied a game-high 28 saves, half of which came in the second period alone. Counterpart Mike Johnson took the loss for the Irish, finishing with 19 stops.

Junior forward Matthew Kirzinger finished with a +2 rating and a pair of helpers for the Bulldogs, whom improved their record to 6-1-1 at the Ewigleben Arena this season.

In the series finale at South Bend the folllowing night, No. 7 ranked Notre Dame struck first six minutes into the opening period with a goal by Jeff Costello, which came while on the man-advantage.

Sophomore forward Garrett Thompson evened-up the score at the 11:35 mark of the middle stanza by sneaking the puck past Irish netminder Steven Summerhays. Garnerning assists on that play were freshmen Nate Milam and Simon Denis.

With 15 seconds to go in the frame, Notre Dame regained control of the scoreboard by adding another power-play goal, with this one being credited to T.J. Tynan.

In the final period, the Irish's Mike Voran put the game out of reach by contributing two insurance goals.

Freshman goaltender C.J. Motte, who held a 25-22 advantage over Summerhays in the saves department, dropped to 4-3-1 as a starter for Ferris State.

The Bulldogs (11-6-1 overall, 7-6-1-0 CCHA) remain idle until December 29-30, when they travel to Burlington, Vermont to compete in the Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup. Ferris State opens against RIT before facing host Vermont the following night.

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