Nov. 28, 2009

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Notre Dame Fighting Irish snatched a dramatic overtime win from the jaws of a potential shoot-out on Friday night as Ian Cole chopped a rebound of his own shot off Bowling Green goaltender Nick Eno's pads with 2.4 seconds left on the clock for a 2-1 win in overtime.

Cole's goal, his first of the season, snapped a 1-1 tie that saw the Falcons score on their first shot of the game, with freshman Nathan Pageau beating Irish goaltender Mike Johnson just 16 seconds into the game. Notre Dame answered back with a Kyle Palmieri power-play goal in the second period to even the score.

From there the goaltenders held each team at bay as Johnson stopped the remaining 20 shots he faced in the game for Notre Dame while Eno finished with 31 saves as the Irish peppered him with 33 shots in the contest.

The win improves Notre Dame to 7-5-3 overall and 4-2-3-2 in the CCHA, good for 17 points in the league standings. Bowling Green falls to 2-10-1 on the year and 2-6-1-1 in conference action. The Irish victory also extended the team's winning streak to 13 straight in the series and the unbeaten run to 17 games (16-0-1) since the 2005-06 campaign.

"I thought Bowling Green played a smart game, a great road game," said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.

"They were patient and executed their system real well. They trap it up in the neutral zone and we fell into the trap and turned the puck over. As the game progressed, I thought we started trying to press and we did it the wrong way. We were loose with the puck and turned it over way too much. We gave up two or three odd-man rushes in the last five minutes of the game as a result of not making good decisions."

Jackson added, "After playing our best third period of this year in our last game (against Michigan State), this may have been our worst third period in my estimation. It's a big win; it's three points. Winning ugly is one thing, but we won sloppy tonight."

The Falcons showed they were ready to play right out of the gate as Pageau got his second goal of the season just 16 seconds into the game as he beat Johnson from close in just inside the left post. James Perkin and Tommy Dee set up the goal.

The Irish controlled play throughout the opening period, out shooting Bowling Green by an 11-7 margin but trailed after one period, 1-0.

In the second period, Notre Dame capitalized on its second power-play chance of the night, scoring on a five-on-three man advantage.

Junior center Ben Ryan, who assisted on both goals in the game, moved the puck from the left boards to Riley Sheahan in near the right circle. Sheahan served up to Palmieri at the top of the left circle where he blasted a shot past Eno at 4:07 for his fifth goal of the season and his third in as many games to even the score at 1-1.

Midway through the period at the 9:18 mark, Calle Ridderwall was given a five-minute major for hitting from behind, giving Bowling Green a five-minute power play. Irish penalty killers held the Falcons to just two shots on goal with the five-minute major and the score remained tied 1-1 after two periods of play.

The third period saw the Falcons take advantage of numerous Notre Dame turnovers, but Johnson held Bowling Green at bay, stopping all nine shots he faced in the period.

"We were loose and sloppy in the third period and we haven't earned the opportunity to play comfortable," said Jackson.

"Bowling Green is a tenacious, hard-working team that takes advantage of its opportunities. They could have easily taken three points tonight."

In the extra period, neither team mustered much offense until the final 30 seconds of play when Notre Dame got the game winner.

Cole passed the puck to Christiaan Minella and moved towards the goal. Minella's shot came of the backboards to Cole near the right post. His first shot was stopped by Eno, but he was able to settle the puck and his centering try went off the back of Eno and the junior from Ann Arbor, Mich., had his first goal of the year and the Irish had a 2-1 victory.

"I came over the line and threw it to (Christiaan) Minella and just went to the back post," explained Cole.

"He took a shot that went wide and came right to me. I took a few whacks at it and it went in. The first shot came back to me and I flipped the second one off the back of the goalie and in."

On the night, Notre Dame out shot Bowling Green, 33-21. The Irish were 1-for-7 on the power play while the Falcons were 0-for-5.

The two teams will meet in game two of the series on Saturday night at the Joyce Center with face off set for 7:05 p.m.