Falcons sweep Irish with shootout win

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Thursday night Slovakia upset
Russia 2-1 in a shootout in the Olympics, two night’s later Bowling Green’s own
Slovakian lead them to a 2-1 upset victory of Notre Dame.

Tomas Petruska, a native of Presov, Slovakia, beat
Notre Dame goalie Mike Johnson in the third round of the shootout with a
backhander that snuck just inside the right post.

“That was my go to move since I was 16,
15-years-old,” Petruska said. 

Prior to Petruska’s game-winner, James Perkin scored
for Bowling Green while goaltender Nick Eno stopped two of three Irish shooters
to secure the win. Not only was Eno a difference maker in the shootout,
but he also was the star of regulation turning away 38 of 39 shots to complete
the weekend sweep of Notre Dame.

“They definitely out played us for two periods
and we were lucky Nick played as well as he did,” Falcon coach Dennis
Williams said.

“He played really well,” Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson added. “I think he was definitely
the difference during the first two periods.”

Eno’s efforts allowed the Falcons to improve their
winning streak against the Irish to three-straight, even more impressive
considering they hadn’t beat Notre Dame since 2005 entering this season.

Despite being outshot 17-7 in the opening period Bowling
Green played well, even having several good scoring chances in a scoreless
first. While they did allow 17 shots, many of those were from
bad angles or shot right into the chest and arms of Eno.

“They did a good job of keeping them to the
outside,” Eno said about the BG defense. “Yesterday there was a couple chances from the slot. But, today they
kept them outside and made it pretty easy for me.”

Bowling Green came close to striking first on multiple
occasions, including two chances by Tommy Dee who just missed the net on a
2-on-1 break and then had his deflection attempt cleared away at the last
minute by Johnson. It appeared Bowling Green took a 1-0 lead with 5:23
left in the first period but after a nearly eight minute review the officials
determined the puck didn’t completely cross the line.

While Bowling Green had some strong chances in the
first period Notre Dame did have a golden chance to take the lead, but Kyle
Palmieri’s shot rang off the post sandwiched in between Dee’s second chance and
the review of the goal.

Any notion of Bowling Green controlling the momentum
was killed at the start of the second period as Palmieri wripped a shot past
Eno just 31 seconds into the period.

Notre Dame almost doubled their lead four minutes
into the period, when an Irish shot snuck through Eno’s pads and trickled just
wide of the empty net. The Irish also had two great chances at the end of the
period, first a wrap around attempt was turned away by the the left toe of Eno
and then with 2:45 remaining Billy Maday wrung a shot off the cross bar that
was almost shoveled home on the rebound.

The second period also featured several scuffles after
the whistle as players came together with 9:13 remaining after a later hit by
Notre Dame’s Ian Cole and then just over two minutes later players came
together again after goal mouth collision in front of the Falcon net.

In the third period Bowling Green finally tied the
game forcing the eventual shootout.

Ryan Guentzel was sent to the box for tripping 5:44
into the period, giving Bowling Green an opportunity to tie the game. The game would have been tied after the conclusion of
the penalty if not for a pair of great saves by Johnson including a sliding
stick save to deny a one-timer from Dee.

While they didn’t score on the power play, Bowling
Green did tie the game at one with 10:19 remaining when Petruska beat Johnson
with a quick wrist shot from the top of the crease. Petruska made a nice move on the goal, pulling the
puck from backhand to forehand before slipping it just over Johnson’s shoulder.

Petruska almost gave Bowling Green the lead with 3:19
remaining, but since the net was off it’s moorings it was declared no goal. While the net was knocked asunder, the whistle should
have been blown several seconds earlier when the net was dislodged.

“I think that net was off for maybe seven seconds
there, when they went over to check it I kind of knew,” Williams said. 

As neither team could take the lead the teams went to
overtime for the third time this season.

In the overtime session both teams had a significant
chance to end the game, first Notre Dame almost beat Eno with a wrister from
the circle and then at the other end of the ice a goal mouth collision almost
knocked the puck into the Irish net.

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