On Friday night, in front of a standing room only sell out (5,247 )the Western Michigan University Broncos came to Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena. Their goal was to come in and unsaddle the Irish on their home ice. The Broncos ranked #19 in the country looked to buck the Irish and set up a chance for a weekend sweep. The Broncos looked to dominate with there height. For a moment you would have been looking a basketball teams roster not fifteen of twenty two player ranging between 6’0″ and 6’7″. It was definitely David versus Goliath. The Irish have fourteen of twenty two players between 6’0″ and 6’3″. Cam Morrison is the tallest on the team.
The first period definitely showed that the Irish had been on an extended break. The Broncos were the ones saddled up as they went to work firing on Cale Morris. Both teams were spending time in the “Sin Bin” in the first period. The biggest play of the period came on a penalty against Tory Dello for interference. After video review, Jason Polin Broncos Right Winger is awarded a Penalty Shot and is denied via a kick save off Morris’ right foot.
Though the Broncos bucking on offense, the Irish defense held serve and Morris kept the puck from going between the pipes, The Irish were out shot 13-2 on Shot On Goal. But, quality versus quantity is key. The Fightin’ Irish were going to have a different second period if they were going to stay in the contest. Heading into the first intermission, there are zero’s on the board for both teams.
The second period started off similar to the first period. The Broncos came out firing and the one big difference so did the Irish. The Irish had definitely made intermission adjustments as the puck moved better between the players. The Shots On Goal were at a much better rate. The Broncos had fourteen shots versus the Irish twelve. The Irish were definitely getting in front of the and creating opportunities. At 9:49 Cam Morrison lights the lamp from just in front of the crease on Brandon Bussi’s right glove side.
But the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Fifty three seconds later at 10:42, Luke Bafia fires a one timer from the left hand face off circle and lights the lamp fr the Broncos. The wind came out of the sails, but they did not allow another goal despite the Broncos continuing to apply pressure. The were going to need to dig deep if they were going to sustain in the third period.
At the start of the period, the Broncos opened up with seven consecutive shots. The next seven were by the Irish. The started to return what the Broncos had been giving them all game, much needed pressure. Both teams also played a penalty free period as well. If either team was going to win they were going to have to stay out of the penalty box. The Irish actually won the shots on goal stat by a margin of 14-10. With both goalies not allowing a puck in the back of the net, that meant that sixty minutes would not be enough to decide a winner. At the end of regulation the score was knotted at 1-1.
Sudden Death Hockey
The rules of Sudden Death Overtime for non-conference games are as follows. A two minute break, followed by five minutes of five on five. First team to score wins. If no score after five minutes the game ends in a tie, and you shake hands at center ice.
With both teams not wanting to give up a goal, both teams were looking to keep the puck out of the opponents offensive zone. For the Irish it was Mike O’Leary taking a majority of the shots, while Ethen Frank did the same for the Broncos. When the clock got to all zeros, the Irish and the Broncos end in a 1-1 tie. In the end, Morris does it again. Morris notched 42 saves versus 43 shots on goal.
Stars Of The Game
🏒🏒🏒 Cam Morrison 1 Goal and 4 Shots
🏒🏒Brandon Bussi 1 Goal Allowed 32 Saves
🏒Cale Morris 1 Goal Allowed 42 Saves
Next For the Fightin’ Irish
The Irish head to the Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo MI, for the second half of the home at home against the Broncos on a Sunday that starts at 5 p.m. ET game on Sunday, January 5th.
The game can be seen on NCHC.TV.
Cheers and Go Irish! 🍀🏒🥅🚨⚡