(South Bend, Indiana) The Saints hoped to keep pace in the ACHA Division III this past weekend with a pair of games against the #11 Bulldogs from Adrian University.
The Saints were swept last weekend by #10 University of Michigan-Flint, and looked to make up ground against an Adrian team that defeated the Saints twice earlier in the season.
The opening contest took place Friday night at the South Bend Ice Box before a rowdy crowd and a physical Bulldog squad. The intensity of the match was high, as both clubs knew the importance of the game. Some intensity boiled over early on when freshman Brandon Norcutt (Yorba Linda, California) was called for 2 penalties and was ejected from the game just a few minutes into the opening period. Another minor was called subsequently on the Saints, which put Adrian in a prime position to take the lead early.
The calls gave the Bulldogs a 5-on-3 advantage - which the Saints almost killed off - on which Adrian capitalized going up 1-0. Following the goal was a nearly 6-minute 5-on-4, which the Saints again almost sidestepped, letting a goal slip by with just seconds on the penalty kill, giving Adrian a 2-0 lead.
The Saints were unlucky in the first period, but were not rattled as they clearly were not being outplayed by the opponent. The Saints answered the Bulldog attack with goals by sophomores Drew Brodbeck (Stillwater, Minnesota) and Doni Gendel (South Bend, Indiana), and from junior Sean Root (Livonia, Michigan). The game was even at 3 goals apiece before the Bulldogs took control midway through the 2nd period.
Adrian shifted into a 6th gear, and the Saints could not keep pace as they rallied off 5 straight unanswered goals throughout the remainder of the game. The game ended 8-3, although the final score does not indicate how close the game was through the first 30 minutes or so.
Gendel had an assist to go with his goal for a two-point game, and sophomore captain Tommy Lyons recorded two helpers. Sophomore netminder Brad Hajec (Dearborn, Michigan) tried his best to stop on onslaught of 53 shots in 50 minutes by the Bulldogs, surrendering 6 goals. Shawn Tallet (Baldwinsville, New York) finished out the game, stopping 10 shots in 10 minutes.
Saturday's game was more of the same, as the Bulldogs kept their high level of play going en route to a 11-0 victory. Freshman Ethan Palmer (Granger, Indiana) got the start in net for the Saints, but did not receive much defensive help.
The Saints have lost 4 consecutive games after winning 3 in a row in early November. The Saints have scored just four goals in the last four games. The schedule becomes a little easier when the Saints travel down to West Lafayette, Indiana to take on Purdue University December 2nd and 3rd.
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