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Notre Dame Hockey: Irish fall to Michigan State 4-3

#5 Irish conquered by Spartans to end regular season.

NCAA Hockey: Frozen Four-Denver vs Notre Dame Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of a 6-3 victory over the Michigan State Spartans on Friday night, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hoped to close out an unforgettable regular season with a win on senior night on Saturday at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Those hopes were dashed, however, when the Spartans scored two late goals to upset the #5 Irish 4-3. The loss was Notre Dame’s fourth in their last five games.

Before puck drop, the team honored senior players Jake Evans, Tony Bretzman, Jordan Gross, Dawson Cook, Justin Wade, Luke Ripley, and Bo Brauer in a pregame ceremony.

12 minutes of game time passed before a Jake Evans-caused turnover led to a goal by Colin Theisen to put Notre Dame up 1-0. Five minutes later, Michigan State’s Taro Hirose scored his 12th goal of the season to tie the score at 1-1 with 2:29 left in the first period.

2:44 into the second period, Notre Dame senior captain Jake Evans put the Irish back on top 2-1 with a power play goal. Jordan Gross and Cam Morrison earned assists on the play. Michigan State responded again, however, ten minutes later when Mitch Lewandowski scored his 18th of the season to tie the game 2-2.

With only 29 seconds left in the second, Andrew Oglevie took a slashing penalty that carried over into the third period. 42 seconds into the third, Jack Jenkins fed a pass to Dennis Gilbert, who buried the puck into the Michigan State to give Notre Dame a 3-2 lead. It was the second short-handed goal Gilbert has scored this season and his fourth overall on the year.

The lead would be short lived. Less than three minutes after Gilbert’s goal, Lewandowski scored his second of the game to even the score. After what appeared to be another Michigan State goal was disallowed due to goaltender interference, Jerad Rosburg scored his first goal of the season to give the Spartans their first lead of the game, 4-3 with 11:10 left in regulation.

After killing off a penalty, Notre Dame made one last ferocious comeback attempt. Cale Morris was pulled with 1:23 left in regulation. With the extra attacker, the Irish had many quality scoring opportunities but couldn’t convert. A shot by Gross was blocked, and an attempt by Oglevie was stopped by Michigan State goaltender

After the game, Notre Dame raised a banner to commemorate winning the 2018 Big Ten regular season championship. If they want to continue to raise banners, every game from here on out is a must-win.

Scoring

ND – Colin Theisen (6) at 12:35 of the 1st from Jake Evans (26)

MSU – Taro Hirose (12) at 17:31 of the 1st from Carson Gatt (15)

ND – Jake Evans (11) on the PP at 2:44 of the 2nd from Jordan Gross (17) and Cam Morrison (13)

MSU – Mitch Lewandowski (18) at 13:14 of the 2nd from Jerad Rosburg (9)

ND – Dennis Gilbert (4) shorthanded at 0:42 of the 3rd from Jack Jenkins (8) and Jake Evans (27)

MSU – Mitch Lewandowski (19) at 3:20 of the 3rd from Jared Rosburg (10) and Taro Hirose (27)

MSU – Jerad Rosburg (1) at 8:50 of the 3rd from Patrick Khodorenko (18)

Goalies

ND – Cale Morris stopped 32 of 36 shots, falls to 22-7-1

MSU - John Lethemon stopped 23 of 26 shots, improves to 12-17-2

Penalties

MSU – Jake Smith, 2 for cross-checking at 9:48 in the 1st

ND – Colin Theisen, 2 for slashing at 19:55 in the 1st

MSU – Mitch Lewandowski, 2 for interference at 1:13 of the 2nd

ND – Andrew Oglevie, 2 for slashing at 19:31 of the 2nd

ND – Jake Evans, 2 for tripping at 5:13 of the 3rd

Three Stars

1. Mitch Lewandowski

2. Jake Evans

3. Jerad Rosburg

Up Next

Notre Dame will be off this upcoming weekend before hosting a Big Ten Tournament semifinal game at the Compton Family Ice Arena on Saturday, March 10. The Irish’s opponent for that game will be decided during the quarterfinal round of the Tournament this weekend.