For the second week in a row, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team played a crucial conference matchup. Also for the second week in a row, Notre Dame took five points from the weekend, winning the first game before playing to a tie and winning the second game in a shootout, this time against the Michigan State Spartans.
Notre Dame now sits second in the Big Ten, four points behind Ohio State and one point ahead of Minnesota.
Notre Dame opened the scoring on Friday night late in the first period. Dylan Malmquist fired a shot high and into the net from the left circle with just over three minutes left in the opening period.
Early in the second Notre Dame doubled the lead when Malmquist scored his second of the night on the power play. Michigan State pulled back within one goal just over three minutes later, but Notre Dame added two more goals, 27 seconds apart, late in the second for a 4-1 lead.
Notre Dame opened the third period on the offensive, and scored two goals within the first five minutes of the period. Michigan State added two goals in the third, but Notre Dame had already put this one away and held on for the 6-3 win.
Notre Dame scored three power play goals on the night, an encouraging sign considering the team has struggled at times this season on the man advantage. Cale Morris, however, was forced to make 49 saves on the night. Without his performance the score could have looked much different. Games like this can certainly wear on a goalie as the season moves along and Morris’ usage will be something to keep an eye on as postseason tournaments approach.
ND - Dylan Malmquist (7) at 16:30 in the 1st, assisted by Michael Graham and Mike O’Leary
ND - Dylan Malmquist (8) on the PP at 2:48 in the 2nd, assisted by Bobby Nardella and Mike O’Leary
MSU - Cody Milan (5) at 6:25 in the 2nd, assisted by Patrick Khodorenko and Mitchell Lewandowski
ND - Cam Burke (2) at 18:20 in the 2nd, assisted by Matt Hellickson and Colin Theisen
ND - Tory Dello (2) at 18:47 in the 2nd, assisted by Michael Graham and Mike O’Leary
ND - Michael Graham (6) on the PP at 1:53 in the 3rd, assisted by Andrew Peeke and Mike O’Leary
ND - Michael Graham (7) on the PP at 4:12 in the 3rd, assisted by Dylan Malmquist and Bobby Nardella
MSU - Taro Hirose (12) at 10:09 in the 3rd, assisted by Patrick Khodorenko
MSU - Cody Milan (6) at 10:31 in the 3rd, assisted by Logan Lambdin and Adam Goodsir
ND - Cale Morris saved 49 of 52 shots to earn the victory
MSU - John Lethemon made 25 saves on 31 shots in the loss
MSU - Cole Krygier, 2 for cross-checking at 8:59 in the 1st
ND - Mike O’Leary, 2 for high-sticking at 8:59 in the 1st
MSU - Zach Osburn, 2 for holding at 2:13 in the 2nd
ND - Mike O’Leary, 2 for cross-checking at 4:42 in the 2nd
ND - Jack Jenkins, 2 for hooking at 6:03 in the 2nd
MSU - Cole Krygier, 2 for elbowing at 1:40 in the 3rd
MSU - Mitchell Lewandowski, 2 for interference at 3:41 in the 3rd
MSU - Logan Lambdin, 2 for tripping at 4:37 in the third
ND - Bobby Nardella, 2 for hooking at 13:15 in the 3rd
ND - Bobby Nardella, 2 for slashing at 16:59 in the 3rd
The first period of game two passed by rather quietly. Both teams had their chances, but there was no score after the first 20 minutes. The second period started quickly though when Michigan State scored the opening goal less than a minute in.
Notre Dame wouldn’t find the equalizer until the third period, when Bobby Nardella found the net with a wrist shot with only three minutes remaining. The two teams played through two overtimes without a goal before Notre Dame finally won in a shootout. Tory Dello scored in the shootout for the Irish and Cale Morris made two saves to earn the extra point.
Notre Dame did well to battle back and tie the game before earning the win in the shootout, but they were unlucky not to take the game in regulation. The Irish outshot the Spartans on the night and hit the post twice in the third period (not considered shots on goal). A night after allowing 52 shots on netminder Cale Morris, the Irish also gave up only 30 shots. Consistent performances like this will be crucial for the remainder of the season.
MSU - Taro Hirose (13) at 0:33 in the 2nd, assisted by Mitchell Lewandowski
ND - Bobby Nardella (7) at 17:00 in the 3rd, assisted by Graham Slaggert and Jake Pivonka
ND - Cale Morris made 29 saves on 30 shots
MSU - Jake DeRidder saved 34 of 35 shots
ND - Tory Dello, 2 for hooking at 2:02 in the 1st
ND - Jake Pivonka, 2 for elbowing at 6:17 in the 1st
MSU - Brenna Sanford, 2 for interference at 9:28 in the 1st
MSU - Butrus Ghafari, 2 for interference at 1:02 in the 3rd
MSU - Dennis Cesana, 2 for cross-checking at 3:54 in the 3rd
MSU - Cody Milan, 2 for hooking at 7:01 in the 3rd
ND - Andrew Peeke, 2 for tripping at 11:54 in the 3rd
MSU - Mitchell Lewandowski, 2 for embellishment at 17:58 in the 3rd
ND - Andrew Peeke, 2 for high-sticking at 17:58 in the 3rd
The Irish head to Columbus, Ohio next weekend for a series with the Big Ten leading Ohio State Buckeyes. A sweep would put Notre Dame into first place in the conference with only a month remaining in the regular season.