The pressure within Compton Family Ice Arena built for almost three periods until Notre Dame came out on top with just one goal. The Irish started the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament with a hard fought 1-0 victory in South Bend over Michigan State. The shutout marked an especially strong beginning to the tournament as the Irish played without top scorer Bobby Nardella as he recovers from an undisclosed injury. As Michigan State’s Cody Milan headed to the penalty box for hooking, the Irish used the upper hand and last few minutes of the first period to get fired up, eventually nearing the Spartans’ 8 shots on goal with 7.
The Irish headed into the second period with the remaining 59 seconds of that power play, but the game remained scoreless. Irish forward Cam Burke’s major for boarding intensified the game the most as the Irish drove to kill the five minute penalty and carry that momentum and sense of urgency into the final period to win the critical game.
Notre Dame saved the best for last as they solidified their advantage in the final period. Mike O’Leary put the Irish on the board with the only point for either team and sealed the win for Notre Dame.
Notre Dame: Mike O’Leary with assists from Spencer Stastney and Andrew Peeke in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Cale Morris (27 saves)
Michigan State: Letheman (23 saves)
Michigan State: Cody Milan, for hooking at 18:38 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Cam Burke, 5 minute major and game misconduct for checking from behind at 10:10 in the 2nd
Michigan State: Zach Osburn for holding at 1:31 in the 3rd
Michigan State: Sam Saliba for holding at 6:13 in the 3rd
Michigan State: Tommy Miller for boarding at 13:59 in the 3rd
The Irish will take on the Spartans again at 7 Saturday night for the second game of the Big Ten quarterfinals. If necessary, the teams will play the deciding game of the best of three series at 7 Sunday night. To watch either, stream online with Big Ten Network Plus.
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