The no. 18 Notre Dame Fighting dropped the puck on their new year on Saturday night. For the second time this season, they hosted the season-long road warrior Arizona State Sun Devils for a non-conference series. Led by sixth year head coach Greg Powers, the Sun Devils split with the Irish a month ago, in a series where both games featured a total of nine goals.
A strength of the Sun Devils this year has been their power-play, and they went on the man advantage just over two minutes into the contest thanks to a high-sticking call on Max Ellis. All it took was twelve seconds for ASU to get their first lead of the game thanks to a Matthew Kopperud shot from the circle. Less than two minutes later, Landon Slaggert, fresh off winning the gold medal in the 2021 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships for Team USA on Tuesday, beat Evan DeBrouwer stick-side to even the contest.
The first period offensive showcase continued for both teams. Shortly after an unsuccessful Notre Dame power-play, Grant Silianoff tipped home a Max Ellis deflection to give the Irish a 2-1 lead. Less than two minutes later, on the power-play once again, Kopperud increased his NCAA lead with his tenth goal of the season to tie the game going into the first intermission.
Early in the second, Slaggert’s legendary week continued when the Chicago Blackhawks prospect again beat DeBrouwer stick-side to give the Irish the lead. However, the lead would be short-lived when three minutes later. Michael Mancinelli found the back of the net in transition to even the score once again.
The second period featured plenty of physicality, including offsetting roughing calls on Graham Slaggert and Jordan Sandhu. Tanner Hickey was also called for interference after a high hit on Notre Dame’s Trevor Janicke. And later in the period, ASU junior Chris Grando was sent to the box for roughing. However, the Fighting Irish power-play, which has struggled all season, failed to capitalize.
Despite their power-play woes, which would continue after a penalty on Jarrod Gourley in the third, the Irish netted two early goals to put the game out of reach. First, Grant Silianoff caught the ASU defense slacking by chasing down the puck on a line change. A minute later, sophomore Jesse Landsdell picked his corner for his first goal of the season after a phenomenal pass by Ryder Rolston.
Johnny Walker launched a slapshot from the right wing circle to bring the Sun Devils within one, but it wouldn’t be enough. Just like in their most recent meeting last month, the Irish defeated the Sun Devils at home by a score of 5-4.
Arizona State: Matthew Kopperud (PPG) at 02:32 in the 1st, with assists from Jacob Semik and James Sanchez
Notre Dame: Landon Slaggert at 04:15 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Grant Silianoff at 12:20 in the 1st, with assists from Max Ellis and Michael Graham
Arizona State: Matthew Kopperud (PPG) at 14:09 in the 1st, with assists from Johnny Walker and James Sanchez
Notre Dame: Landon Slaggert at 03:51 in the 2nd, with assist from Alex Steeves
Arizona State: Michael Mancinelli at 06:52 in the 2nd, with assist from Jacob Wilson
Notre Dame: Grant Silianoff at 02:02 in the 3rd, with assist from Max Ellis
Notre Dame: Jesse Landsdell at 03:04 in the 3rd, with assists from Ryder Rolston and Solag Bakich
Arizona State: Johnny Walker at 06:08 in the 3rd, with assist from James Sanchez
Notre Dame: Max Ellis at 02:20 in the 1st for slashing
Arizona State: Jack Judson at 09:34 in the 1st for holding
Notre Dame: Jake Boltmann at 13:25 in the 1st for high-sticking
Notre Dame: Graham Slaggert at 08:12 in the 2nd for roughing
Arizona State: Jordan Sandhu at 08:12 in the 2nd for roughing
Arizona State: Tanner Hickey at 10:30 in the 2nd for interference
Arizona State: Chris Grando at 13:45 in the 2nd for roughing
Arizona State: Jarrod Gourley at 11:52 in the 3rd for tripping
Notre Dame: Dylan St. Cyr (W), 25 saves
Arizona State: Evan DeBrouwer (L), 36 saves
The Irish will conclude their season series with the Sun Devils on Sunday at 7:00 PM ET. To catch the game, tune in to NBCSN or stream via the NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App.