The Notre Dame Fighting Irish traveled to East Lansing to face the Michigan State Spartans for their final road series of the regular season. Jeff Jackson’s squad looked to bounce back after going 0-1-1 last weekend, currently sitting tied for third in the Big Ten with the Michigan Wolverines. The Irish and Spartans met this past December, in a series that featured a tie and 4-3 Michigan State overtime victory.
As they have all season, the top line for Notre Dame got plenty of pressure on the opposition in the first period. Facing netminder Pierce Charleson, making his first college start, the Irish out-shot the Spartans 8-6 in the opening frame, but the game remained scoreless going into intermission.
Five minutes into the second, Notre Dame opened the scoring when a Landon Slaggert shot went off Charleson’s heel for his sixth of the season. The goal tied Landon with his older brother Graham for second most goals on the team this season.
The first power-play of the evening came when Spartan forward Kyle Haskins tripped Matt Hellickson shortly after the first goal of the evening. Despite four Notre Dame shots, Michigan State was able to kill off the penalty. The Spartans, whose power-play ranks last in the Big Ten, failed to capitalize on a man advantage of their own after Matt Hellickson was called for holding on Jagger Joshua.
The power-play struggles for both teams continued, as each side killed off a penalty within the first five minutes of the final period. Near the midway point, Mitchell Lewandowski beat Dylan St. Cyr blocker side to find the back of the net. However, the play was reviewed and it was determined the Spartans were offside, negating the goal.
An insurance goal came when Alex Steeves buried one for his team-leading 14th of the season. The Hobey Baker finalist has earned at least one point in 18 of Notre Dame’s 25 contests. Despite seeing 27 Michigan State shots, Dylan St. Cyr secured the shutout as the Irish took the first game of the series.
Notre Dame: Landon Slaggert at 04:31 in the 2nd, assisted by Matt Hellickson and Nick Leivermann
Notre Dame: Alex Steeves at 11:24 in the 3rd, assisted by Landon Slaggert and Matt Hellickson
Michigan State: Kyle Haskins, 2 for tripping at 06:51 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Matt Hellickson, 2 for holding at 13:47 in the 2nd
Michigan State: Tommy Apap, 2 for hooking at 01:12 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Max Ellis, 2 for holding at 04:11 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Dylan St. Cyr (W) saved 27 of 27 shots
Michigan State: Pierce Charleson (L) saved 31 of 33 shots
The Irish and Spartans will close out their regular season series on Saturday at 3:00 P.M. The game can be streamed on on BTNPlus.com and the BTN+ app.