In the final series for both teams prior to next week’s start of the Big Ten Tournament, the no. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish took the home ice to take on the no. 2 Michigan Wolverines. It’s no secret that the Wolverines are one of the premier teams in college hockey this season, cruising to a .773 win percentage while playing a loaded Big Ten schedule. However, their one blemish this season has been their opponent this weekend, as the Irish are the only team they’ve played that they’ve yet to defeat.
In order to maintain their win streak against the Wolverines, the Irish would have to limit the scoring chances of the third highest scoring offense in the nation. Early in the first, however, Mackie Samoskevich found captain Nick Blankenburg to give Michigan the early lead. Not to be outdone, it was Notre Dame’s captain, Graham Slaggert who buried home a rebound to tie the game at one after a period of play.
During intermission, the officials reviewed contact to the head made by Johnny Beecher near the end of the opening period. It was announced that Beecher, a 2019 first round pick of the Boston Bruins, was given a game misconduct and a five-minute penalty. This allowed the Irish to open the period with the man advantage, when Jesse Landsdell capitalized off a miscue by Michigan goaltender Erik Portillo to give the Irish the lead. Later in the period, Jack Adams put home a rebound of his own to make it 3-1 after two.
Just as they did in their previous win against the Wolverines, the Irish defense and goaltending stepped up when they needed to. In the third, Solag Bakich and Landon Slaggert were both called for penalties but Michigan was unable to narrow Notre Dame’s lead. In the final minute, the Wolverines were called for an infraction on an empty net, giving the Irish a goal and sealing a 4-1 victory.
Michigan: Nick Blankenburg at 02:24 in the 1st, assisted by Mackie Samoskevich and Johnny Beecher
Notre Dame: Graham Slaggert at 08:45 in the 1st, assisted by Trevor Janicke and Nick Leivermann
Notre Dame: Jesse Landsdell (PPG) at 03:03 in the 2nd, assisted by Trevor Janicke and Cam Burke
Notre Dame: Jack Adams at 14:56 in the 2nd, assisted by Nick Leivermann and Chase Blackmun
Michigan: Johnny Beecher, game misconduct for contact to the head at 00:00 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Spencer Stastney for interference at 16:19 in the 2nd
Notre Dame: Graham Slaggert for tripping at 19:11 in the 2nd
Michigan: Keaton Pehrson for tripping at 03:46 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Solag Bakich for interference at 06:44 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Landon Slaggert for hooking at 17:35 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Max Ellis for hooking at 18:52 in the 3rd
Michigan: Matty Beniers for embellishment at 18:52 in the 3rd
Michigan: Brendan Brisson for tripping at 19:23 in the 3rd
Notre Dame: Matthew Galajda, 28 saves
Michigan: Erik Portillo, 24 saves
The Irish will conclude their series with Michigan on Saturday, February 26, at 6:00 PM ET. The game can be streamed on Peacock.