The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team opened the Big Ten tournament yesterday at home with the first game of a best of three series against the Michigan State Spartans. The #4 seeded Irish earned home ice against the #5 Spartans in the last week of the regular season with two wins. Despite being swept at Michigan State only a few weeks ago Notre Dame was able to take advantage of a low scoring game and win game one 1-0.
Game Summary (Notre Dame 1 - Michigan State 0)
The first period saw some back and forth action but not a whole lot to show for it. Both teams traded chances and some big hits but despite the shots on the period being 10-9 in favor of Michigan State neither team was able to find the opening goal.
The second period saw more of the same for most of the period with both teams trading chances and some big saves from both goaltenders thrown in for good measure. That is, until Notre Dame finally broke the deadlock with under four minutes left in the period. Trevor Janicke started the play by cycling the puck along the boards to Grant Silianoff behind the Spartan net. Silianoff continued the cycle to Jack Adams in the corner who quickly found Janicke at the faceoff circle for a clear shot. Janicke’s shot was saved initially but Silianoff had made his way to the front of the net and was able to stuff in the rebound for the opening, and ultimately only, goal of the game.
With the lead and only 20 minutes left Notre Dame went into a defensive shell for the final period. The Spartans took 18 shots in the third but Ryan Bischel, as he has all season, stood tall and made some massive saves to maintain the lead and shutout. The Spartans had two power plays in the period, had a chance on a net front scramble in the final 10 seconds, and even hit a few posts but couldn’t find the equalizer.
Notre Dame: Grant Silianoff (3) at 16:13 in the 2nd period assisted by Trevor Janicke and Jack Adams
Michigan State: Jagger Joshua 2 for interference at 14:12 in the 1st period
Michigan State: Tanner Kelly 2 for roughing at 4:59 in the 3rd period
Notre Dame: Chase Blackmun 2 for roughing at 4:59 in the 3rd period
Notre Dame: Jake Boltmann 2 for roughing at 9:48 in the 3rd period
Notre Dame: Jesse Lansdell 2 for tripping at 16:22 in the 3rd period
Notre Dame: Ryan Bischel saved all 36 shots he faced for the shutout win
Michigan State: Dylan St Cyr made 20 saves on 21 shots in the loss
Game two between Notre Dame and Michigan State comes up at 4:30pm ET on Saturday. You can watch it live on FS2. A win in game two will se Notre Dame advance to the Big Ten semifinals. A Michigan State win would force a decisive game three on Sunday in South Bend.