The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team and the Michigan State Spartans played the first two games of their best of three series to a tie. That set up a winner take all third game on Sunday night in South Bend, with the victor earning the privilege of visiting the top ranked Minnesota Gophers. Notre Dame took the early lead but their offense sputtered after that and Michigan State was able to come back to win the game and advance to the conference semifinals.
Game Summary: Notre Dame 2 - Michigan State 4
Notre Dame got things started early scoring the opening goal within the first five minutes of the game. Justin Janicke set up on the left faceoff circle and took the cross ice pass from Landon Slaggert. He dragged the puck around one defender and, as he was taking a hit from a second, let go a wrist shot that found its way through a screen and into the back of the net.
The lead was short lived though, as just a few minutes later Michigan State was able to find an equalizer. The first period was an encouraging one for Notre Dame though, as they led the shots 12-7 and had a few good chances. Despite that the game was still tied after the first twenty minutes.
The second period was more of the same, with Notre Dame haven’t good chances but unable to convert. Halfway through the period Michigan State ran a set play directly off a faceoff in the Irish defensive zone, sneaking around the defense for an easy redirection and a 2-1 lead.
In the third period Michigan State started to take more control of the game and pull away. Seven minutes into the period they managed a third goal to extend their lead. Notre Dame tried to battle back and pulled back within one goal on the power play 16 minutes into the game. The Spartans added an empty net goal to seal the win though and Notre Dame’s tournament run came to an end.
Notre Dame: Justin Janicke (7) on the power play at 4:55 in the 1st period assisted by Landon Slaggert and Chayse Primeau
Michigan State: Nicolas Muller (8) at 11:27 in the 1st period assisted by Erik Middendorf and Jeremy Davidson
Michigan State: Jeremy Davidson (9) at 11:01 in the 2nd period assisted by Nicolas Muller
Michigan State: Tiernan Shoudy (6) at 6:42 in the 3rd period assisted by Nash Nienhuis and Miroslav Mucha
Notre Dame: Hunter Strand (5) on the power play at 16:37 in the 3rd period assisted by Solag Bakich and Nick Leivermann
Michigan State: Nicolas Muller (9) on the empty net at 18:17 in the 3rd period unassisted
Michigan State: Daniel Russell 2 for interference at 4:04 in the 1st period
Michigan State: Jagger Joshua 2 for interference at 16:42 in the 1st period
Michigan State: Nicolas Muller 2 for hooking at 3:44 in the 3rd period
Michigan State: Michael Underwood 2 for interference at 15:51 in the 3rd period
Notre Dame: Ryan Bischel saved 24 of 27 shots in the loss
Michigan State: Dylan St Cyr made 37 saves on 39 shots for the win
Notre Dame currently sits outside of the top 16 in the Pairwise rankings, which means without the automatic Big Ten bid their season ends here. Now we wait to hear if Ryan Bischel will be named a finalist for the Mike Richter Award as the nation’s top goaltender.