Fresh off a bye week the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team were on home ice last night against the Big Ten leading and #8 ranked Michigan State Spartans. A slow first period and two quick goals from either team in the second period set up a final 20 minutes with the game tied. Notre Dame came alive in the third, scoring three times for the win.
Game Summary: Notre Dame 4 - Michigan State 1
Notre Dame started the game immediately on the power play, as Michigan State was called for a bench minor before the game even started for delaying warmups. The Irish couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage though and it set the tone for the opening frame. Neither team was able to find the opening goal with only 9 shots each and they went into the second period the same way the game started.
The game began to open up in the second period with both teams trading chances and the two goaltenders keeping things scoreless. Finally, with nearly 8 minutes gone in the period Michigan State was able to score the game’s opening goal and take the lead 1-0. Less than 30 second later though Notre Dame was able to tie the game on a broken play. Justin Janicke started things with a shot from the top of the zone that was blocked by a Spartan defender. It fell to Zach Plucinski who got only a small piece of the puck causing it to bounce off two Spartan sticks and fall to Ryan Siedem to slot it home.
Notre Dame came into the game with a +13 goal differential in the third period and it only got better on the day. Two cross slot passes, from Drew Bavaro to Michael Mastrodomenico and back to Bavaro caught Trey Augustine moving sideways and opened up the net for Bavaro to one time a goal for the lead.
Three minutes later the Irish offense was back at it when a blocked shot by Jake Boltmann gave way to an Irish rush up the ice. Brennan Ali picked up the loose puck after the block and found Patrick Moynihan to take it out of the zone and to center ice. From there it was another display of great passing as Moynihan threaded a needle back to Ali at the blue line who simply tipped it forward to Cole Knuble who was in behind the Spartan defense and beat Augustine high for a two goal lead.
Trevor Janicke added an empty net goal late in the period to seal the win for Notre Dame after the Irish survived a 6-on-4 empty net power play. Notre Dame’s defense helped keep them in the game until the offensive outburst in the third, holding the best power play in the country to only one goal on five chances and holding the Spartans to one goal for only the fourth time all season.
MSU: Isaac Howard (7) on the PP at 7:45 in the 2nd assisted by Karsen Dorwart
ND: Ryan Siedem (3) at 8:11 in the 2nd assisted by Zach Plucinski and Justin Janicke
ND: Drew Bavaro (6) at 12:04 in the 3rd assisted by Michael Mastrodomenico and Trevor Janicke
ND: Cole Knuble (6) at 15:28 in the 3rd assisted by Brennan Ali and Patrick Moynihan
ND: Trevor Janicke (9) on the empty net at 18:51 in the 3rd assisted by Cole Knuble and Justin Janicke
MSU: Bench 2 for warmup violation at 0:00 in the 1st
ND: Danny Nelson 2 for tripping at 11:03 in the 1st
ND: Danny Nelson 2 holding at 7:42 in the 2nd
ND: Michael Mastrodomenico 2 for holding at 9:24 in the 2nd
ND: Michael Mastrodomenico 2 for roughing at 17:47 in the 2nd
MSU: Joey Larson 2 for roughing at 17:47 in the 2nd
MSU: Artyom Levshunov 2 for slashing at 18:05 in the 2nd
ND: Zach Plucinski 2 for holding at 16:06 in the 3rd
ND: Zach Plucinski 10 for misconduct at 16:06 in the 3rd
ND: Michael Mastrodomenico 2 for cross checking at 19:06 in the 3rd
ND: Ryan Bischel made 30 saves on 30 shots for the win
MSU: Trey Augustine saved 27 of 30 shots in the loss
Game two Saturday night. A sweep would be a huge weekend for Notre Dame as they continue their push for an NCAA tournament berth.