March 5, 2005
East Lansing, Mich. - For two periods, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish held Michigan State standout center Jim Slater in check. Then in the third period he took over in his final regular-season game at Munn Arena.
Slater led a third-period Spartan comeback, scoring one goal and setting up two others as Michigan State rallied from a 2-0 deficit to hand Notre Dame a 3-2 road loss.
The loss extended Notre Dame's winless streak to 16 games (0-14-2) and dropped the Irish to 5-24-6 on the year, 3-19-4 in CCHA play. The victory kept Michigan State's hopes for home-ice in the first round of the CCHA playoffs alive. The Spartans are now 16-15-4 overall and 11-13-3 in league play and are now tied for sixth with Miami for the final home playoff spot.
This one started different from Notre Dame's other games in the 16-game winless streak as the Irish built a 2-0 lead after two periods.
After a scoreless first period, Notre Dame scored twice in a 2:32 span. Chris Trick got the Irish on the board first at 7:03 of the second period off a face off. Matt Amado won a draw to the left of MSU goaltender Dominic Vicari. Cory McLean fed it to Trick at the left point. The junior defenseman fired a low wrister through a maze of players that eluded Vicari for Trick's third goal of the year.
Trick's goal marked just the second time since Jan. 15th (13 games) that the Irish scored first in a game.
The lead would go to 2-0 at 9:35 on a play started and finished by Tim Wallace. The junior center blocked a Michigan State shot at the Notre Dame blue line where Victor Oreskovich scooped it up and carried into the Spartans' zone. As he crossed the blue line he slid the puck to Wallace who ripped a wrist shot from the high slot past Vicari for his fourth goal of the season.
Wallace, who equaled a Notre Dame record by playing in his 114th consecutive game, gave the Irish their first two-goal lead since Nov. 13 at Western Michigan where they also jumped out to a 2-0 lead in a 3-2 win.
Michigan State came back in the third period, taking advantage of three Irish penalties to tie the game at 2-2.
After the Irish killed the first penalty of the period, Drew Miller took advantage of the second by scoring on the power play at 3:29. Slater started the play by getting the puck into the right wing corner where Miller picked it up. The sophomore left wing carried the puck along the goal line and stuffed it under David Brown for his 17th goal of the year.
The third Irish penalty led to the Spartans' second power-play goal. Slater took a shot from in close that David Brown stopped. The rebound bounced to Jim McKenzie who beat Brown from the bottom of the left wing circle at 9:22 for his ninth of the season.
The winner came at 11:39 of the period after a 23-minute delay while a pane of broken glass was being fixed at Munn Arena.
Less than two minutes after the return to play, Slater picked up the game-winning goal when he took a feed from Tommy Goebel near the top of the left wing circle, cut to the middle and fired a wrist shot past Brown for his 14th goal of the year.
The Irish pulled Brown with 1:08 and had two good chances with the sixth attacker, but Vicari held Notre Dame off the scoreboard for the 3-2 win.
In the game, Michigan State out shot Notre Dame by a 29-19 margin. Brown finished with 26 saves while Vicari had 17 stops for the Spartans.
The Irish close out the 2004-05 regular season on Saturday night at the Joyce Center versus Michigan State on Senior Night. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Notre Dame will honor its graduating class of 2005 - seniors Morgan Cey, Cory McLean and Joe Zurenko. The game will be televised by Comcast Local from Detroit and can be seen in locally on Comcast Cable channel 3 in the South Bend area.
The newest member of the Notre Dame hockey family joined the team at 3:45 p.m. on Friday afternoon as assistant coach Andy Slaggert and his wife, Tara, welcomed Carter James, their third son into the world.
He now completes the Slaggert's first line as Carter joins brothers Graham (5) and Landon (2) in the Irish hockey family. Congratulations Andy and Tara!!!
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F