Nov. 22, 2009
Ft. Wayne, Ind. - For the first time this season, the Notre Dame hockey team put four goals on the scoreboard and road a stifling defense and solid goaltending from Brad Phillips on the way to a 4-1 win over the sixth-ranked Michigan State Spartans on Sunday afternoon in front of 3,572 at the Allen Country War Memorial Coliseum.
Single goals by Calle Ridderwall, Kyle Palmieri, Riley Sheahan and Kevin Deeth led the Notre Dame attack while Phillips stopped 27-of-28 shots in the win. For Phillips, the win snapped a three-game winless streak (0-1-2) and was his first win since beating Boston University on Oct. 30. Sophomore Daultan Leveille had the lone goal for the Spartans while goaltender Drew Palmisano kicked out 12 shots in the Michigan State goal.
The win snapped a four-game Irish winless streak (0-2-2) and improved Notre Dame to 6-5-3 overall and 3-2-3-2 in CCHA play, good for 14 points in the standings. The Spartans' loss snapped an eight-game winning streak and dropped Michigan State to 9-3-2 overall and 6-2-2-0 in conference play for 20 points.
"It was a week ago against Northern Michigan that I thought I saw something turning in our team. We were a little bit more aggressive, a little bit more physical and we were getting to the net a little better," said head coach Jeff Jackson.
"I thought Thursday night, we only had one goal, but I saw it again for 40 minutes. Tonight we were real solid defensively and took advantage of some mistakes. We looked better in transition which is what we were hoping for eventually."
The Irish got on the scoreboard first, scoring a goal in transition as Ridderwall blistered a shot from the left circle, beating Palmisano over his glove hand at 4:24 of the opening stanza.
Sophomore Billy Maday forced a turnover in the neutral zone and moved the puck ahead to Deeth at the Michigan State blue line. Deeth carried into the Spartan zone and dropped a pass for Ridderwall picked up his seventh goal of the season.
Notre Dame would make it 2-0 at 13:22 of the first period, taking advantage of a nice bounce off the back boards that led to Palmieri getting his second goal in as many games and his fourth of the year.
Defenseman Ian Cole's shot from the left point went off Ben Ryan in front of the Michigan State goal and pinballed off the back boards, eluding a Michigan State defender, before ending up on Palmieri's stick. The freshman right wing whipped a shot past Palmisano for a 2-0 Irish lead.
The Spartans answered just 38 seconds later as Leveille collected his third goal of the season at 14:00. Defenseman Zach Josepher moved the puck from the left point to Leveille in the left circle. The sophomore center fired a shot that appeared to deflect over Phillips right shoulder and under the cross bar to make it 2-1.
Throughout the game, the Irish defense was stifling as they limited Michigan State's quality scoring chances by clogging the middle and taking away passing lanes. Phillips kept the Spartans off the scoreboard the rest of the way, finishing with 17 saves over the final two periods.
The Irish got the lone goal of the second period with Sheahan blasting a shot from the high slot off Palmisano's blocker for his third goal of the year at 8:23 of the stanza.
Ridderwall fired a shot from the left side that was stopped by Palmisano. Defenseman Kyle Lawson was able to grab the rebound in the right circle and moved it in the slot to Sheahan who made it a 3-1 game with his blast.
The score would stay 3-1 until the final minute of play. Michigan State pulled its goaltender in favor of an extra attacker and the Irish were able to break up a rush with Deeth scoring into an empty net for his first goal since Jan. 17, 2009, snapping a 29-game goal-less drought.
Michigan State out shot the Irish, 28-16, in the game. The Spartans were 0-for-4 on the power play while the Irish were 0-for-3.
The Irish return to action next weekend at home with a pair of games versus Bowling Green on Nov. 27-28. The Friday game starts at 7:35 p.m. with Saturday's contest being played at 7:05 p.m.
** IRISH NOTES **
* Notre Dame is now 2-1 all-time at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
* The Irish were shutout on the power play in both games of the Michigan State series, the first time the team has gone two games without a power-play goal.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F #6/#6 Michigan State (9-3-2/6-2-2-0) 1 0 0 - 1 #14/#14 Notre Dame (6-5-3/3-2-3-2) 2 1 1 - 4Scoring
Penalties: MSU: 1 for 2 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Penalties: MSU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 3 for 6 minutes.
Third Period: ND: Deeth 1 (Maday, Lawson), ENG, 19:05.
Penalties: MSU: 0 for 0 minutes; ND: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal: Michigan State 11 - 7 - 10 - 28 Notre Dame 6 - 4 - 6 - 16