Dec. 7, 2012
Notre Dame, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame got an even-strength goal from Nick Larson and power-play goals from Mario Lucia and T.J.Tynan to lead the Irish to a 3-2 win over Michigan State on Friday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
After getting just seven power-play goals in the first 13 games of the season, Notre Dame now has six in the last three contests. Brent Darnell scored both goals for Michigan State, including a power-play goal of his own. The Irish out shot the Spartans, 39-24, in the win. Steven Summerhays made 22 saves in picking up his 10th win of the year. Jake Hildebrand had 36 stops for Michigan State.
The win was the fourth straight for Notre Dame and the sixth straight CCHA win as the No. 4/No. 5 Irish improved to 12-4-0 overall and 8-1-0-0 in the conference. Michigan State falls to 4-9-2 on the year and 3-7-1-0 in CCHA play.
"It's great to be able to get the shots and score that first goal at home," said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
"It's such an advantage when we can get that energy. The opponent is trying to play a great road period and we have to play a great home period. That means getting scoring chances and getting pucks to the net and score. We did that again tonight. It takes the pressure off.
Notre Dame got on the scoreboard first, something that usually means good things for the Irish as they improve to 11-0-0- when scoring the first goal of the game.
Larson staked Notre Dame to a 1-0 lead at 10:50 of the first period when he rifled a one-timer from the slot past Hildebrand for his second goal of the season. Austin Wuthrich set the play up as he picked up an errant Spartan clearing attempt along the left boards and found Larson all alone in the slot for the scoring chance.
"That line (with David Gerths and Nick Larson) has been really good for us this year," said Jackson.
"I've changed the right winger and tonight it was Austin Wuthrich who played a good game. It was nice to see Nick (Larson) get that goal. They were rewarded for all the hard work they put in."
The Spartans got the equalizer at 2:43 of the second when Darnell scored from in front of the goal as Michigan State converted a Notre Dame turnover behind the net. Matt Berry came up with the loose biscuit and slid it in front as Darnell stuffed it past Summerhays for his fourth of the season.
The Irish power play began to percolate off a major penalty to Anders Lee at 6:13 of the second. While the Irish were killing that penalty, the Spartans took a pair of minors that actually gave Notre Dame a four-on-three man advantage at 9:31 of the stanza.
It took just 22 seconds for the Irish to score and it came off a pretty passing play from Tynan to Lucia. Robbie Russo moved the puck from the center point to Tynan in the left circle. The junior center zipped a pass across the slot to Lucia who was camped on the doorstep. The freshman left wing just redirected the pass behind Hildebrand to make it 2-1. For Lucia, it was his fifth goal in seven games since returning to the lineup.
"That was a huge penalty kill for the most part and we ended up getting the power play out of it," said Jackson.
"We got a goal and it certainly changed the momentum of the game."
Tynan closed the period with a power-play goal of his own at 17:48 as Lucia returned the favor with a great pass from the left side of the goal to Tynan on the right. Mike Voran moved the puck to Lucia from behind the net to the left side. With defenseman converging on him, he threaded the needle with a pass across the slot that Tynan banged home for his fourth goal of the season to give Notre Dame a 3-1 advantage.
"That was one of the better passes that I have gotten," said Tynan.
"I don't know how it got through, but I'm happy that it did. I didn't want to miss it because I would have heard about it from the boys for a long time. I was just worried about putting it in."
Michigan State wasn't done as they took advantage of a Notre Dame penalty in the third period to cut the lead to 3-2 at 5:07.
Darnell did the damage for the second time as he took a feed from Kevin Walrod in the high slot and whipped a shot past Summerhays for his fifth goal of the season to cut the Irish lead to one.
From there, the Irish defense took over as they limited Michigan State to just five more shots the remainder of the way for the 3-2 win.
Notre Dame finished the night, 2-for-5 on the power play while Michigan State was 1-for-5.
The two teams will close out the series in a 7:05 p.m. game on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Compton Family Ice Arena. The game will be televised by Comcast and can be seen in the Michiana area on South Bend Comcast Channel 3.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F Michigan State (4-9-2/3-7-1-0) 0 1 1 - 2 #4/#5 Notre Dame (12-4-0/8-1-0-0) 1 2 0 - 3Scoring
Penalties: MSU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 1 for 2 minutes.
Penalties: MSU: 3 for 6 minutes; ND: 3 for 17 minutes.
Third Period: MSU: Darnell 5 (Kevin Walrod, Travis Walsh), PPG, 5:07.
Penalties: MSU: 2 for 4 minutes; ND: 3 for 6 minutes.
Shots On Goal: Michigan State 7 - 11 - 6 - 24 Notre Dame 17 - 9 - 13 - 39