The University of Notre Dame ran its current winning streak to five games as the Irish got goals from all four lines on the way to a 5-1 win over Michigan State on Saturday night in front of 4,712 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.
The win, coupled with a 1-0 Miami loss to Lake Superior State moves Notre Dame into first place in the CCHA. The Irish are now 13-4-0 overall and 9-1-0-0 in the conference, good for 27 points and move two points ahead of the RedHawks for the conference's top spot. They also have won seven straight CCHA games dating back to Nov. 4.
Michigan State dropped its fifth in a row and is now winless in its last six. The Spartans are 4-10-2 overall and 3-8-1-0 in the CCHA.
"I thought Michigan State had more energy than us in the early part of the game," said Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson.
"I think last night (Friday) took a lot out of both teams. It was an emotional game. It's always that way on Saturday night, it's a different game because they (the players) expend so much energy on Friday and there isn't quite as much left on Saturday."
For the 12th time this season, Notre Dame scored first in the game and it came late in the first period with Lee getting his team-high 11th goal of the year at 19:52. Right wing Bryan Rust picked up a loose puck on the right wing boards and swooped in on Spartans' goaltender Will Yanakeff. As he drove the goal, he slid a pass in front to Lee who knocked it out of the air and tucked it inside the left post to give the Irish a 1-0 lead. Notre Dame is now 12-0-0 on the year when getting the first goal of the game.
"Scoring that first goal has been huge for us this season," said Lee, Notre Dame's junior captain.
"There are pretty good stats that show things go well for us when we score first, especially late in the period like that. It's a big momentum killer for them. It got us going and we put it on them in the second period."
Notre Dame would add two more in the second to take a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes. Voran got the eventual game winner at 13:50 of the middle stanza when he took a feed from defenseman Sam Calabrese on the left post and flipped it past Yanakeff for his third goal of the season.
"I thought that when we scored that second goal, we came to life," said Jackson.
Fogarty, a freshman center, scored less than a minute-and-a-half later at 15:31 when he took a pass from linemate Peter Schneider and broke in on a 2-on-1 with DiPauli. Fogarty fired a wrist shot from between the hash marks that beat Yanakeff through his pads for his fourth goal of the season to give Notre Dame the 3-0 lead.
The Irish would build the lead to 5-0 in the third period with a pair of goals. Defenseman Robbie Russo set Gerths up for his third goal of the season to make it 4-0 at 8:16. Summerhays picked up an assist on the play, his second of the season.
DiPauli then closed out the Notre Dame side of the scoresheet at 12:30 when he took a Tynan pass from the left boards and whipped a one-timer from the slot past Yanakeff for his third goal of the season to make it 5-0.
According to Jackson, getting goals from all four lines is a big reason for Notre Dame's early-season success.
"The years that we have had success here have been when we've had depth," said Jackson.
"That's important to get those contributions from others. There are nights when T.J. Tynan isn't going to score or Anders Lee isn't going to score. So, if you get contributions from David Gerths or Steven Fogarty or whoever, it's a bonus for us."
The Spartans would break through on Summerhays at 17:22 when Berry beat the Notre Dame netminder on a wrap-around goal for his eighth of the season. The play started in the Michigan State zone with Matt DeBlouw winning a face off in the left circle. Jake Chelios fired the puck down the left wing boards with Berry taking in in the neutral zone. He carried down the left side and went behind the net before moving in front and tucking it between Summerhays' pads for the final score of 5-1.
On the night, the Irish were out shot, 30-23, just the fourth time this season that Notre Dame had less shots than the opposition. Summerhays, who picked up his 11th win of the season, finished the night with 29 saves. Yanakeff had 18 stops in the loss.
"Steven (Summerhays) really played well tonight when he had to while we were sleep walking for a while. He did what he had to do for a majority of the game," said Jackson.
The Irish saw their streak of three straight games with two power-play goals come to an end as both teams were 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notre Dame now breaks for finals next week and will close out the first half of the season in a 7:05 p.m. game on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Bowling Green.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F
Michigan State (4-10-2/3-8-1-0) 0 0 1 - 1
#4/#5 Notre Dame (13-4-0/9-1-0-0) 1 2 2 - 5