Oct. 31, 1997
#2 Michigan State Hockey Surges Past Notre Dame, 5-1
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Senior defenseman Tyler Harlton and freshman left wing Damon Whitten netted timely first goals of the season in the second period and #2-ranked Michigan State then rode its veteran defense in the third period while picking up two more goals, as the visiting Spartans defeated Notre Dame 5-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association action Friday before a soldout (2,667) Joyce Center Fieldhouse.
Notre Dame (3-2-0, 0-1-0 CCHA) dropped its conference opener despite tying the game midway through the second period on a power-play, tip-in goal by sophomore center Ben Simon. The Irish again proved tough in penalty-killing, stopping all eight MSU man-up situations, but the Spartans converted repeatedly on even-strength opportunities.
Michigan State (6-0-2, 4-0-1 CCHA) has matched the program's longest season-opening unbeaten streak and next will play host to the Irish on Saturday night (8:15 p.m.). The Spartans extended their unbeaten streak against Notre Dame to 17 matches (14-0-3).
MSU struck first, at the 6:58 mark of the first period, when junior left wing Bryan Adams capitalized on a giveaway in the Irish end and converted an unassisted goal, extending his scoring streak to seven games.
Simon tied the game at the 7:22 mark of the second period, tipping home a shot from the left circle by junior right wing Brian Urick. Simon has recorded a point in each of Notre Dame's five games this season.
Harlton--the 1996-97 CCHA defenseman of the year--helped MSU regain the lead on a shot from the left point that sailed over the glove side of Irish senior goaltender Matt Eisler (13:20). Whitten then scored less than three minutes later, one of three goals in which the MSU freshman forward line of Whitten, center Andrew Bogle and right wing John Nail were on the ice.
MSU freshman right wing Rustyn Dolyny struck early in the third period (2:05), assisted by Adams and junior center Mike York, who extended his point-scoring streak to 11 games. Nail capped the scoring with his own first goal of the season (10:25), slapping home a loose puck from the top of the right circle.
MSU allowed just two Irish shots on goal in the first period, marking the fifth time in eight games the Spartans have held an opponent to five shots or fewer in the first period. MSU has yet to allow a first-period goal this season.
Spartans senior goaltender Chad Alban made 24 saves and helped MSU stop six of seven Irish power-play chances. Alban also became the fifth MSU goalie ever to appear in 100 career games.
Eisler gave way to sophomore Forrest Karr after Nail's goal gave the Spartans a four-goal cushion. Eisler had allowed just eight goals in Notre Dame's previous four games.
MICHIGAN STATE (6-0-2, 4-0-1) 1 2 2 - 5
NOTRE DAME (3-2-0, 0-1-0) 0 1 0 - 1
1ST: MSU 1. Adams 3 (unassisted) 6:58.
2ND: ND 1. Simon 4 (Urick, Cotnoir) PP 7:22;
MSU 2. Harlton 1 (Bogle) 13:20; MSU 3. Whitten 1 (Nail, Bogas).
3RD: MSU 4. Dolyny 3 (Adams, York) 2:05; MSU 5. Nail 1 (Bogle).
SHOTS: MSU 35, ND 25.
SAVES: MSU 24 (Alban), ND 30 (Eisler 28, Karr 2)
POWER PLAY: MSU 0-8, ND 1-7
PENALTIES: MSU 8-for-16, ND 9-for-18
Notre Dame Coach Dave Poulin: "We got beat by a good Michigan State hockey team tonight. Their goals were not scored by their big scorers, instead they were scored by some first-time scores. Their workers beat our workers to the goal and that made the difference in the game. ... The one major element that killed us tonight was penalties. Even though we killed eight penalties, we didn't make some smart decisions that led to some big penalties. ... We had some good chances to score at the beginning of the second period but we couldn't capitalize on it. Ben Simon had a good shot on goal but Alban made an incredible save. Michigan State is a hard team to score on. ... Coming into the CCHA season, our expectations were very high--especially after those two wins at St. Cloud. Surprising as it seems, we were in the game after two periods. We have to get over this fear of coming back after we get down a goal or two."
MSU Head Coach Ron Mason (on Harlton's goal): "That shows how good he can be. He's great defensively, but he got the goal when we needed it."
MSU Senior Defenseman Tyler Harlton: "We really didn't play as consistently tonight as we would have liked. I think the freshman line did a good job of picking the team up and getting the timely goal."
MSU freshman right wing John Nail: "We have come to play every game and tonight we were fortunate enough to help the team win. Now, especially, we are getting to know each other more and things are working well.
MSU senior goaltender Chad Alban: "I felt good tonight. We had a lead and I knew I was going to have to make some saves. I feel really good and confident and the pucks are hitting me."