Spartans Surge Past Irish, 3-1
EAST LANSING, Mich.- Freshman right wing Rustyn Dolyny scored with 3:43 remaining and senior center Sean Barnes added an empty netter in the closing seconds as #4 Michigan State defeated visiting Notre Dame, 3-1, to win the Central Collegiate Hockey Association season series Saturday in front of the 200th consectutive sellout (6,457) at Munn Ice Arena.
Notre Dame (6-3-0, 2-2-0, CCHA) failed to equal its best conference start in 18 years of conference play. Michigan State (7-1-2, 5-1-1) owned a 35-15 shot advantage, including a commanding 17-2 edge in the decisive third period.
The Irish were coming off a hard fought 2-1 win at home over Bowling Green on Friday night while the Spartans had not played since suffering a 6-1 loss to Notre Dame on Nov. 1.
Dolyny made the most out of a scramble in front of Irish senior goaltender Matt Eisler. Shawn Horcoff initiated the goal with a dump shot on goal from mid-ice. Eisler was unable to handle the rebound and saved the ensuing shot from Damon Whitten. But Dolyny gathered in the second rebound between the circles and quickly sent a shot just below the crossbar for the game-winner (16:17).
Eisler continued his stellar play, making 33 saves. During the last three games, the veteran netminder had totaled 85 saves while allowing just four goals.
The Irish forged a 1-1 tie in the first period, just as a hooking penalty on Andrew Bogle was expiring. Joe Dusbabek and Matt Van Arkel worked the puck into the slot for senior Lyle Andusiak, who quickly wristed a high shot past Chad Alban into the right side of the net (17:55).
MSU jumped ahead wioth a power play four minutes into the game. Berens whistled a shot from between the circles that sailed wide of the right post. The puck banged off the back boards and ended up on the right side of the crease, where Horcoff flicked a shot past Eisler into the upper right side of the net.
The Spartans owned a 10-1 shot advantage for the first period but failed to pad their lead.Irish sophomore center Ben Simon was whistled for a hooking penalty 13 minutes into the third period and Eisler lost his stick midway through the ensuing penalty but seconds later was able to take the stick of fellow defensemen Tyson fraser before eventually regaining his own stick, as the Irish were able to fight off the penalty.
The Irish picked things up defensively in the second period, holding MSU without a shot for the first 14 minutes of the period. Eisler then made four saves during a frantic 4-on-4 situation in the final two minutes of the second period, with the Irish holding a 6-5 shot advantage in the quickly-moving period.
NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH DAVE POULIN: "We battled very hard and are encouraged by what we saw tonight. We played one of the top teams in the country to a 1-1 game into the final minutes--for the season series. ... Michigan State has been sitting here waiting for us since we beat them (6-1) last Saturday. We played a tough game last night and travelled here today. We were proud of the effort. ... Lyle (Andrusiak) has been a good player for us all year. His goal basically was a power-play goal. ... On the winning goal, the puck took a bad bounce away from Matt Eisler and sneaked under the bar. We'll get those breaks this season."
SUMMARY NOTRE DAME (5-3-0, 2-2-0 CCHA) 1 0 0 - 0 MICHIGAN STATE (7-1-2, 5-1-1 CCHA) 1 0 0 - 3