On a packed Saturday night with a crowd of over 5,500 fans, No. 4-ranked Notre Dame defeated the Spartans 2-0 as MSU fell to 7-8-1 on the season. This was the first shutout loss for the Spartans the entire season thus far.
Notre Dame scored their first goal within the first 2 minutes and completely shutout the Spartans the rest of the way. Through three strong defensive periods from both sides, the Fighting Irish outshot the Spartans 29-23.
It was an extremely tough playoff type hockey game for the players tonight as this is not the first time the Irish have shutout an opponent, according to head coach Danton Cole.
“Certainly not satisfied, but I don’t think I could have asked more from these group of guys tonight as we’ll continue to battle through the trenches,” Cole said. “I thought we did stuff better tonight than we did last night and I think we did stuff better this weekend than we did last weekend.”
Freshman star Tommy Apap was off to a hot start in the beginning went down with an injury tonight and is expected to be out for quite a while, according to Cole.
“We battled hard tonight and it was a great team effort, but we just fell a little short with the results we wanted,” said senior defender Carson Gatt. “With respect to Notre Dame and respect to us, I thought we really did get are forecheck going tonight and when you’re going up against the number four ranked team in the country for 60 minutes, there’s a lot positives that we can take out of tonight.”
The important part is to get through the process and maturity of these type of games that we can learn from. The coaching staff will have to have patience, comeback on Monday and get set for next week’s rivalry game, according to Cole.
Sophomore goalie John Lethemon finished the game with 27 saves.
“His mindset is very similar to the teams about that there is going to be some bumps in the road and nothing is a straight line up hill.” said Cole. “However, it's not, it’s ugly, it’s a jaggedge, but that’s the mentality of the team so far. They’re disappointed and ticked off and I’m happy that they are not happy because they really felt like they could have gotten something out of this weekend with these close games.”
The Spartans will head to Ann Arbor and then back home to face rival Michigan on another back to back game week.
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