Monday, November 28, 2022

Preview: MSU hockey kicks off Big Ten play in series versus Notre Dame

October 27, 2022
<p>Spartans celebrate a goal during a game of hockey between MSU and Long Island University at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing on Oct. 21, 2022. The Spartans won, 3-1.</p>

Spartans celebrate a goal during a game of hockey between MSU and Long Island University at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing on Oct. 21, 2022. The Spartans won, 3-1.

Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Michigan State hockey hits the road this weekend for its first Big Ten series of the season versus No. 12 Notre Dame. 

The Spartans swept Long Island University over the weekend moving to 4-2-0 overall. After defeating the Sharks 3-1 on Friday, MSU finished the series on Saturday with a 8-4 victory. This was the first time since 2013 Michigan State scored eight goals in a single game.

“Sweeping in college hockey is not easy,” Michigan State Head Coach Adam Nightingale said. “I really liked the way we played on Friday … Then on Saturday, it was good to see some of the guys get rewarded with the puck going in the back of the net.”

MSU racked up 50 shots during Saturday’s game, while six different players scored goals during the series.

“We’re putting up a lot of shots this year, especially compared to last year, and it’s good to see that,” junior forward Jeremy Davidson said. “Hopefully we can build on that throughout Big Ten play.”

Among the stars of the weekend was senior forward Jagger Joshua who had an assist Friday night and netted a hat trick Saturday night. Joshua was named the Big Ten Third Star of the week for his performance against LIU. 

Freshman forward Karsen Dorwart also had a strong outting versus the Sharks with a goal and four assists. 

The series will be a sort of homecoming for graduate goalie Dylan St. Cyr, who spent the first four years of his collegiate hockey career at Notre Dame. St. Cyr ranks seventh in the Big Ten in save percentage (.910) and fourth in GAA (2.03).

In his time with the Fighting Irish, St. Cyr earned a .923 save percentage and 2.44 GAA.

“I think it will be really fun to go back and obviously see some old friends and coaches, but obviously there’s still work to be done on the weekend,” St. Cyr said. “(It’s) two big games for us as a team to see where we’re at and benchmark for our first Big Ten game.”

Scouting the opponent

Notre Dame (3-2-1) is coming off a home-and-home series versus Western Michigan, where it split victories with the Broncos, winning the first game 2-0 and falling 4-0 in the second.

The Fighting Irish are 17-184 in goal-shot attempts with a .092 shot percentage so far this season. Meanwhile, the Spartans sit at 20-226 goals-shots with a shot percentage of .088.

Offensively, junior forward Ryder Rolston leads Notre Dame with six points from three goals and three assists. Rolston, a Traverse City native, also leads the team with 28 shots.

In addition to Rolston, the Spartans will also have to look out for senior forward Trevor Janicke, graduate forward Chayse Primeau and junior defenseman Drew Bavaro, who all hold five points, respectively, so far this season. 

As for power plays, Notre Dame is 5-23 with a .217 conversion percentage, while MSU is 6-29 and .207. 

“I think Michigan State and Notre Dame usually have a pretty good defensive battle,” St. Cyr said. “We want to go in there with high hopes and the same offensive power (as last weekend), but I think we’ll be facing a lot better defense and goaltending.”

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday in South Bend. Both games will be streamed on Peacock.

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