SOUTH BEND, Ind. – In their third meeting of the season, the Spartans and Fighting Irish proved to be another even matchup as the opponents came out the gate fighting for control of the puck.
Both sides saw a couple promising looks in the first 30 minutes, but they remained scoreless until 16:12 of the second period when Notre Dame junior forward Grant Silianoff snuck one in front of the net off a rebound from senior forward Trevor Janicke.
It was the only goal of the game as Notre Dame shut out Michigan State 1-0.
MSU had a solid start offensively, dominating in the first ten minutes of play and outshooting Notre Dame in the first period 10-9. In the same amount of time, the Irish held a slim edge of 13-12 on faceoffs.
The lone penalty of the first period came when senior forward Jagger Joshua was whistled for interference with 5:48 left, handing the Irish the first power play of the night.
It was the battle of the goalies, as former teammates and old friends, graduate student goaltender Dylan St. Cyr and Notre Dame senior goaltender Ryan Bischel faced off in opposing nets. At the end of the night, St. Cyr made 20 saves against his alma mater, while Bischel stopped 36 shots and remained perfect on the night.
One of the better chances of the second period came from graduate student forward and captain Miroslav Mucha, who had a potential wrap-around on his hands, but failed to finish it.
The second period was rather quiet until Silianoff’s goal. With 9:15 to go, MSU produced six shots to Notre Dame’s five. After forty minutes, graduate student defenseman Christian Krygier led the Spartans in shots with four. Junior defenseman Drew Bavaro put up the same number for the Irish.
Sophomore forward Tanner Kelly and freshman forward Tiernan Shoudy made a couple good chances for the Spartans early in the third period, but were still unable to find the back of the net. MSU had another opportunity when Krygier fired a shot, but it was deflected off the crossbar.
Kelly got into a scuffle with graduate student defenseman Chase Blackmun with 15:01 remaining in the game, landing the pair in the penalty box for two minutes and forcing both teams to play four-on four.
At 9:48 into the third period, sophomore defenseman Jake Boltmann was caught roughing and sent to the penalty box on a minor. The infraction gave MSU its first power play opportunity of the night, but Notre Dame successfully killed it off as the Spartans were only able to get two shots off.
Notre Dame pressured St. Cyr at the end of the third, but he remained perfect on the period. The Spartans received their second power play of the night when senior forward Jesse Lansdell sat on a tripping minor.
Freshman forward Daniel Russell gave MSU its closest chance of the period when he hit the crossbar. It was reviewed to ensure the puck did not cross the goal line, but the original call of no goal stood.
MSU pulled St. Cyr with just under two minutes to play, but an extra skater did not help the Spartans find an equalizer.
Michigan State swept Notre Dame at home last month, but the shutout loss brings them to 2-2-1 against the Irish. A Notre Dame victory tomorrow would send the Spartans back to East Lansing and end their season.
Puck drop for the second game in the series is set for Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Spartan and Fighting Irish fans alike can catch the action on FS2.