Spartans Fall to No. 4 Notre Dame, 2-0
Michigan State will be back in action this weekend against Michigan.
EAST LANSING - The Michigan State hockey team dropped its second of a two-game series with No. 4 Notre Dame, 2-0, on Saturday in front of a crowd of 5,698 at Munn Ice Arena. A goal by Notre Dame's Andrew Oglevie 1:30 into the first period stood as the difference maker, while Notre Dame goaltender Cale Morris finished with 23 saves.
"I thought the guys battled extremely hard," MSU head coach Danton Cole said. "It's a tough team to get through. We're not the first team they've shut out in the last three weeks. We're certainly not satisfied, but I don't think we could have asked much more out of our guys as hard as they worked tonight and how hard they battled. We'll continue to get better."
A tight defensive game didn't allow for many scoring chances either way. MSU goaltender John Lethemon made a handful of saves on Notre Dame shots from point blank range, including one on a Fighting Irish power play in the final two minutes of the second period.
The Spartans' best two chances of the first 40 minutes came off extended possessions in the Notre Dame zone. In the final three minutes of the first period, Taro Hirose had a quality chance from the slot, but missed high, and seconds later Jerad Rosburg had a drive from the right point, but the puck just missed the net on the far side.
A good defensive play in the MSU zone by Brennan Sanford produced a 2-on-1 in the opening minutes of the third period, but Notre Dame (14-3-1, 8-0) defenseman Bobby Nardella played the Spartans' attack perfectly, blocking Gianluca Esteves' shot.
The Spartans (7-8-1, 1-6-1-1) pulled Lethemon for the extra attacker in the final two minutes, but weren't able to find the tying goal. Cal Burke got an empty-net goal with 14 seconds to play to seal the win for Notre Dame.
"It thought we did some things better tonight than we did last night and some things better this weekend than last weekend," Cole said. "We just have to keep improving and I think we've shown we can hang in there with some of the better teams in the country. We have to keep going so we can get over the hump and get some wins over them."
Michigan State will meet Michigan this coming week in a home-and-home series. The two teams will square off in Ann Arbor on Thursday and then at Munn on Friday at 7:05 p.m.