MSU was off to a strong start, scoring twice in the first two minutes of the game. Tanner Kelly scored his first goal of the season early on, and that was immediately followed by Dennis Cesana who scored off of a faceoff. Cesana has been the Big Ten’s top scoring defenseman since 2019.
The Spartans were quiet after that, but ended the first period with a 2-0 lead. Notre Dame had a strong second period, scoring twice. Spencer Stastney gave the Fighting Irish all of their offense in the second period.
Midway through the period, Christian Krygier was called for a questionable slew-footing penalty, which is a five-minute major and ended up resulting in a swing in momentum. Michigan State may have been lucky to end the period with a tie, as Notre Dame has outscored opponents 23-7 in the second period this year.
The Fighting Irish’s momentum would continue into the third period, as Notre Dame senior defenseman Nick Leivermann continued his point streak, getting it up to seven consecutive games, and giving Notre Dame a 3-2 lead.
The physical domination that the Spartans showed in the first period appeared to evaporate for the rest of the game, as the Fighting Irish were more physical and outplayed MSU. While the controversial slew-foot penalty in the second period seemed to have turned momentum in Notre Dame’s favor, ultimately the Spartans were unable to create chances late in the game.
Sophomore goaltender Pierce Charleson stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced. Opposing goaltender Matthew Galajda stopped 22 of the 24 shots he faced. It wasn’t enough chances, nor enough goals to take down No. 8 Notre Dame.
The Spartans will take on Notre Dame again on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Coverage will be on NBC Sports Network.