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Michigan State Hockey: Mitchell Lewandowski comes up big, Spartans take split against No. 8 Notre Dame

Senior goaltender Drew DeRidder caps his third shutout of the season.

Michigan State v Massachusetts-Lowell Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

The Michigan State Spartans are 9-3-1 when senior forward Mitchell Lewandowski is in the lineup. The team is 1-4 when he’s out of the lineup. The good news Saturday night was that he was in the lineup.

After blowing an early 2-0 lead in Friday night’s game versus No. 8 Notre Dame, the Spartans held their own in game two. In fact, it was scoreless all night.

Senior goaltender Drew DeRidder was back in net on Saturday after getting a night off. He made 30 saves despite MSU being outshot 30-24. His performance this season has been impressive, as he made 88 saves combined in both games against Wisconsin this year. Fellow goaltender, sophomore Pierce Charleson, was named Big Ten Third Star of the Week for his performance against Penn State.

Michigan State has been no stranger to great goaltending this season. It was DeRidder’s third shutout of the season.

Scoring 33 seconds into overtime was Lewandowski, who had his 11-game point streak snapped in the loss Friday night.

Winning against No. 8 Notre Dame is huge since it means the Spartans will likely be ranked Monday when the new USCHO top-20 is released. Michigan State is No. 18 in the new college hockey PairWise rankings, which aims to emulate the formula that the NCAA uses when deciding the tournament bracket in the postseason.

The last time that Michigan State was in the NCAA Tournament was in 2012. MSU last made a Frozen Four appearance when the Spartans won the program’s third title in 2007 against Boston College.

Michigan State is idle until the Great Lakes Invitational, which was moved out of Detroit this year, opting for a showcase format. Instead, MSU will play at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing while Michigan will play at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.

The Spartans will take on No. 4 Western Michigan on Dec. 29, while Michigan Tech will play No. 3 Michigan. On Dec. 30, both teams will flip, sending Western Michigan to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan, and Michigan Tech to East Lansing to play Michigan State. All four games will stream live on B1G+.

Michigan State and Michigan will play the annual “Duel In the D” at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan on Feb. 12.