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Michigan State men’s ice hockey takes win-tie split with Notre Dame

After a 5-0 loss Friday night, MSU took a tie on Saturday.

Marvin Hall/The Only Colors

Michigan State men’s ice hockey took a win-tie split against No. 12 Notre Dame this past weekend. The Fighting Irish started the weekend off strong with a huge 5-0 victory, proving to be faster and quicker than MSU in every facet.

Michigan State rebounded with a hard-fought tie and shootout victory on Saturday. While MSU technically got the shootout “win,” the game officially goes down as a tie. That brings the Spartans’ Big Ten points total to two, behind Notre Dame’s three points.

Friday: 5-0 loss

Michigan State took a 5-0 loss in the first game on Friday night. Right away, it was apparent that Notre Dame was the stronger, faster team. Most notably, the Spartans looked like last year’s Michigan State team, which was a stark contrast to the MSU team that we’ve seen so far during the early parts if the 2022-2023 campaign.

Notre Dame’s Justin Janicke, Ryder Rolston, Nick Leivermann, Chayse Primeau and Hunter Strand scored all five goals for the Fighting Irish. Both Janicke and Rolston scored on odd-man rushes while transitioning up the ice.

On the Irish’s first goal, Michigan State graduate forward Miroslav Mucha lost his stick, effectively turning a 3-on-2 into a 3-on-1. Janicke took a pass from Rolston and found the back of the net.

Minutes later, Rolston found some speed and beat MSU sophomore defenseman David Gucciardi to put Notre Dame up 2-0. The Irish scored a third goal when Nick Leivermann put a wrist-shot past MSU goaltender Dylan St. Cyr from the top of the left circle.

Not much went right for the Spartans in this one. Sophomore forward Jesse Tucker had a few looks, but nothing comes to mind regarding quality scoring opportunities. The only real silver-lining that comes from this game is the team’s penalty kill, which was perfect all night. MSU even killed off a five-minute major penalty when senior forward Jagger Joshua was sent off for contact to the head.

Just after the Spartans killed off Joshua’s five-minute major penalty, MSU was caught watching the puck. Strand got ahold of it and sent it to the back of the net, putting Notre Dame up 5-0.

Saturday: 1-1 Tie

Saturday’s contest resulted in a 1-1 tie, but MSU received an extra point for winning the shootout on goals from freshman Karsen Dorwart and sophomore Tanner Kelly. St. Cyr tied a season-high 39 saves in addition to the two saves he made in the shootout.

In the first period, Joshua gave MSU a 1-0 lead after taking advantage of a rebound on a shot from Dorwart. It’s his fourth goal in three games. Leivermann tied the game late in the second period with his second of the series.

Notre Dame goaltender Ryan Bischel performed well after an outstanding first game. He and St. Cyr stole the show, with Bischel making 41 saves, including two important saves in overtime.

The final shootout score was 2-1, giving MSU the extra point in Big Ten play.

Michigan State moves onto four consecutive home games against both Wisconsin and Ohio State. The Spartans improve to 4-3-1 overall on the season and 0-1-1 in the Big Ten.