NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish skated to a dramatic NCAA recognized 1-1 tie against the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday night at Compton Family Ice Arena (4,876), using a late Bobby Nardella goal to force overtime.
The Irish (14-8-3, 7-6-2-2 B1G) grabbed the extra B1G point via the shootout as Tory Dello scored in the second round and Cale Morris stopped both Spartan (9-13-4, 5-8-3-2 B1G) shots he faced in the competition.
The game began with a lot of back-and-forth action in the opening period with the two teams locked in a 0-0 stalemate. The Irish led in shots on goal through the first frame, firing 10 shots on net to Michigan State’s five. Notre Dame’s best look to break the tie through the first 20 minutes came when Graham Slaggert broke in alone on goal but was unable to put his breakaway attempt past Spartan goaltender Drew DeRidder.
The Spartans found the scoreboard less than a minute into middle frame when Taro Hirose took advantage of a turnover and a pass from Mitchell Lewandowski to go up 1-0. The rest of the second period proved to be much like the first, with plenty of shots on net but both teams unable to reach the back of the net. The Irish led in shots through 40 minutes of play, 22-12.
In the final frame, Jake Pivonka nearly netted the equalizer with nine minutes remaining as he deflected a shot from the point off the post and back into DeRidder.
Nardella, who also hit the post twice in the third period, finally tied the game for the Irish with three minutes to play with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.
“It speaks a lot of our character, especially of Bobby and his leadership and stepping up at a time we needed it,” junior defenseman Tory Dello said after the game. “Coach has been on us to finish strong and it is a 60 minute hockey game.”
Morris made another four stops in the first overtime period as the game officially ended in a 1-1 tie before the teams moved to a second, three-on-three overtime with another B1G point up for grabs.
Neither team could convert on the second overtime and the game went into a shootout for a second conference point.
The Irish eventually earned the extra point in the Big Ten standings when Tory Dello netted the first-ever shootout goal at Compton Family Ice Arena. Morris denied Hirose and Lewandowksi on their shootout attempts.
After a season-high 49 saves in game one of the series, Cale Morris stopped 29 of 30 shots on the night to bring his weekend total to 78 saves. The junior goaltender now boasts a save percentage of .928 and is allowing an average of 2.32 goals per game.
This season against the Spartans, Morris posted a .960 save percentage, stopping 133 shots on 139 attempts.
DeRidder finished with 34 saves in goal for Michigan State.
Both teams were perfect on the penalty kill Saturday night, with the Irish killing all four penalties while unable to capitalize on any of the five chances with the man advantage.
The Fighting Irish hit the road next weekend (Feb. 1-2) to take on Ohio State. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. ET on Friday before the two sides square off at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Notre Dame Goal Descriptions
1-1 | With three minutes left in regulation, Nardella fired a wrister from the top of the left circle to tie the game at 1-1. A series of passes from Graham Slaggert and Jake Pivonka led the puck to the heel of Nardella’s stick before his seventh goal of the season tied the game.
- Following a season-high performance in net on Friday night, Cale Morris added 29 saves to his resume in game two of the home series, improving his 2018-19 season save percentage to .928.
- This season against the Spartans, Morris posted a .960 save percentage, stopping 133 shots on 139 attempts.
- With his third period goal, Bobby Nardella is on a four-game point-streak (2-5-7) and had three points (1-2-3) in the weekend series against Michigan State.
- The Compton Family Ice Arena saw its first-ever Big Ten shootout as no winner could be determined through the first 70 minutes of play. Tory Dello scored in the second round of the shootout to give the Irish two points in conference action, wrapping the weekend series with five of six points.
— ND —