Feb. 8, 2002
East Lansing, Mich. – For fans of goaltending, Michigan State’s Munn Arena was the place to be on Friday night as the Spartan’s Ryan Miller and Notre Dame’s Morgan Cey went toe-to-toe.
On the night, Cey kicked out a career-high 41 shots, while Miller turned aside 39, but the Michigan State goaltender prevailed holding off the Irish for a 2-0 win at a sold-out Munn Arena in East Lansing, Mich. The shutout was the seventh of the season and the 25th Miller’s career.
The only goal to get past Cey came off the stick of defenseman John-Michael Liles while Adam Hall added an empty net goal with just 12 seconds left to ice the win.
The loss, Notre Dame’s fourth in a row and seventh in its last eight games drops the Irish to 9-15-5 on the season and 7-12-4 in CCHA play. The third-ranked Spartans picked up their 20th win of the year to go to 20-5-5 on the year and a league-leading 15-4-4 in the CCHA.
After seeing his team give up 20 goals over the last three games, Irish head coach Dave Poulin was pleased with his team’s play against the third-ranked Spartans.
“This was a great college hockey game tonight,” said Irish head coach Dave Poulin following the game.
“We played better defensively than we have the last few games and Morgan really played well. Anytime you generate 40 shots against an outstanding defensive team like Michigan State you have to be pleased. We some excellent scoring chances, with the right guys getting the chances. You have to put them away against a team like this.”
After a first period that saw each goaltender make 16 saves each, Michigan State got the eventual game-winner at 19:26 of the second period while on the power play.
After Cey had held off a Spartan flurry in front of the Irish goal, Notre Dame’s clearing attempt was knocked down at the blueline by Ash Goldie. The freshman center passed the puck to defenseman John-Michael Liles who took two strides down the slot and blasted the puck past Irish goaltender Morgan Cey. The goal was Liles’ 12th of the season and came at the 19:26 mark.
“It was a pretty good shot. He blew it by me,” said Cey.
“I don’t like to tip my hat to a shooter and I’m not now. Sometimes I get those, but tonight he got it past me.”
The third period saw the two goaltenders trade saves until Cey was pulled for the sixth attacker with 1:05 left in the game. The Irish had two good scoring bids, but Miller held the fort as he has done so often during his three years at Michigan State.
Hall closed the scoring at 19:48 when he dumped the puck from center ice into the empty net for the 2-0 final.
On the night, Michigan State outshot Notre Dame by a 43-39 margin. For Cey, who had given up 12 goals in his last three outings, the game was a return to his strong form of December and January. Facing the reigning Hobey Baker winner in Miller was all the incentive Cey needed for this game.
“What better challenge can you ask for than playing against a goaltender like him,” said the freshman goaltender.
“It was great motivation for me to play against him tonight.”
Poulin was glad to see Cey’s return to form.
“Morgan has struggled over the last couple of games, but he really bounced back tonight. He matched Ryan (Miller) shot for shot,” said Poulin.
The shutout loss marked the second time that the Irish have been shutout this season.
Cey and his teammates will get a second chance at Miller and the Spartans as the two teams wrap up the weekend series on Saturday (Feb.9) with a 7:05 p.m. game at Munn Arena. The Irish are off next weekend before traveling to Lake Superior State on Feb. 22-23.
Irish Hockey Notes:
**Notre Dame’s last win versus Michigan State at Munn Arena came on Nov. 1, 1997 – a 6-1 Irish victory. Notre Dame has lost six straight at Munn since that victory. Since the Irish returned to the CCHA for the ’92-’93 season, the Irish are 1-14-0 at Munn Arena and 2-22-5 in the series versus the Spartans.
**Michigan State is now unbeaten in 33 (30-0-3) consecutive games at Munn Arena. The sell-out crowd of 6,647 was the 285th in a row for the Spartans.
**The Irish lead the CCHA in goals scored after 23 league games with 75 goals. Michigan State and Alaska Fairbanks are tied for second with 74 after Friday’s games.
**Morgan Cey has started 26 of Notre Dame’s 29 games this season.
Game Summary: 1 2 3 F
Notre Dame (9-15-5/7-12-4) 0 0 0 0
Michigan State (20-5-5/15-4-4) 0 1 1 2
First Period: No Scoring .
Penalties: ND: 4 for 8 minutes, MSU: 4 for 8 minutes.
Second Period: MSU: John-Michael Liles 12 (Ash Goldie), PPG, 19:26.
Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes, MSU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: MSU: Adam Hall 15 (unassisted), ENG, 19:48
Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes, MSU: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 16 – 11 – 12 – 39
Michigan State 16 – 17 – 10 – 43
ND – Morgan Cey (59:02) 16 – 16 – 9 – 41
MSU – Ryan Miller (60:00) 16 – 11 – 12 – 39
ND: 0 for 3
MSU: 1 for 4
Attendance: 6,647 (sellout)