Feb. 9, 2002
East Lansing, Mich. – Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey continued his great weekend series with 34 saves and got goal scoring support from Neil Komadoski, David Inman and Brett Lebda on the way to hand a 3-2 upset win on third-ranked Michigan State.
The Notre Dame win snapped Spartan’s 33-game (30-0-3) unbeaten streak and was the first Irish win at Munn Arena since Nov. 1, 1997 snapping a six-game losing streak in East Lansing, Mich.
The victory also snapped a four-game Irish losing streak and improves Notre Dame to 10-15-5 on the season and 8-12-4 in CCHA play. Michigan State is now 20-6-5 on the season and 15-5-4 in the league.
After making 41 saves on Friday night, Cey stopped 34 of 36 Michigan State shots on Saturday giving him a split in goal versus the Spartans’ All-American goaltender Ryan Miller who had 21 saves on the night.
“We really played two strong games this weekend,” said Irish coach Dave Poulin.
“Morgan was outstanding in goal all weekend. I think this game goes a long way in proving to our kids that they can play with anyone. Things haven’t always gone our way this year, but they’ve stayed the course because they’ve believed in what they were doing. They bounced back after playing well last night and beat the third-ranked team in the country.”
The Irish scored first in the game beating Miller at the 14:02 mark of the first period. That marked the 17th time this season that Notre Dame scored the first goal of the night. The Irish are 10-5-2 in games that they get on the board first.
Defenseman Neil Komadoski took a feed from Jon Maruk who was stationed behind the net and whipped a wrist shot past Miller from inside the right wing circle for his second goal of the season to give the Irish the 1-0 lead.
Hard work and a little luck led to the Spartan’s game-tying goal at 16:50. Left wing Joe Goodenow carried the puck deep into the Irish zone and left it behind the net for linemate Steve Jackson. Jackson kept the puck alive and wrapped it around the boards for defenseman Duncan Keith. With an Irish defender on him, Keith flipped the puck towards the goal where it went off Morgan Cey’s shoulder and into the net. For Keith it was his third goal of the season.
The Irish answered back on a pretty give-and-go between David Inman and John Wroblewski. Inman broke up a Michigan State centering pass in front of Cey and headed up ice where Wroblewski joined the rush giving Notre Dame a two-on-one. Inman passed the puck ahead and headed for the goal. Wroblewski was able to flip the puck from the left wing circle towards the Michigan State goal where Inman redirected it past Miller for his career-best 15th goal of the season.
Notre Dame upped its lead to 3-1 just 1:43 into the second period. Rob Globke got a nice break out pass from Yan Stastny and raced down the right wing. Defenseman Brett Lebda jumped into the play late to give the Irish a two-on-one. Globke pulled the lone Michigan State defender toward him and slid the puck to Lebda who’s wrist shot beat Miller between the pads for his fourth goal of the season.
With the teams skating four-on-four, Michigan State cut the lead to 3-2 at 6:36 when defenseman Brad Fast scored his ninth of the season off a blast from the right point that beat Cey low to the ice. The Irish couldn’t gain control of the puck and Keith was able to find Fast all alone at the right point for his shot.
Cey held the Spartans off in the period as they outshot the Irish 20-4 in the period and had a 29-13 edge through two periods of play.
The third period belonged to the defense as the Irish limited the Spartans to seven shots in the period. For the game, Notre Dame was outshot 36-24. The Irish did a good job of staying away from penalties as the shutdown the potent MSU power play on three chances.
“I thought last night that you could see it in the hallway after the game that they knew they could win playing the way we did defensively,” said Poulin.
“We were better defensively tonight. Hopefully this is the kind of game that we need to turn the corner. We answered back each time they scored and that’s so important.
The Irish now have a break in the schedule and will be off next weekend. They close the road schedule at Lake Superior State on Feb. 22-23. The final home games of the season are on March 1-2 when Notre Dame plays host to Bowling Green.
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 2-14-0 at Munn Arena and 3-22-5 in the series versus the Spartans.
**For the weekend, Morgan Cey stopped 75 of 78 shots against the Spartans. He improved his record to 9-12-3 on the season. The Wilkie, Sask., native has now started 27 of Notre Dame’s 30 games this season.
**The Irish victory lifted Notre Dame into sole possession of ninth place in the CCHA standings with 20 points. Miami trails by two points and has two league games in hand.
**Michigan State is now 30-1-3 since October of 2000 at Munn Arena. The sell-out crowd of 6,851 was the 286th in a row for the Spartans.
Game Summary: 1 2 3 F
Notre Dame (10-15-5/8-12-4) 2 1 0 3
Michigan State (20-6-5/15-5-4) 1 1 0 2
First Period: ND:. Neil Komadoski 2 (Jon Maruk, Aaron Gill), 14:02, MSU: Duncan Keith 3 (Steve Jackson, Joe Goodenow), 16:50, ND: David Inman 15 (John Wroblewski), 19:42.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes, MSU: 1 for 2 minutes
Second Period: ND: Brett Lebda 4 (Rob Globke, Yan Stastny), 1:43, MSU: Brad Fast 9 (Keith, Lee Falardeau), 6:36.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes, MSU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Third Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes, MSU: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 9 – 4 – 11 – 24
Michigan State 9 – 20 – 7 – 36
ND – Morgan Cey (60:00) 8 – 19 – 7 – 34
MSU – Ryan Miller (59:10) 7 – 3 – 11 – 21
ND: 0 for 2
MSU: 0 for 3
Attendance: 6,851 (sellout)