Feb. 5, 2006
East Lansing, Mich. – Notre Dame goaltender David Brown did everything in his power to try to deliver a road victory at Michigan State on Saturday night, even getting a little help from a goaltender’s best friend along the way.
The junior goaltender made 38 saves and had help from the goal post on three occasions, but it wasn’t enough as Michigan State got a late third-period power-play deflection from team captain Drew Miller to hand the Irish a 2-1 loss in front of 5,841 at Munn Arena.
The loss was the second one-goal loss for the Irish on the weekend as they fall to 9-16-3 overall and 7-12-3 in the CCHA. The win improves Michigan State to 16-10-7 and more importantly, 10-7-6 in conference play.
“The outcome was disappointing, not getting any points on the weekend,” said Jeff Jackson following the game.
“We played much better tonight. If we had played this way on Friday night at home, we would have come out of that game with some points. Our goal for the second half was to get points every weekend and this is the first one that we didn’t.”
Michigan State took a 1-0 lead with the only goal of the first period. Defenseman Ethan Graham made a nice play to keep an Irish clearing attempt in at the left point. He then fired the puck towards the net where center David Booth got a stick on it in front of the goal to deflect it into the upper corner over Brown’s blocker.
Booth’s goal was the lone shot of 13 faced by Brown to elude the Notre Dame goaltender
The Irish spent most of the second period killing penalties as they were whistled for five minor penalties in the stanza, but Brown and Notre Dame’s penalty-killing unit kept the Spartans off the scoreboard with several big saves before the Irish were able to tie the game.
Notre Dame failed to capitalize on a power-play chance with less than three minutes left in the second, but got the equalizer just six seconds after that power play ended. The goal came off the stick of freshman right wing Erik Condra.
Defenseman Wes O’Neill found Condra with a pass from the left point just below the left-wing circle as the power play expired. Condra turned and whipped a shot past Michigan State goaltender Jeff Lerg at 19:17 of the period to even the score at 1-1. The goal was Condra’s fifth of the season.
The Spartans got several chances in the third period with two coming on short-handed bids. Booth broke away and got a shot off that struck the left post behind Brown at the 7:00 minute mark. Justin Abdelkader broke in alone at the 14:00 minute mark and saw his shot ring off the post with Brown covering the loose puck.
Michigan State finally broke through on their eighth power play of the evening, getting the game winner at 14:31. Jim McKenzie moved the puck back to Booth on the left point where he fired it at the Irish net. Miller was stationed at the bottom of the left-wing circle where he got his stick on the puck to deflect it over Brown for his 10th goal of the season and a 2-1 Michigan State lead and the eventual victory.
“Brownie did a great job tonight as he has all season,” said Jackson.
“When you get goaltending like that, it’s a shame to waste it.”
Brown and his teammates will look to get back on the winning track next weekend when the Irish return to action with a home-and-home series versus Ferris State. Friday’s game at the Joyce Center will start at 7:35 p.m.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - FNotre Dame (9-16-3/7-12-3) 0 1 0 - 1Michigan State (16-10-7/10-7-6) 1 0 1 - 2
ScoringFirst Period: MSU: David Booth 9 (Ethan Graham), 7:19.Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; MSU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Second Period: ND: Erik Condra 5 (Wes O'Neill, Mark Van Guilder), 19:17.Penalties: ND: 5 for 10 minutes; MSU: 3 for 6 minutes.
Third Period: MSU: Drew Miller 10 (Booth, Jim McKenzie), PPG, 14:31.Penalties: ND: 4 for 8 minutes; MSU: 4 for 8 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 6 - 11 - 10 - 27Michigan State 13 - 14 - 13 - 40
Goaltender Saves:ND - David Brown (59:39) 12 - 14 - 12 - 38MSU - Jeff Lerg (60:00) 6 - 10 - 10 - 26
Power Plays:ND: 0 for 7MSU: 1 for 8