Nov. 7, 2003
East Lansing, Mich. – Michigan State got a goal and an assist from Mike Lalonde, Adam Nightingale and A.J. Thelen to lead the Spartans to a 3-1 win over Notre Dame Friday night at Munn Arena.
Nightingale’s third-period short-handed goal proved to be the back breaker for the Spartans as it gave Michigan State a 2-0 lead. The Irish answered just 31 seconds later on a power-play goal by Mike Walsh but that was as close as Notre Dame would get.
The loss snapped a four-game Irish winning streak and dropped Notre Dame to 5-3-0 overall and 4-3-0 in the CCHA. Michigan State extended its winning streak to five games as the Spartans improved to 6-3-0 on the year and 5-2-0 in the CCHA.
“I thought it was a well-played, well-officiated game,” said Notre Dame head coach Dave Poulin following the game.
“The goaltending was great at both ends of the ice. Overall, it was a one-goal game. We have to capitalize offensively when we get the chances. Michigan State isn’t going to give up many chances. When they do, you have to take advantage of them.”
The two teams battled through a scoreless first period with Michigan State having an 11-9 edge in shots.
The second period looked like more of the same until the Spartans got onto the scoreboard with just 41 seconds left in the period as Thelen, a 17-year old defenseman, scored his third goal of the year at 19:19.
Right wing Tommy Goebel carried the puck deep into the right wing corner. His centering pass found Thelen cutting in from the left point where he one-timed a wrist shot over Morgan Cey’s left shoulder for his third goal of the season.
The Spartans would build the lead to 2-0 while killing an Irish penalty. With Colton Fretter off for high-sticking, defenseman Jared Nightingale stopped a Notre Dame rush along the right wing boards. His older brother, Adam, picked up the puck in the neutral zone, raced down the right side and ripped a shot past Cey for his second goal of the year at 10:22.
“The short-handed goal was a critical point of the game. It gave them a 2-0 lead and then we came right back 31 seconds later to score on the power play,” said Poulin.
Freshman defenseman Wes O’Neill broke out of the Notre Dame zone and fed the puck to Matt Amado down the left wing boards. Amado carried to the top of the left wing circle and slid a pass to the front of the net where Walsh deflected the puck between Dominic Vicari’s pads to cut the lead to 2-1 at 10:53 of the third period.
The Irish would get several chances with Cey pulled in favor of a sixth attacker but Michigan State would get the empty-net goal by Lalonde with 18 seconds left in the game for the final score of 3-1.
Michigan State outshot the Irish 37-24 in the game. Cey, making just his second start of the season, made 34 saves. Vicari had 23 stops for the Spartans.
The two teams will meet in the series finale on Saturday night at Munn Arena. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
** Irish goaltender David Brown (Fr., Stoney Creek, Ont.) was named the Hockey Commissioner’s Association (HCA) national rookie of the month for October. Brown was 3-2-0 in the month with a CCHA-leading 1.15 goals-against average and a .964 save percentage. He finished the month with three consecutive shutouts and a streak of 186:15 scoreless minutes dating back to Oct. 17. In four career starts, Brown has already set Notre Dame’s single-season shutout record with three.
** Notre Dame’s penalty killers killed two Michigan State power plays in the game to run their consecutive penalties killed streak to 18 straight. The last power-play goal the Irish gave up came on Oct. 17 versus Bowling Green in a 5-3 loss.
** The Spartans played in front of their 307th consecutive sold-out Munn Arena as 6,527 fans were in attendance.
** On their last trip to Munn Arena in the 2001-02 season, the Irish won their last meeting with Michigan State by a 3-2 score. The last time the Irish won two games in a row at Munn Arena was Feb. 13-14, 1981 when they won a pair of 4-2 contests.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 F
Notre Dame (5-3-0/4-3-0) 0 0 1 1
Michigan State (6-3-0/5-2-0) 0 1 2 3
First Period: No Scoring
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; MSU: 0 for 0 minutes.
Second Period: MSU: A.J. Thelen 3 (Tommy Goebel, Mike Lalonde), 19:20.
Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; MSU: 2 for 4 minutes.
Third Period: MSU: Adam Nightingale 2 (Jared Nightingale), SHG, 10:22; ND: Mike Walsh 3 (Matt Amado, Wes O’Neill), PPG, 10:53; MSU: Lalonde 6 (A. Nightingale, Thelen), ENG, 19:42.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; MSU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 9 – 8 – 7 – 24
Michigan State 11 -12 – 14 – 37
ND – Morgan Cey (59:18) 11 – 11 – 12 – 34
MSU – Dominic Vicari (60:00) 9 – 8 – 6 – 23
Attendance: 6,527 (sellout)