December 6, 1996

Notre Dame Suffers Another Tough Loss

First career goal for Irish freshman Ben Simon lost amidst last-minute defeat

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State’s Mark Loeding slid ina shot with 54 seconds left in regulation, giving the No. 8 Spartans a 4-3victory and handing Notre Dame its fifth one-goal loss in the last sevengames in Central Collegiate Hockey Association action Friday before the192nd consecutive sellout (6,358) at Munn Arena.

The win pushed Michigan State (11-5-0, 9-2-0 CCHA) into a tie withLake Superior State atop the conference standings while Notre Dame(4-10-1, 3-8-1 CCHA) fell into a tie with Western Michigan for seventhin the 10-team league (Bowling Green gained sole possession of sixth,moving ahead of the Irish and Broncos, after downing Alaska-Fairbanks onFriday).

The Irish scored twice in the first eight minutes of the thirdperiod to tie the game, 3-3, but MSU came away with the game-winnerafter earning a faceoff at the left circle Irish zone. MSU’s Sean Berenson the faceoff and the puck then slid between the circles. The SpartansRichard Keyes tried to quickly poke a shot towards the net but the puckkicked off several players skates. Loeding alertly flailed at the puckand pushed in a shot that kicked off the right post and dribbled alongthe goalline before settling into the left side of the net.

The loss was the second last-minute loss in the last three weeks forNotre Dame, which lost by an identical 4-3 count at Miami University onNov. 23, after a wraparound goal with just 40 seconds left inregulation.

The Irish missed out on a chance to beat the Spartans for the firsttime since December of 1982. Since that time, MSU has won 11 of the 14games in the series, with Notre Dame battling to three ties.

Notre Dame jumped ahead after scoring one of its quickest goals ofthe season (1:08), as freshman center Ben Simon (Shaker Heights, OH)sent home a backhanded shot at the right side of the crease, off arebounded shot from sophomore Aniket Dhadphale. The goal was the firstof Simon’s collegiate career and ended an early season of frustrationthat had seen him fail to score on his first 31 shots.

MSU gained the equalizer seven minutes later, when sophomore centerMike York put back a rebounded shot from defenseman Chris Bogas. York,who would go on to assist on MSU’s second and third goals, earlier inthe week joined Simon and Lake Superior’s Jason Sessa as the only CCHAplayers one three of just 15 collegiate players named to the 1997 U.S.junior national team.

The Spartans claimed the lead with two goals in the second, thefirst coming at the 9:29 mark when the hosts gained a 2-on-1 break aftera pair of Irish players ran into one another at the blueline. Yorkquickly capitalized on the advantage, sending a pass across the creasefor Bryan Adams, who one-touched a shot past Irish junior goaltenderMatt Eisler.

In the closing moments of the second period, MSU converted on thepowerplay, after being held in check by the Irish on three earlierman-up chances. York again provided the setup pass, sending the puckfrom the left to right circle for the waiting Berens, who had time tocontrol the puck and eye the net before flicking a rising shot from thecenter of the circle into the left side of the net.

The Irish came back to tie the score for the 10th time this seasonon third-period goals by sophomore Craig Hagkull and senior defensemanBrian McCarthy.

Hagkull netted his first goal of the year after Alban made a costlymistake, wandering out of the crease to chase down a puck at the boardsto his right. Alban reached the puck and elected to flick it towards thecenter of the ice. Hagkull was stationed at the center of the bluelineand intercepted the clearing attempt before quickly firing into the opennet (6:08).

Two minutes later, McCarthy flicked home a multiple-rebound shotafter a major pileup in front of the MSU net, with two players from eachteam sprawled between the circles as McCarthy scored amidst theconfusion.

Of Notre Dame’s five recent one-goal losses, four have come by 4-3scores. In addition to the pair of last-minute defeats, Notre Dame’srecent frustrations include a 4-3 overtime loss to Mankato State.

Dhadphale now has assisted in four straight games and five of thelast six while bringing his season assist total to 10. The left wingerhad just seven assists all of last season but led the Irish in 1995-96with 13 goals (he has lit the lamp just three times this season, havingfailed to light the lamp in the last nine games).

     NOTRE DAME      1   0   2   -   3MICHIGAN STATE  1   2   1   -   4SCORING1st period - ND 1. Simon (Dhadphale) 1:08;  MS 1. York (Bogas, Tuzzolino) 7:50.2nd period - MS 2. Adams (York) 9:29;  MS 3. Berens (York, Hodkins) PP 18:44.  3rd period - ND 2. Hagkull (unassisted) 6:08;  ND 3. McCarthy (Urick, Andrusiak) 8:06;  MS 4. Loeding (Keyes, Berens)19:06.Shots on goal: ND 10-4-7/21, MS 7-13-7/27.Saves: ND (Eisler) 6-11-6/23, MS (Alban) 9-4-5/18.   Powerplay: ND 0-for-2, MS 1-for-4.   Penalties: ND 6 for 12:00, MS 4 for 8:00.