Hockey: Notre Dame visits Michigan State this weekend. Here's what you need to know

By John Fineran
ND Insider
Notre Dame right wing Max Ellis (21) attempts a shot as Minnesota right goaltender Justen Close (1) defends in the second period at the Compton Family Ice Arena Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, in South Bend.


Who: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (21-9-0 overall, 13-7-0 Big Ten Conference for 35 points and fourth place) vs. Michigan State Spartans (11-18-1 overall, 5-15-0 Big Ten for 14 points and seventh place)

When: Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. EST

Where: Clarence L. “Biggie” Munn Ice Arena (6,114), East Lansing, Michigan

TV/Streaming: Big Ten Plus

Radio: WZOC-FM (94.3) and

Recaps: Coach Jeff Jackson’s Fighting Irish split Big Ten series at Wisconsin, losing 5-3 Saturday night before winning 3-2 Sunday night. … Coach Danton Cole’s Spartans were swept by Big Ten rival Michigan, losing 6-2 in Ann Arbor Friday and 7-3 in Detroit Saturday.

Polls: Notre Dame No. 11 in USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) poll and No. 12 in (media) poll. … Michigan State is unranked.

Pairwise: In the latest NCAA Tournament Pairwise Comparison Ratings as of Thursday, Notre Dame is No. 13 and Michigan State No. 32. … The Top 16 and others: 1. Michigan (Big Ten), 2. Minnesota State (CCHA), 3. Denver (NCHC), 4. Western Michigan (NCHC), 5. Minnesota (Big Ten), 6. Quinnipiac (ECAC), 7. Minnesota Duluth (NCHC), 8. St. Cloud State (NCHC), 9. Massachusetts (Hockey East), 10. Michigan Tech (CCHA), 11. North Dakota (NCHC), 12. Ohio State (Big Ten), 13. Notre Dame (Big Ten), 14. Boston University (Hockey East), 15. Clarkson (ECAC), 16. UMass Lowell (Hockey East), 21. American International (Atlantic).

Rivalry: Michigan State leads 70-48-15 in series which began with Notre Dame’s 3-1 victory for coach Benjamin DuBois in East Lansing on Jan. 15, 1927. … Notre Dame earned four of six points earlier this season in South Bend despite splitting two games. … On Dec. 10, Irish overcame Spartans’ 2-0 first-period lead with two second-period goals by Spencer Stastney and Nick Leivermann’s game-winner at 8:14 in the third period for 3-2 victory behind goalie Matthew Galajda. … On Dec. 11, goaltenders Ryan Bischel of Notre Dame and Drew DeRidder of Michigan State did not allow a goal in regulation, but in 3-on-3 overtime period DeRidder broke out Mitchell Lewandowski for the game-winner at 33 seconds for a 1-0 victory over Bischel and Irish.

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Scouting Fighting Irish

Notre Dame is 8-4-0 on the road this season. … Junior right wing Max Ellis (16 goals, 11 assists, 27 points) continues to pace team in scoring ahead of sophomore right wing Ryder Rolston (10-15-25), senior defenseman Spencer Stastney (5-17-22, a career high) and sophomore left wing Landon Slaggert (9-12-21). … Notre Dame has 16 players who have scored 10 or more points, with those four over 20 and another four within two points. … Junior right wing Trevor Janicke (12-7-19) had the game-winner Sunday night against the Badgers. … Three other Irish players are nearing 10 goals – sophomore left Landon Slaggert (9) senior center Cam Burke (8) and senior center Graham Slaggert (8). … Graduate Matthew Galajda (11-5-0 record, 2.09 goals-against average, .922 saves percentage, two shutouts) likely will get starting nod over junior Ryan Bischel (10-4-0, 2.08 average, .924 saves percentage, two shutouts). … NCAA team statistics (out of 59 teams): Penalty-kill percentage, 0.927 (102 of 110) (First in nation); Scoring offense, 3.50 goals per game (7th); scoring defense, 2.20 goals per game (8th); scoring margin, 1.30 goals per game (9th); faceoff-win percentage, 0.530 (918-814) (10th); power-play percentage, 0.198 (19 of 96) (28th); power-play goals scored, 19 (34th); shorthanded goals scored, 6 (2nd); penalty minutes per game, 10.20 (38th).

Scouting Spartans

Michigan State has lost 10 straight games since 3-2 overtime victory over Michigan Tech Dec. 30 in Great Lakes Invitational tournament game at Munn. … Forward Mitchell Lewandowski (7-11-18), who has not played since GLI with injury, is still third in scoring and could play this weekend. … MSU’s top line is sophomore right wing Jeremy Davidson (10-11-21), freshman center Jesse Tucker (2-17-19) and sophomore left wing Erik Middendorf (9-6-15). … Spartans have 20 goals from its blueline corps led by captain Dennis Cesana (7-7-14) and four each by freshman David Gucciardi (4-6-10) and senior Cole Krygier (4-7-11) whose twin brother Christian (2-5-7) is paired with Cesana. … Senior goaltender Drew DeRidder (8-12-1 record, 2.81 average, .923 saves percentage) also has two assists. … NCAA team statistics (out of 59 teams):Scoring offense, 2.23 goals per game (48th); scoring defense, 3.17 goals per game (39th); scoring margin, -0.93 goals per game (46th); faceoff-win percentage, 0.509 (978-942) (20th); power-play percentage, 0.220 (20 of 91) (18th); power-play goals scored, 20 (29th); penalty-kill percentage, 0.815 (97 of 119) (30th); shorthanded goals scored, 0 (51st); penalty minutes per game, 12.80 (14th).

— John Fineran, Tribune Correspondent