Everything you need to know about Notre Dame hockey's weekend series vs. Michigan State
Michigan State Spartans (4-2-0, 0-0-0 Big Ten) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-2-1, 0-0-0 Big Ten)
- When/Where: Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m. on Lefty Smith Rink (4,850) in Compton Family Ice Arena, South Bend
- Radio: WZOC-FM (94.3) and UND.com
- TV/Streaming: Peacock
- Tickets: Available through UND.com/buytickets. Saturday’s game follows Hocktoberfest (beer garden, food, children’s activities) outside Compton from 4-6 p.m. (weather permitting). Fans in Halloween costumes can win prizes.
- Coaches: Notre Dame, Jeff Jackson (379-233-67 in 18th season at Notre Dame and 561-285-92 in 24th season overall). … Michigan State, Adam Nightingale (4-2 in first season).
- Recap: Notre Dame split a home-and-home, non-conference series with Western Michigan, winning 2-0 Friday in South Bend and losing 4-0 Saturday in Kalamazoo. … Michigan State swept non-conference home series with Long Island, winning 3-1 Friday and 8-4 Saturday.
- Rivalry: Michigan State leads 70-50-15 in 135 games. … Series began with 3-1 Irish victory at University Rink in Lansing on Jan. 15, 1927. … Last season, Irish won 3-2 Dec. 10 before losing 1-0 (OT) Dec. 11 at Compton and then swept Spartans 2-1 and 4-2 Feb. 18 and 19 at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing. … Current MSU graduate transfer (from Quinnipiac) goalie Dylan St. Cyr was in net for the Irish when they scored pair of 2-0 shutouts Feb. 18 and 19 at Munn during 2020-21 season.
- Rankings: In USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine coaches’ poll, Notre Dame is No. 12 and Michigan State is not ranked. … In DCU/USCHO.com media poll, Notre Dame is No. 12 and Michigan State is receiving votes. … In PairWise Rankings, Michigan State is No. 12 and Notre Dame is No. 16.
More Notre Dame hockey news:Notre Dame’s Jackson Pierson likes playing hockey back in his home state of Indiana
Scouting Michigan State Spartans
Nightingale is a 2005 MSU alumnus in his first season after working for the USNTDP Under-18 as a head coach and for various college and professional teams. … Forward Daniel Russell (3-6-9) leads an impressive freshman class and MSU added six transfers, including graduate goaltender Dylan St. Cyr (Quinnipiac) who graduated from Notre Dame following 2019-20 season during which he had pair of 2-0 shutouts for Irish at Munn Ice Arena he now calls home. … St. Cyr (3-2-0, 2.03 average, .910 saves percentage) started MSU’s first five games before yielding to junior Pierce Charleson in last Saturday’s victory over LIU. … Grad twin brothers Christian (1-0-1) and Cole Krygier (1-0-1) anchor the defense which includes junior Nash Nienhuis (2-3-5) and freshman Matt Basgall (1-4-5). … Forwards Karsen Dorwart (1-5-6) and seniors Nicolas Muller (1-5-6) and Jagger Joshua (3-2-5) also are off to good starts. … Spartans are 13th nationally in faceoff wins (53.2 percent) and 10th in penalty kill (87 percent).
Scouting Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame saw three-game winning streak snapped with loss at Western Michigan Saturday night. … Junior right wing Ryder Rolston (3-3-6) continues to pace Irish followed by grad center Chayse Primeau (1-4-5), junior defenseman Drew Bavaro (1-4-5) and senior right win Trevor Janicke 2-3-5). … Primeau (Omaha) and Bavaro (Bentley) are transfers. … Sophomore defenseman Jake Boltmann is third nationally with a team-high 18 blocked shots. … Senior goaltender Ryan Bischel allowed just three goals last weekend in two games, including his third career shutout, and is now 3-2-0 with 2.74 average and .913 saves percentage. … Notre Dame’s penalty-kill units have improved to 39th (74.1 percent) but Irish are ranked 33rd nationally in faceoff wins (49.2 percent).
Quoting ND coach Jeff Jackson
“I see (the Spartans) doing a lot of good things both off the rush and in the offensive zone. They are playing differently than what we saw under (former coach) Danton Cole, and they probably have a little more ‘oomph’ to their game offensively.”
On facing St. Cyr ... “He’s a good goalie — we know that from his time here (2017-21). He had a good career here at Notre Dame and really came into his own his senior year. He's not the biggest guy (5-foot-8, 167), but he’s very technically sound, and that makes him bigger than what he is in the way he plays the game.”
On Boltmann’s shot-blocking ... “When you have a guy who is fearless, he lays it all on the ice. You love having guys like that. We saw that last year with Adam Karashik. Jake played with Adam quite a bit and he probably learned the best way to block shots.”
On last weekend ... “We played a much more aggressive game (in Friday’s victory). I don’t think we handled (Western Michigan’s) pressure very well (on Saturday). Coming out our zone and even in the defensive zone, I thought we broke down at times and it made it challenging for us to generate much offensively. We just have to find some consistency coming out of our zone.”
— John Fineran, Correspondent