No. 12 Notre Dame loses shootout to former goalie Dylan St. Cyr and Michigan State

John Fineran
Notre Dame forward Solag Bakich (25) sets at the side of the crease in front of Michigan State goaltender Dylan St. Cyr (37) during the Michigan State-Notre Dame NCAA hockey game on Saturday, October 29, 2022, at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana.

SOUTH BEND — Two days before Halloween, the No. 12 Notre Dame hockey team suffered “A Nightmare on Leahy Drive,” at the hands of a former teammate now playing for Big Ten rival Michigan State.

Former Irish goaltender Dylan St. Cyr, making like “Freddy Krueger” two seasons removed from playing for coach Jeff Jackson’s team, came up with 39 saves in regulation and overtime and then stopped two shootout attempts to help the Spartans escape with an extra point after the teams skated to a 1-1 overtime draw before 4,458 at the Compton Family Ice Arena.

Game 1:Linemates Primeau and Rolston ignite the Notre Dame hockey offense as Bischel blanks MSU 5-0

A night after former teammate and senior goalie Ryan Bischel blanked St. Cyr and the Spartans 5-0, Michigan State gave the Irish all they could handle Saturday night with a 19-13 shot advantage in the first period, and it was evident Saturday’s game was going to be a nail-biter from there on out.

“We didn’t show up at the start,” said Jackson, who played and coached under the late Ron Mason at Michigan State in the 1970s. “The first period probably was the difference in the game because we gave them the opportunity to get some confidence. Dylan got confidence in goal. After we had a wakeup call in the second period, it was too difficult to sustain that.”

Notre Dame defenseman Nick Leivermann (4) during the Michigan State-Notre Dame NCAA hockey game on Saturday, October 29, 2022, at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana.

Grad defenseman and captain Nick Leivermann scored Notre Dame’s only goal at 15:25 of the second period to tie the game after MSU senior forward Jagger Joshua’s goal at 5:43 of the first had given MSU a 1-0 lead. The Irish captain didn’t mince any words taking his teammates to task for coming up short for the second straight Saturday after scoring shutout victories over Western Michigan (2-0) and now MSU.

“It came down to we didn’t respect them (the Spartans) enough,” Leivermann said. “The Big Ten is a conference you obviously have to be prepared every night. We learned that tonight and last weekend at Western (in a 4-0 loss). It’s becoming a little too consistent and repetitive for us.”

The overtime tie and extra point made the 5-foot-8 St. Cyr a happy camper. “After (Friday’s loss) there was no better way for us to respond,” he said. “Getting the first goal was important and we were able to keep the momentum the rest of the game. After yesterday we knew we had a lot of things to clean up, and we did a very good job.”

St. Cyr outdueled Irish senior goalie Ryan Bischel, who had a career-high 41 saves in the 65 minutes after 30 saves in Friday’s first duel with his old friend and teammate.

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The Spartans got scores by forwards Tanner Kelly and Karsen Dorwart on their only shots at Bischel in the shootout. After Leivermann opened it by beating St. Cyr high to his stick-side, the Spartan grad goaltender used his right skate to deny Notre Dame’s second shooter, Jackson Pierson, and his blocker to deny the last — his former Irish roommate Ryder Rolston.

With the extra point, first-year coach Adam Nightingale’s Spartans (4-3-1 overall, 0-1-1-0-0-0 Big Ten) went home with two of a possible six points available in the opening Big Ten series for both. Notre Dame (4-2-2, 1-0-1-0-0-0 Big Ten) skates next Friday and Saturday at No. 1 Minnesota, which beat Ohio State 4-2 Saturday to earn a weekend split.

Michigan State defenseman Cole Krygier (8) and Notre Dame forward Brady Bjork (23) battle in the corner during the Michigan State-Notre Dame NCAA hockey game on Saturday, October 29, 2022, at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana.

Notre Dame had three power-play opportunities against Michigan State, including a five-minute major in the first period when MSU defenseman Cole Krygier went to the box for hitting Justin Janicke from behind. But Chayse Primeau, who along with Rolston had a goal and two assists in Friday’s victory, negated that with a holding penalty 1:58 later and the Spartans led 1-0 after one.

The Irish turned things around in the second period, outshooting Michigan State 19-11. The one shot that St. Cyr didn’t stop was Leivermann’s 30-footer from the top of the right faceoff circle that beat the screened goalie at 15:25. Fellow defenseman Zach Plucinski made a cross-ice pass to set up the goal after hard work by right wing Trevor Janicke, who also assisted.


(MSU wins shootout, 2-1)

At Lefty Smith Rink in Compton Family Ice Arena, South Bend

Michigan State         1-0-0-0—1  

Notre Dame              0-1-0-0—1

First Period—Scoring: 1. Michigan State, Jagger Joshua 4 (Karsen Dorwart, Nash Nienhuis) EV 5:43. Penalties: Michigan State 2-7, Notre Dame 1-2.

 Second Period—Scoring: 2. Notre Dame, Nick Leivermann 3 (Zach Plucinski, Trevor Janicke) EV 15:25. Penalties (total): Michigan State 1-2 (3-9), Notre Dame 1-2 (2-4).

  Third Period—Scoring: None. Penalties (total): Michigan State 0-0 (3-9), Notre Dame 0-0 (2-4).

Overtime—Scoring: None. Penalties (total): Michigan State 0-0 (3-9), Notre Dame 0-0 (2-4).

 Shootout—1. Nick Leivermann (ND) beat MSU goalie Dylan St. Cyr; 2. Tanner Kelly (MSU) beats ND goalie Ryan Bischel; 3. St. Cyr stops shot by Jackson Pierson (ND); 4. Karsen Dorwart (MSU) beats Bischel for 2-1 lead; 5. St. Cyr blocks shot by Ryder Rolston (ND) for 2-1 shootout win for MSU.

 Shots on goal: Michigan State 42 (19-11-8-4), Notre Dame 40 (13-19-6-2). Goalie saves: Michigan State, Dylan St. Cyr 39 (13-18-6-2), Notre Dame, Ryan Bischel 41 (18-11-8-4).

Power-play opportunities: Michigan State 0 of 1, Notre Dame 0 of 3. Faceoffs won: Michigan State 29 (12-5-9-3), Notre Dame 35 (11-8-15-1). Blocked shots: Michigan State 18 (3-9-5-1), Notre Dame 14 (3-1-8-2).

Referees: Barry Pochmara and Kevin Corbett. Linesmen: Jonathan Sladek and Mike Daltrey. Attendance: 4,458 (4,850). Records: Michigan State 4-3-1, 0-1-1-0-0-0 Big Ten; Notre Dame 4-2-2, 1-0-1-0-0-0 Big Ten.