HOCKEY: ND vs. Michigan State

Staff reports
ND Insider


WHO: Michigan State (9-12-3, 5-7-2 Big Ten) vs. Notre Dame (13-8-2, 6-6-1 Big Ten)

WHERE: Lefty Smith Rink (5,022) at Compton Family Ice Arena, South Bend.

WHEN: Friday 7:30 p.m. and Saturday 7:05 p.m.

TV: Friday — NBC Sports Chicago+, SNY; Saturday — NBC Sports Chicago+, SNY.

Streaming: NBC Sports APP.

RADIO: WZOC-FM (94.3) and

RANKINGS: Notre Dame ranked No. 11 in (media) and No. 12 in USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) polls.

RECAPS: Notre Dame won 6-4 at Wisconsin Friday and then tied Wisconsin 2-2 in overtime Sunday at Chicago’s United Center and got extra point by winning 3x3 overtime. … Michigan State won a pair of 5-3 decisions against visiting Minnesota.

RIVALRY: Michigan State leads 63-45 in the 119-game rivalry, but Notre Dame won 3-1 and 2-1 in East Lansing on Nov. 16 and 17. … Irish are 16-3 during 22-game stretch that began March 29, 2008 with 3-1 NCAA West Regional championship victory at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo.

SHAVINGS: Freshman right wing Michael Graham had breakout weekend against Wisconsin, scoring four goals (two in each game) and one assist to win Big Ten First Star and NCAA Second Star of week honors. … Coach Jeff Jackson (who has two degrees from MSU) is without three leading scorers — Cal Burke (9 goals/appendectomy), Cam Morrison (7/upper body) and Joe Wegwerth (7/season-ending knee surgery) — for Spartans and likely next weekend at Ohio State. … Junior center Mike O’Leary (1-2-3) and senior defenseman Bobby Nardella (1-3-4) coming off big weekend and Irish freshmen had five goals (Graham Slaggert had other) and two assists versus Badgers. … Freshman Spencer Stastney’s “goal” in the 3x3 period Saturday was a point-winner but does not count in official stats. … Nardella and Dylan Malmquist share scoring lead with 22 points in 23 games. … Junior goalie Cale Morris (2.37 goals-against average) played both games and figures to start Friday; sophomore Dylan St. Cyr (2.02) could get start Saturday. … Coach Danton Cole’s Spartans riding 3-game winning streak with sweep of Gophers coming after 6-4 win at Penn State. … Junior left wing Taro Hirose (11-29-40) had five assists last weekend and leads NCAA in points (40) and assists (29). … With center Patrick Khodorenko (14-13-27) and right wing Mitchell Lewandowski (11-14-25) — the KHL Line — the trio has accounted for 92 points (47 percent of Spartans’ points) and are just 16 shy of last year’s combined total. … They have combined for 12 power-play goals on unit that is 11th nationally and third in Big Ten at 23 percent (20 of 87). … Freshman defenseman Dennis Cesana (3-15-18) is fourth in scoring. … MSU has scored 4.17 goals per game in January, sixth nationally over that span. … Junior goalie John Lethemon (3.33) has averaged 37 saves in last three victories.

QUOTING JACKSON: (On five-point weekend) “It was huge. You are kind of going against the odds because you’re playing without three good scorers. But we can’t dwell on that. We’re got other guys stepping up and filling those roles and they did that last weekend.”

(Making home sweet home) “We need to get on track at home (5-6-0), be more consistent. We’ve been really good on the road this year (8-2-2). We have to find that same level of intensity at home that we have on the road.”

(The improving Spartans) “Watching them on film, this is the best I’ve seen them. They are playing with a lot of confidence and that top line is scary good.”