Notre Dame hockey preview capsule
WHO: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Michigan State Spartans
WHERE: Clarence L. “Biggie” Munn Ice Arena, East Lansing, Mich.
WHEN: Friday 6 p.m. EST and Saturday 3 p.m. EST.
STREAMING: Big Ten Plus.
RADIO: WZOC-FM (94.3) and UND.com.
RECORDS: Coach Jeff Jackson’s Irish are 10-12-2 overall and 8-10-2 for fourth place in the Big Ten. … Coach Danton Cole’s Spartans are 7-13-2 overall and 5-12-1 for sixth place in the Big Ten.
RANKINGS: Notre Dame is receiving votes in both USCHO.com (media) and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (coaches) polls.
RECAPS: Irish, who are 0-3-1 in their last four games, lost at No. 5 Wisconsin 4-2 Friday and tied 5-5 in overtime Saturday with four third-period goals and won shootout 1-0 for extra point. … Spartans, 1-5 in last six games, coming off 4-2 and 5-1 losses at No. 4 Minnesota last weekend.
RIVALRY: Teams have played 129 previous times with Michigan State holding 69-45-15 edge. … Earlier this season in South Bend, teams tied 1-1 in overtime but Irish won shootout 2-0 on Dec. 19 and Spartans beat Irish 4-3 in overtime Dec. 20.
SHAVINGS: Playing final road series of regular season, Notre Dame is 7-2-1 away from Lefty Smith Rink where the Irish are just 3-10-1. … Irish scheduled to play Penn State at Compton March 5-6 and then host Big Ten Tournament March 14-16. … Irish have killed 21 of 23 (.913) of opposition power plays on the road and scored eight power-play goals in 24 attempts. … Junior right wing Alex Steeves leads Irish in scoring with 13 goals, 13 assists and 26 points followed by linemates, junior center Graham Slaggert (6-16-22) and junior left wing Landon Slaggert (5-11-16). … Junior defensemen Nick Leivermann (5-9-14) and Spencer Stastney (5-6-11) are next. … Senior goalie Dylan St. Cyr has started 10 of last 11 games and has 2.68 goals-against average and .910 saves percentage with 7-8-1 record and one shutout. … Jackson, who has two degrees from Michigan State, is 31-19-12 against alma mater and coached Cole in junior hockey. … Spartans are 5-5-1 at Munn. … Senior right wing Mitchell Lewandowski (6-5-11), sophomore center Josh Nodler (3-8-11) and junior defenseman Dennis Cesana (1-10-11) lead Spartans in scoring. … Junior goaltender Drew DeRidder (2.67 average, .926 saves percentage, 7-13-2 record, two shutouts) had 47 saves in 1-1 tie on Dec. 19 and senior defenseman Tommy Miller (1-3-4) scored game-winning goal following night.
QUOTING JACKSON: (Third-period comeback at Wisconsin) “For a team that has been a little inconsistent offensively, we scored a couple of nice goals off of transition, something we’ve tried to emphasize since the start of the year. We scored three nice transition goals.
(Return of sophomore right wing Max Ellis, who scored during shootout) “Getting his speed and him back certainly helped. He made a couple of nice plays on both (Colin) Theisen’s goal and (Solag) Bakich’s goal. He’s got good playmaking skills and good speed, and against a team like Wisconsin you have to play fast.”
(Recent play of 5-foot-9 goalie Dylan St. Cyr) “He’s played well for us in the second half. He gives us an advantage with his puck-handling skills. He’s a really competitive guy and he’s really dialed in with what he’s doing. He gets beat sometimes when size comes into play, but for the most part, he has settled in the last month.”
(Michigan State) “They are a hard team to play against. They play a very disciplined game. You have to play smart against them, especially in their building where the boards are really lively. They have big defensemen who cover a lot of ice and make it tough to generate things offensively. They’ve got a good goaltender and make it hard to score goals.”