Notre Dame hockey swept by Michigan State, falls behind in Big Ten standings
EAST LANSING, Mich. — For too long, the Notre Dame hockey team had to chase Saturday's 3-2 loss to No. 17 Michigan State from behind. Because of it, the Irish are heading in the wrong direction when it comes to postseason play.
No. 20 Notre Dame battled back from two one-goal deficits at Munn Ice Arena, but couldn't stop No. 17 Michigan State's power play game-winner from David Gucciardi that gave the Spartans the lead for good with 16 minutes left in the third period.
"I thought we played better tonight than last night (a 3-0 Spartan win)," Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson said. "But you aren't going to win if you don't score more than a couple of goals in a weekend. Just need to find a way to score more goals."
Game 1:Missed chances, rough second period lead to Notre Dame hockey's 3-0 loss at Michigan State
In six periods in East Lansing, Notre Dame managed just two goals — Landon Slaggert's fourth of the year to tie the game 1-1 in the first period and Chayse Primeau's power-play goal late in the second to tie the game 2-2.
The Spartans (15-13-2, 9-9-2 Big Ten) collected all six points in the series, moving to third place (before other Saturday conference games were played) with 30 points, while the Irish (13-14-3, 8-10-3 Big Ten) remained at 26 and in sixth place with four games left in the regular season.
"From here on out, every game has the same importance as this weekend," Jackson said. "This time of the year every game matters, so we just have to get back to work on Monday."
Noie: Apparently one-game league win streaks the best it can get for Notre Dame
The Irish return to Compton Family Ice Arena next weekend for their final home series of the year against No. 7 Ohio State. Special teams will surely be a major emphasis.
Notre Dame allowed three power-play goals over the weekend, including two on Saturday.
"Just foolish penalties," Jackson said. "We took a penalty on four-on-four. Took one for grasping the puck. I don't know. It is just frustrating."
A chance to separate themselves in the Big Ten, The Irish instead fell further from hosting a conference tournament series, or gaining a potential at-large NCAA Tournament bid.
Notre Dame began Saturday at No. 15 in the PairWise rankings, which plays a major role in determining the 16-team field for the NCAA Tournament.
Jackson knows his team is running out of time.
"Pressure can't dictate how we play," Jackson said. "We can't worry about what is ahead of us. We have to worry about what is in front of us."
Michigan State 3, Notre Dame 2
|Notre Dame||1||1||0||— 2|
|Michigan State||2||0||1||— 3|
First Period—Scoring: 1. Michigan State, Karsen Dorwart 9 (Matt Basgall, Daniel Russell) PP (4-3) 11:42, 2. Notre Dame Landon Slaggert 4 (Chayse Primeau, Zach Plucinski) 13:14, 3. Michigan State, Nicolas Muller 5 (Jeremy Davidson, Erik Middendorf) 18:18 Penalties: Notre Dame (2-4), Michigan State (1-2)
Second Period—Scoring: 4. Notre Dame, Chayse Primeau 8 (Justin Janicke, Chase Blackmun) PP 17:45, Penalties (total): Notre Dame 0-0 (2-4), Michigan State 2-7 (3-9)
Third Period—Scoring: 5. Michigan State, David Gucciardi 3 (Jeremy Davidson, Erik Middendorf) PP 4:00, Penalties (total): Notre Dame 2-4 (4-8), Michigan State 0-0 (3-9)
Shots on goal: Notre Dame 35 (13-14-8-0), Michigan State 28 (6-13-9-0).
Goalie saves: Notre Dame, Ryan Bischel 25 (4-13-8--0), Michigan State, Dylan St. Cyr 33 (12-13-8-0).
Power-play opportunities: Notre Dame 1 of 3, Michigan State 2 of 3.
Faceoffs won: Notre Dame 40 (13-14-13-0), Michigan State 26 (9-3-14-0).
Referees: Brett DesRosiers and Kenny Anderson. Linesmen: Bill Hancock and Nick Huff Attendance: 0,000 (6,555). Records: Notre Dame 13-14-3 overall, 8-10-3 Big Ten for 26 points; Michigan State 15-13-2 overall, 9-9-2 Big Ten for 30 points).