South Bend, Ind. - Notre Dame got a game-tying score at the 19:22 mark of the final period as Michigan State and the Irish skated to a 1-1 tie in South Bend, Ind. on Sunday afternoon. The Spartans extended their overtime streak to 19 games without a loss (6-0-13), and got their only goal of the afternoon from Nick Sucharski. Jeff Lerg made 34 saves, including four in overtime, keeping Michigan State in the game and earning first-star honors. The Spartans had just 15 shots on net in the contest, their lowest total of the season.
The Irish had tied the score with a dramatic, final-minute goal to send the game to the extra session. With Jordan Pearce back on the bench in favor of an extra skater, Notre Dame managed to keep the puck in their offensive zone. Brett Blatchford threw the puck netward from the left point, and it bounced off Ryan Thang near the right post and rung the upper corner crossbar and into the back of the net for the equalizing tally.
The Spartans pushed for a tally at the end of regulation, leading to extracurriculars at the end of the period that found the Spartans killing a penalty to start the overtime period. Two more penalties were assessed per side before that power play chance had expired.
Notre Dame spent long stretches in the offensive zone during the extra frame. Dan VeNard rang the crossbar at the three minute mark, and Christian Hanson had a wide-open backdoor look that went wide. Jeff Lerg came up with five of his 34 saves in the extra stanza.
The Spartans had opened the scoring at 8:27 of the middle frame. Tim Kennedy had the puck low in the left corner, and centered it to Justin Abdelkader in the slot. Abdelkader thought shot, but had a defenseman on each hip, and instead pushed it out to the left point for Nick Sucharski, whose wrister went through considerable traffic and beat Pearce low, glove-side.
Michigan State, now 14-5-4 (10-2-2 CCHA) continues its four-game road swing next weekend with a set at Ohio State.