NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Michigan State played No. 11/12 Notre Dame to a 1-1 tie on Saturday night at Compton Family Ice Arena. The Spartans took the lead in the second period on a goal by Taro Hirose, but Notre Dame’s Bobby Nardella tied it with three minutes to go in the third. After scoreless five and three-minute overtime periods, respectively, Notre Dame earned the extra point in the Big Ten standings by winning the shootout in the second round.
Drew DeRidder made 34 saves in net while Taro Hirose scored for the Spartans (9-13-4, 5-8-3-2).
“I thought the guys battled really hard,” MSU head coach Danton Cole said. “I thought we did a lot of good things. I thought the issues we had yesterday – some defensive reads – not that we were preoccupied with that, but we really did a good job the first half of the game taking care of that, at the expense of some offense. About halfway through though we started getting some pucks to the net and really played well.
“I thought we battled hard. Drew was great in net and our defensive corps did a great job.”
After being outshot 22-12 through the first two periods, the Spartans outshot Notre Dame by a combined 21-15 the rest of the way.
Both teams had power play opportunities in the first period as the Spartans went 0-for-2 and Notre Dame 0-for-1. DeRidder had the highlight play of the stanza as stopped Graham Slaggert on a partial breakaway in the latter stages of the period.
The Spartans struck early in the second – at the 33 second mark – for the first goal of the game. Dennis Cesana drove the puck into the Notre Dame zone where it went behind the net then bounced off a Notre Dame player out to Mitchell Lewandowski on the right half boards. Lewandowski quickly sent the puck to Hirose in the slot who gathered it, went backhand to forehand and beat goaltender Cale Morris with a low shot for his 13th goal of the season and NCAA-leading 42nd point.
A trio of penalties to the Spartans early in the third period gave the Irish three prime chances to even the game. But the Spartans erased all three power plays and nearly made it 2-0 when Hirose hit the crossbar on a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush.
Notre Dame (14-8-3, 7-6-2-2) almost tied the game on a pair of occasions following the power plays as Jake Pivonka hit the crossbar and later DeRidder made a diving save on Colin Theisen with just over five minutes to play.
The Irish eventually found the tying goal when the puck trickled out to Nardella at the left point and he let a slap shot go that found the far corner of the net.
The two teams played a fast-paced, up-and-down five-minute overtime that included Cody Milan hitting the crossbar with just over two minutes to go.
Neither team scored in the 3-on-3 overtime and Tory Dello won the shootout for Notre Dame in the second round.
“It was a good tie and we were really close to getting out of here with a 1-0 win,” Cole said.
The Spartans host Wisconsin next Friday and Saturday at Munn Ice Arena.