Michigan State got second-period power-play goals from Mike Lalonde and Kevin Estrada and sophomore goaltender Matt Migliaccio kicked out 40 Irish shots to give the Spartans a hard-fought 2-1 win over Notre Dame Friday night at the Joyce Center.
The loss extends Notre Dame’s winless streak to six games (0-5-1) and drops the Irish to 9-12-4 on the year, 7-9-1 in CCHA play. Michigan State hasn’t lost since January 3 as the Spartans extended their winning streak to six games and improved to 14-9-1, 10-6-0 CCHA.
John Wroblewski scored Notre Dame’s lone goal of the night via the power play at 8:33 of the third period to snap Migliaccio’s shutout bid. The 2-1 loss marked the third consecutive game that the Irish have been held to just one goal, but on Friday night it wasn’t for lack of effort.
“Since we’ve gone on this slide, things just don’t seem to go our way. We had 40 shots tonight and got just one goal. It’s very frustrating. You can’t win if you can’t score goals,” said Wroblewski.
The two teams played the first period to a scoreless draw with Notre Dame outshooting Michigan State by a 12-10 margin.
The second period belonged to the Spartans as they converted on two of four power-play chances.
“I thought we played a smart first period, but then got hit with some penalties in the second period,” said Irish head coach Dave Poulin.
“We came back to play a tremendous third period, but you have to play that way from the first drop of the puck.”
Sophomore Lalonde put Michigan State up 1-0 with his ninth goal of the season at 9:04 of the second as he ripped a shot from the right-wing circle that beat Irish goaltender Morgan Cey over his left shoulder. Hard work along the boards by David Booth and John-Michael Liles set up the goal.
The lead would go to 2-0 as Estrada scored the Spartans’ second power-play goal of the night. Brad Fast’s big slapshot from the left point missed the net, but the rebound bounced off the backboards to Estrada along the goal line to the left of Cey. Estrada somehow slid the shot between the post and Cey’s pads for his fourth goal of the season at 15:42.
The third period was all Irish and all Migliaccio as Notre Dame outshot the Spartans 20-6 but could score just once. Rob Globke did all the work and Wroblewski cashed in for his career-best 11th goal of the season on the power play at 8:33 of the third period.
“Our goal was a great individual effort by Rob Globke. He just took all five guys with him on a couple of great moves to clear the way for me and an easy tap-in,” said Wroblewski, who now has career highs in goals, assists, points and power-play goals.
The Irish put constant pressure on Migliaccio, but the 6-2, 191-pound puckstopper slammed the door.
“We had some great chances in the third, but every time we shot it, (Migliaccio) was there,” said Wroblewski.
The sophomore from Wyandotte, Mich., finished with 19 saves in the final stanza and 40 for the game. Cey made 23 saves in the Notre Dame goal.
Saturday night, Notre Dame and Michigan State play the second game of the series. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Joyce Center.