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Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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No. 7 Michigan State sweeps No. 20 Notre Dame in 2-1 victory

MSU+junior+forward+Red+Savage+moves+the+puck+against+Notre+Dame+on+Saturday%2C+December+9%2C+2023+at+Munn+Ice+Arena.
Avery Kotel
MSU junior forward Red Savage moves the puck against Notre Dame on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at Munn Ice Arena.

EAST LANSING – In a top-20 matchup this weekend, both No. 7 Michigan State and No. 20 Notre Dame hockey were looking to get signature wins and prove their worth. After it was all said and done, it would be the Spartans picking up the brooms and getting their fifth sweep of the season, getting the victory 2-1. 

Michigan State stays undefeated on home ice and moves to 12-4-2 on the season, while Notre Dame falls to 8-8-2 on the year. 

“Good weekend for our team,” Michigan State head coach Adam Nightingale said. “The first and second period I really liked us…then I thought in the third that was Notre Dame’s best, and they’re a really good hockey team. So it was a little bend don’t break, and the guys stayed with it.” 

MSU freshman goaltender Trey Augustine continued to prove why he is one of the top goaltenders in the nation, saving 31 of Notre Dame’s 32 shots. The only goal he allowed would be when the Fighting Irish pulled their goaltender in the closing minutes of the game. While the shutout would have been a nice addition to the resume for Augustine, he continues to stay humble and just worry about winning games. 

MSU freshman goalie Trey Augustine saves a shot against Notre Dame on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at Munn Ice Arena. (Avery Kotel)

“That would’ve been nice, but at the end of the day we’re just trying to win hockey games here,” Augustine said. “We did that tonight, so good vibes around the room.”

Michigan State started out hot right out of the gate in the first period, rifling two shots in the first 30 seconds of play, but failed to connect on both. 

But only about seven minutes into this one, sophomore center Karsen Dorwart found the back of the net off the assist from sophomore wing Isaac Howard for his seventh goal of his season. 

MSU sophomore forward Karsen Dorwart moves the puck against Notre Dame on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at Munn Ice Arena. (Avery Kotel)

Notre Dame attacked quickly after going down one early, but back-to-back saves by Augustine off of two good looks from Notre Dame junior forward Justin Janicke and junior forward Hunter Strand gave the  momentum right back to the Spartans and their fans. 

Taking a one goal lead into the second period, MSU needed some insurance in order to fend off the Fighting Irish squad, and they got just that. 

Just under four minutes into the second period, sophomore wing Joey Larson led a Michigan State attack that saw three shots in eight seconds from Larson, but it was junior center Red Savage who found the back of the net off the assist from Larson. 

Michigan State played tremendously on defense, consistently getting the puck away from Notre Dame and into the attacking third to create looks. With Notre Dame making a push in the final seconds of the second period, star freshman defenseman Artyom Levshunov raced back and helped Augustine deflect the shot and ride a two-goal lead into the third period. 

A complete first two periods set MSU up for a defense-heavy third period. With less than four to go in the game, the Irish pulled their goaltender and went empty net for the remainder. 

Unfortunately for Augustine, he couldn’t complete the shutout. Irish graduate forward Patrick Moynihan put the puck in the net with 15 seconds to go, narrowing Notre Dame’s deficit to one. 

But 15 seconds did not prove to be enough time for Notre Dame, as Michigan State closed the series out with a victory heading into the winter break. 

MSU continues to be one of the best teams in college hockey this year, bolstered by its home crowd that sold out Munn Ice Arena on both nights this weekend. 

“Just the support [Michigan State has], you get a lot of juice from the fans, so it’s a lot of fun for us,” Dorwart said. 

“The atmosphere at Munn, and the advantage that is for our team,” Nightingale said. “The students were unbelievable. We’re pretty lucky to have a hockey crowd.” 

Michigan State will now have just over a month until they resume Big Ten play, but over the holidays they will prepare to face off against Ferris State University on Dec. 28 in the Great Lakes Invitational. Puck drop is set for 7 pm at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.

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About the Contributor
Colby Schikora, Writer
Colby Schikora is a senior studying sports journalism. He is in his second year at Impact and is currently the men's and women's socer beat reporter. He is also involved with Spartan Sports Report as a producer. 

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