NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Yan Stastny and Tim Wallace scored 18 seconds apart late in the third period and goaltender Morgan Cey stopped the third penalty shot of his career to help Notre Dame to a 3-3 tie with Michigan State Saturday night.
The Irish rallied from a 3-1 third-period deficit, scoring twice in the final five minutes to grab the tie in front of a sold-out crowd at the Joyce Center.
The Irish, held to just one goal in each of their last three games, looked like they would be stuck on one again before the offense broke through late in the game.
“We played with tremendous energy tonight and I thought we showed a lot of poise when we got down 3-1 in the third period,” said head coach Dave Poulin.
“They battled hard all weekend and played a more consistent game than we’ve played recently.”
Michigan State scored the lone goal of the first period when Brian Maloney somehow picked the puck out of a scramble in front of the Irish net and put it behind Cey while teammate Ash Goldie lay in the goal. The Irish complained to referee Brian Aaron to no avail and Maloney had his sixth of the season, a power-play goal at 12:37.
Notre Dame took its turn on the power play and this time Aaron Gill converted at 6:20 for his eighth goal of the season. The junior center, who was all over the ice all night, took a cross-rink pass from defenseman Evan Nielsen and beat Migliaccio from the slot to tie the game at 1-1.
The Spartans went ahead 2-1 at 10:53 when Cey had problems handling the puck behind his net and lost control of the bouncing biscuit. Brock Radunske tracked the puck down and found defenseman John-Michael Liles coming down the slot. Liles fired the loose puck into the open net for his ninth of the season.
Cey atoned for his puckhandling problems at 16:23 of the period when he stopped Spartan leading scorer Jim Slater on a penalty shot. Neil Komadoski hooked Slater as he broke loose on a breakaway chance.
On the penalty shot, Slater raced in on Cey and fired a wrist shot that the Irish goaltender appeared to get a glove on as it crashed off the glass behind him. For Cey, it marked the second time this season that he stopped a penalty shot.
“Morgan’s stop on the power play was huge. Just like the second goal, we were controlling the play and all of a sudden they have a great scoring chance,” said Poulin.
Radunske gave the Spartans a 3-1 lead at 12:34 of the third period. With the Irish applying pressure in the Michigan State zone, the sophomore right wing broke down the right side on a two-on-one with linemate Maloney. Instead of passing he drilled a wrist shot over Cey’s glove and under the crossbar for his sixth goal of the season.
The Irish could have caved in at that point, but instead went on the offensive. Stastny scored on the power play at 15:55 as he redirected Cory McLean’s centering pass behind Migliaccio for his 13th goal of the year as the Irish finished the game two-for-eight on the power play.
The freshman line of Mike Walsh, Tony Gill and Wallace got the game-tying goal. With Gill on the forecheck, he forced a MSU turnover in the right-wing corner and found Wallace cutting in. Wallace’s low wrist shot found its way through Migliaccio’s pads at 16:13 for his third goal of the season and a 3-3 tie.
“Our three freshmen gave us a tremendous effort tonight. Tony Gill gave us great energy out there. I don’t think he lost a faceoff. They had a couple great chances in overtime to win it,” said Poulin.
In the final 3:47, the Irish continued to press, with their best chance coming on an Aaron Gill breakaway shot that he whistled over the goal.
“We talked about how he [Migliaccio] was going down real quick, so all I was thinking going in was to shoot high. I guess I just went a little too high,” said Gill, who had Notre Dame’s first goal of the night.
The tie gives Notre Dame a 9-12-5 overall record and a 7-9-2 mark in CCHA play. Michigan State is now 14-9-2 overall and 10-6-1 in league play.