SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Matt Amado scored on a shot from the left wing face-off circle that went under the arm of Michigan State goaltender Dominic Vicari with 2:28 left in overtime to cap a come-from-behind 3-2 win for Notre Dame over Michigan State Friday night at the Joyce Center. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Irish and was their first home win versus the Spartans since Dec. 4, 1999.
Amado’s goal capped a night that saw several firsts as Mike Walsh got his first goal of the season and Victor Oreskovich his first career assist. It also marked the first time on the season that the Irish had come-from-behind to win and was the first regular-season overtime win for Notre Dame since Jan. 25, 2002, snapping a 0-2-14 run.
The win improves the Irish to 4-8-4 overall and 3-7-3 in CCHA play while the Spartans go to 7-9-1 on the year and 4-7-0 in league action. The two teams meet on Saturday night at Munn Arena in East Lansing, Mich., in a 7:05 p.m. game.
Michigan State took a 2-1 lead into the third period as Colton Fretter and Drew Miller sandwiched Spartan goals around Walsh’s first of the year. With 2:33 left in the game, MSU’s Jared Nightingale received a five-minute major penalty for checking Irish defenseman Luke Lucyk from behind deep in the Notre Dame zone to give the Irish the five-minute power play.
Just 33 seconds into the penalty, Corey Potter was called for slashing, giving Notre Dame a five-on-three. Head coach Dave Poulin elected to pull goaltender David Brown in favor of a sixth attacker and 11 seconds later, the Irish tied the game on Wes O’Neill’s fifth goal of the season.
Josh Sciba won a draw in the left wing circle back to O’Neill. The sophomore defenseman moved the puck to Cory McLean (two assists in the game) at the left wing boards. McLean returned it to O’Neill who one-timed a blast from the point that beat Vicari through a screen at 18:41 to send it to overtime at 2-2.
In overtime, the Irish controlled the play, outshooting the Spartains, 5-0. With the Irish on the attack, defenseman Chris Trick carried the puck into the MSU zone at the right point and fed it ahead to Evan Rankin. Rankin took a shot from the top of the right wing circle that Vicari stopped. The rebound slid toward the left circle where a streaking Amado blasted a shot that found its way through the Michigan State goaltenders pads for Amado’s second goal of the season to give the Irish the 3-2 win.
“I just came off the bench on a line change,” said Amado. “I skated hard down the wing and (Evan) Rankin just hammered a shot on the net. The rebound came toward me and I just blasted it as hard as I could and hope that the goaltender couldn’t get over to the other side of the net and it went in.”
The win was big for the Irish who were looking to point a disappointing weekend a week ago versus Michigan behind them.
“This was a huge win for this team,” said Poulin following the game. “We needed to make something happen. I thought we were playing well in the third period. When we got the power play late, we just had to get points off the chance. I told them during the time out we just had to keep playing hard and get the puck to the net.”
Michigan State took a 1-0 lead in the game at 11:29 of the first period on a power-play tally by Fretter. Defenseman Tyler Howells set Fretter up in the slot and he whipped a shot past Brown for his ninth goal of the season.
Notre Dame tied the game at 18:57 as Walsh tucked a rebound under Vicari’s pads for his first of the campaign. Strong forechecking by the Irish led to the goal, as McLean was able to keep the puck in the Spartan zone. He got the puck to Oreskovich who fired a high shot at Vicari. The rebound went in the air and came down at the Spartan goaltender’s feet. Walsh was there to slide it through his pads for the tying goal.
Miller put Michigan State ahead at 11:26 of the second when he carried the puck behind the net from the left side to the right side and was able to score on a wrap-around goal, beating Brown low to the ice. The goal was Miller’s eighth of the season and gave the Spartans the 2-1 lead.
For the night, the Irish out shot Michigan State by a 46-27 margin. Brown made 25 saves in the Notre Dame goal and Vicari had 43 for the Spartans.
Friday’s game marked just the fourth game in the first 16 contests of the year that Notre Dame out shot the opposition. The Irish are 1-0-3 in those games.