SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Minnesota State got goals from Travis Morin and Kyle Peto and goaltender Dan Tormey stopped 21 of 22 Notre Dame shots as the Mavericks avenged Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Irish in Mankato, Minn., with a 2-1 at the Joyce Center on Saturday night to wrap up the extended home-and-home series.
Peto’s goal, a short-handed tally, at 3:26 of the third period proved to be the difference as Notre Dame got its lone goal of the night at 18:08 of the final period when Josh Sciba tucked a feed from Erik Condra under Tormey to cut the lead to 2-1 with the goaltender pulled. That was as close as the Irish would get though as Minnesota State held on for the road win.
The loss snapped Notre Dame’s modest two-game winning streak and drops the Irish to 5-10-1 overall while the Mavericks are now 4-10-3 on the year.
Special teams, or lack of them, kept this game close as both teams were 0-for-7 with the man advantage and Minnesota State scoring the short-handed game winner.
“It seems like for us, our team goes as our power play goes,” said Irish coach Jeff Jackson. “That was the difference on Tuesday in the win there (two power-play goals) and it was the difference in our loss tonight.”
The Mavericks jumped on the Irish early in the game with an aggressive forecheck that gave Notre Dame problems. Minnesota State got on the board at 3:44 of the opening period when Brock Becker found Morin all alone in the slot with a pass from behind the net. Morin whipped a shot past Irish goaltender David Brown for his seventh of the season.
“Teams realize that we aren’t as physical as we need to be in our defensive zone. They (Minnesota State) changed what they did from Tuesday night. They were more aggressive tonight in our zone,” said Jackson.
The Mavericks would nurse the 1-0 lead until early in the third period when Steve Wagner was whistled off for hooking at 2:18. With the Irish failed to keep the puck in their zone and Minnesota State broke out three-on-one with Joel Hanson and Ryan Carter leading the way and Peto as the trailer.
They moved in on the Irish goal with Hanson dropping a pass to Peto in the left wing circle. The junior defenseman wasted little time in snapping it behind Brown at 3:26 for his third goal of the season and a 2-0 Maverick lead.
“When you aren’t scoring on the power play you start to press and try to make things happen. We were pressing a little to hard and all of a sudden it was a two-on-one and then a three-on-one back up the ice,” said Jackson.
Tormey kept the Irish at bay throughout the game, making several key saves in the second and third period until Notre Dame finally broke through at 18:08 of the third with Brown pulled in favor of a sixth attacker. Defenseman Wes O’Neill moved the puck down the left wing boards to Condra behind the net. The freshman right wing tried to tuck it inside the post, but Tormey stopped that attempt only to see Sciba finish the play with his 10th goal of the year.
“I thought we saw good goaltending at both ends tonight,” said Jackson. “Tormey made some big saves and David (Brown) played well too. Special teams were the difference tonight.”
On the night, Minnesota State out shot Notre Dame by a 33-22 margin. Tormey made 21 saves for the Mavericks while Brown had 31 saves in the Irish goal.