(NOTRE DAME RELEASE)
WHO: Notre Dame (10-12-2, 8-10-2-2-1-2 B1G) at Michigan State (7-13-2, 5-12-1-0-2-1 B1G)
WHEN: Friday, February 26 – 6 p.m. ET | Saturday, February 27 – 3 p.m. ET
WHERE: Munn Ice Arena, East Lansing, Michigan
WATCH: Friday & Saturday – BTNPlus.com
LISTEN: 94.3 FM | UND.com
Notre Dame heads to Michigan State to close out the road portion of its regular-season road schedule with a two-game series (Feb. 26-27).
It will mark the seventh and eighth road games out of the last 10 for the Irish.
Last weekend, Notre Dame went 0-1-1 at fifth-ranked Wisconsin, including a comeback tie in game two (Max Ellis secured the extra point with the shootout winner).
Junior forward Alex Steeves was named the Big Ten’s Second Star of the Week (Feb. 23) for the second time this season after a four-point, three-goal weekend against the Badgers.
Steeves had a two-point (G, A) performance in game one and then netted a pair of third-period goals in game two to help the Irish erase a two-goal deficit.
Steeves leads the Irish with 26 points and 13 goals in 24 games this season and has earned at least one point in 17 of those 24 contests.
Steeves’ 13 goals rank tied for fourth in the country and his 12 goals in Big Ten play rank second behind only Cole Caufield.
Notre Dame is 7-2-0 on the road this season, including series sweeps at then third-ranked Michigan (Nov. 27-28) and at then first-ranked Minnesota (Jan. 15-16).
In road games, the Irish penalty kill is 21-for-23 (.913), while the power play is 8-for-24 (.333/fourth in the NCAA).
Dating back to Notre Dame’s game two, 2-1 win at Minnesota on Jan. 16, senior goaltender Dylan St. Cyr has started 10 of 11 games and posted a .923 save percentage to go along with a 2.48 goals against average and a 4-5-1 record.
THE NOTRE DAME-MSU SERIES
Former CCHA rivals, the Irish and Spartans have met 129 times dating back to their first meeting in 1926, which was played at the University Rink in East Lansing, Michigan (Notre Dame won the first game, 3-1).
All-time, the Spartans lead the series 69-45-15.
The first meetings as a Notre Dame varsity sport were in the 1970-71 season when the Spartans came to South Bend and split a weekend series: Michigan State took the first game 10-5, before the Irish bounced back for a 4-3 victory the second night.
Since the turn of the century (2000-01 season), the Irish hold the narrow advantage as Notre Dame is 22-21-10 against Michigan State since 2000.
Of those 53 games, 12 have gone to overtime and 17 have been decided by a single goal.
Irish head coach Jeff Jackson is 31-19-12 all-time against his alma mater Michigan State (including his time at Lake Superior State).
Jackson graduated from Michigan State in 1978 with a degree in communications, followed by an education degree in 1979.
Jackson coached current Michigan State head coach Danton Cole and current Spartan assistant Chris Luongo during their junior hockey days with the Detroit Falcons and then Jackson also coached Cole during the 1983-84 season with the Fraser Flags of the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League (GLJHL).
The current Notre Dame roster features four Michigan natives: Dylan St. Cyr (Northville, Michigan), Max Ellis (Canton, Michigan), Ryder Rolston (Birmingham, Michigan) and Colin Theisen (Monroe, Michigan).
Since joining the Big Ten, Notre Dame is 8-4-4 against Michigan State.
Earlier this season (Dec. 19-20), the Irish went 0-1-1 against the Spartans to close out their first semester.
The teams skated to a 1-1 tie in the first meeting, with Max Ellis and Nick Leivermann scoring in the shootout to secure the extra standings point.
Drew DeRidder had 47 saves in that game to lift the Spartans to the tie.
In game two, Tommy Miller scored in overtime to give Michigan State the victory, while Graham Slaggert, Grant Silianoff and Michael Graham scored for the Irish.