No. 8 Notre Dame skates past No. 2 Michigan 4-1

SOUTH BEND, Indiana – The No. 8/9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish opened the final series of the regular season with a resounding 4-1 victory over the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines on Friday night inside the Compton Family Ice Arena (4,775) .

With the win, the Irish clinched the third seed in the Big Ten standings with one regular season game remaining and improved to 24-9-0 on the year.

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Notre Dame improved to 3-0-0 against the Wolverines this season and handed Michigan its first regulation loss since Dec. 11, 2021.

Graduate student Matthew Galajda made 28 saves on the night, while Graham Slaggert, Jesse Lansdell, Jack Adams and Spencer Stastney scored for the Irish. Trevor Janicke and Nick Leivermann each added a pair of assists.

Special teams proved crucial, with Lansdell scoring on a five-minute chance on the power play. Notre Dame also held Michigan to a 0-for-4 lead.

Erik Portillo recorded 24 saves for Michigan (25-8-1).

How did it happen

Cam Burke hit a down attempt two minutes into the first half, but Wolverine keeper Erik Portillo made the save. Then Michigan struck first 24 seconds later when Johnny Beecher won an offensive zone showdown against Mackie Samoskevich, who found Nick Blankenburg through the slot for a one-timer.

Graham Slaggert equalized at 8:45 of the first when he returned a rebound into an open net after Trevor Janicke forced Portillo into an awkward save with a tip from a Nick Leivermann point shot.

The Irish nearly took the lead with 21.4 seconds left in the first when Landon Slaggert completed a fine passing streak from Graham Slaggert and Trevor Janicke, but his shot hit the post after going past Portillo’s blocker.

Notre Dame opened the second period on a five-minute power play after the referees awarded Beecher a five-minute major and a game misconduct stemming from the final face-off of the first period.

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The Irish then generated plenty of chances on that ensuing chance, Jesse Lansdell finally forcing one over the goal line at the three-minute mark after a forecheck from Trevor Janicke caused trouble behind the net for the Michigan. Cam Burke got the second assist on the power play goal. Landon Slaggert and Max Ellis also looked great on the next power play chance, but were denied by Portillo.

Jack Adams pushed the lead to 3-1 with 5:04 left in the second, hitting a rebound in front after Leivermann made a nice move into the slot and forced Portillo to a save. Chase Blackmun got the second assist, his 13th of the season.

Spencer Stastney was whistled for interference at 16:19 of the second, but the Irish killed the penalty.

After Max Ellis was disallowed on the breakaway, Graham Slaggert was given a two-minute minor at 19:11 and Notre Dam also killed that chance to finish second and start third.

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Notre Dame controlled the game for much of the third, highlighted by another chance from Ellis midway through the third when he was on his own again against Portillo.

Galajda made one of his best saves with 8:35 remaining, getting his pad on Nick Blankenburg’s attempt from close range.

Wolverines threatened down the stretch with Ellis and Landon Slaggert in the box and Portillo fired for the extra striker, but Spencer Stastney then sealed the win when he was brought down on a breakaway and allowed a goal – his seventh of the season.

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