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Notre Dame Athletics | February 26, 2022

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

2022 men's hockey bracket predictions, 2 months to selections

SOUTH BEND, Ind.  – 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 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 pivotal, with Lansdell scoring on a five-minute power-play chance. Notre Dame also held  Michigan to a 0-for-4 mark on the advantage.

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

How It Happened

Cam Burke had an attempt down low two minutes into the first period but Wolverine goaltender Erik Portillo made the stop. Then Michigan struck first 24 seconds later when Johnny Beecher won an offensive zone face-off to Mackie Samoskevich, who found Nick Blankenburg across the slot for a one-timer.

Graham Slaggert tied it up at 8:45 of the first when he put a rebound back into an open net after Trevor Janicke forced Portillo into an awkward save with a tip of a Nick Leivermann point shot.

The Irish nearly took the lead with 21.4 seconds left in the first when Landon Slaggert finished off a nice passing sequence from Graham Slaggert and Trevor Janicke but his shot clanged off the post after getting by Portillo’s blocker.

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

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The Irish then generated a lot of chances on that ensuing chance, with Jesse Lansdell finally forcing one over the goal line at the three minute mark after a Trevor Janicke forecheck caused some turmoil behind the Michigan net. Cam Burke had the second assist on the power-play goal. Landon Slaggert and Max Ellis also had great looks on the following power-play chance but were denied by Portillo. 

Jack Adams pushed the lead to 3-1 with 5:04 left in the second, knocking home a rebound in front after Leivermann made a nice move into the slot and forced Portillo into a save. Chase Blackmun had 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 denied on the breakaway, Graham Slaggert was handed a two-minute minor at 19:11 and Notre Dam also killed off that chance to end the second and start the third.

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Notre Dame controlled play for much of the third, highlighted by another Ellis chance midway through the third when he was again all alone versus Portillo. 

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

The Wolverines threatened down the stretch with both Ellis and Landon Slaggert in the box and Portillo pulled for the extra attacker but then Spencer Stastney sealed the win when he was pulled down on a breakaway and awarded a goal – his seventh of the season.

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