MSU hockey allows two late goals again, ties Michigan Tech
For a second night in a row, MSU hockey (4-5-2) couldn’t close out a two goal lead, surrendering two late goals to Michigan Tech (7-4-1) in a 4-4 tie Sunday evening.
“Obviously disappointed, we haven’t found a way yet to finish the deal,” head coach Tom Anastos said.
The Huskies jumped to an early lead when freshman center Jake Lucchini snuck one past MSU goaltender Jake Hildebrand shortside. A fortunate bounce but it gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead just a minute and eight seconds into the game. Reid Sturos and Cliff Watson assisted on the goal.
The Huskies' early goal caught the Spartans off guard but MSU would answer with a goal of its own at 16:34 of the first. Senior forward Joe Cox took the puck to the corner off the face-off in the Tech end and slipped it to junior forward Thomas Ebbing who snuck behind everyone. JT Stenglein also assisted on the goal.
MTU, however, would go back to business as usual forcing the Spartans to commit turnover after turnover. A miscue by MSU defenseman Rhett Holland allowed MTU to keep the puck in the Spartan end, where Huskies forward Patrick Anderson would wrist one in from point.
“We gave up two kinda easy ones early we thought,” Anastos said. “I thought we rebounded from that, that showed a lot of resilience in our team which I was impressed with.”
Mason Blacklock was credited with assist on Anderson’s goal and the Huskies would go 2-1. MTU’s second goal on only six shots on net would end Hildebrand’s night as he was pulled making way for backup goalie Ed Minney to take over goaltending duties.
“I was a little nervous, I haven’t played in awhile,” Minney said. “I felt really good in practice these past couple weeks so I had a lot of confidence going in which was nice.”
The 2-1 Huskies lead threw the Spartans out of rhythm. MSU began to press for goals, trying to force plays that weren’t there. The Spartans almost gave up a few goals in the process, as the potent Huskies attack took advantage of the scrambling out of position Spartans.
The Spartans would knot the game at 2-2 when captain Michael Ferrantino ripped one home from the slot. Phillips got a piece of the shot but couldn’t handle it. Mason Appleton and Mackenzie MacEachern assisted on the goal.
MSU and MTU headed into the intermission tied at 2-2.
The Spartans and Huskies started off the second period trading opportunities but neither could find the net. The Huskies couldn't take advantage of their powerplay opportunity. But the Spartans would.
MacEachern would put the Spartans in front 3-2 on the 5-on-3 man advantage, burying a rebound from the side of the net. Ferrantino and Appleton were credited with the assists.
MTU would come close to tying it up but a hustling Justin Hoomaian would swipe the puck out the crease right before it crossed the goal line to preserve a 3-2 MSU lead. The period end only minutes later.
The Spartans came out of the break looking to finish out the game, something they failed to do the night before.
MSU set out on the right foot, scoring just 1:45 into the third period when a Connor Wood no-look backhand pass found Brennan Sanford wide open in front. Zach Osburn also assisted on the goal.
“Straight up and down the lineup tonight I thought we played pretty well,” captain Michael Ferrantino said of the depth his team showed tonight.
The Spartans, however, couldn’t hold onto the two goal lead. With 3:53 left to play Tyler Heinonen scored to draw within one goal. Then with 51 seconds remaining the puck popped out to Tech’s Malcolm Gould who sent it to the back of the net tying the game late and sending the game to overtime.
In overtime Tech carried the play to MSU but couldn’t sneak one by Ed Minney. The game ended in a tie but the two teams held a shootout for what it’s worth. The Spartans would win the shootout with Minney blanking both Tech shooters and goals from Joe Cox and Cody Milan. However it didn’t matter much, because the shootout isn’t counted. The game goes on MSU’s record as a tie.
“We’ll just have to go back and look at it and see where we went wrong and change our mindset a little bit,” Ferrantino said. “I think we gotta change our mindset a little bit and stay on the attack more.”
The Spartans are searching for a way to win having dropped their last three games after coming off three straight victories. However, the last time they dropped three games, they went on to win three straight. The Spartans welcome No. 4 ranked North Dakota next week.