MSU hockey ends season on 4-3 OT loss in Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals
MSU hockey (10-23-4) headed to the Big Ten Tournament looking to prolong its season. Facing a familiar foe in Ohio State in the quarterfinals it needed to string together a gutsy performance to have a shot at the NCAA Tournament.
But 13:47 into the overtime period, Buckeye Mason Jobst blasted home a rebound effectively ending the Spartans season. Ohio State took the hotly contested game 4-3 in overtime.
Coming into the tournament having won seven games, the Buckeyes confidence was high and it would be translated into a quick start as Ohio State forward John Wiitala popped in a wrap around goal just 38 seconds into the first period.
Wiitala’s goal put MSU on its heels. The Spartans were tentative with the puck making it easy for the Buckeyes to control the play as they churned out 19 shots on MSU goalie Jake Hildebrand.
Ohio State upped its lead to 2-0 with 1:08 remaining in the first period on a Tommy Parran goal that came off a rebound that deflected right to him.
During the intermission, MSU head coach Tom Anastos stressed that his team needed to get their feet going in order to comeback after a dominating period by the Buckeyes.
But the quick start by the Buckeyes was answered in the second when junior forward Joe Cox snapped home power play goal over the right shoulder of Ohio State goaltender Christian Frey.
Cox’s goal galvanized the Spartans into action. Picking up the pace the newly aggressive Spartans were rewarded with power play opportunities.
With 11:36 left in the second, Matt DeBlouw blasted home a one time shot tying the game up at 2-2 on the power play on assists from senior defenseman Travis Walsh and junior forward Villiam Haag.
Michael Ferrantino redirected the puck off his skate and passed Frey nearly three minutes later off a shot from freshman defenseman Zach Osburn. Junior forward Mackenzie MacEachern also recorded an assist on the goal.
Ferrantino’s goal marked the third power play goal of the period for the Spartans who have struggled all year converting on man-advantage opportunities.
The second period attack however, would be erased by a quick Buckeyes goal in the opening minutes of the third period. Josh Brevig sent home an errant bounce off a diving Hildebrand knotting the game at 3-3.
In overtime both teams traded chances but minutes after having a chance to win it, the Spartans gave up the clincher off a rebound to Jobst.
MSU hockey needed to win the Big Ten Tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2010-2011 season. MSU finishes the season with a record of (10-23-4).