MSU hockey blows out Big Ten leading Minnesota, 5-0
A night after bounces seemed to fall in Minnesota's favor at every turn. MSU (10-21-3, 6-11-1) was on the receiving end of some puck luck en route to a 5-0 victory over first place in the Big Ten Minnesota (18-15, 13-5).
“Tonight we kind of got a few of the bounces that they took from us last night,” senior forward and captain Michael Ferrantino said. “I thought our effort was good, I thought our intensity was good, thought guys were making good decisions and I thought it was a pretty complete weekend of hockey for us.”
Senior goaltender Jake Hildebrand stopped all 28 shots he faced to record his third shutout of the season and 13th all time. Three different Spartans recorded multiple point games, capped off by Villiam Haag’s two goals and one assist.
“It feels good, of course,” Haag said about his play during the game. “It's always nice to get points and goals for your confidence, just a very good feeling tonight to get goals and play good on the ice.”
Forty-six seconds into the opening frame, freshman forward Mason Appleton waltzed into the left circle and snapped a shot off the far post and in behind Minnesota goalie Eric Schierhorn, giving the Spartans the early 1-0 lead.
Senior forward Ryan Keller and Ferrantino added helpers on the goal.
Much as it was during the previous game, it was an evenly contested battle as each team played disciplined hockey. MSU was able to capitalize on a Minnesota mistake when junior forward Mackenzie MacEachern snapped a pass to flying junior forward Joe Cox, who went in on a breakaway.
A forehand backhand deke fooled Schierhorn just enough for Cox to find the twine with just more than six minutes remaining in the opening frame, boosting the Spartans’ lead to 2-0.
Junior forward Thomas Ebbing also recorded an assist on the Cox goal.
MSU never looked back from there, adding two goals during the second, both from Haag.
Haag’s first came on the power play as he walked off the half wall into the slot, hesitated then snapped the puck over Scheirhorn’s blocker. Senior forward Matt DeBlouw and senior defenseman Travis Walsh assisted.
After allowing three goals on 13 shots, Schierhorn was pulled from the game and replaced by freshman goaltender Brock Kautz.
Up 3-0 and keeping Minnesota to limited chances, Haag notched his second of the game and period on an odd-man rush with DeBlouw. DeBlouw found a streaking Haag, who reached with one hand and chipped the puck by Kautz.
Minnesota outshot the Spartans 28 to 23, but the Spartans limited many of the Gopher chances to the outside, keeping Minnesota from the prime scoring areas. Whenever Minnesota did enter the dangerous areas of the ice, it was Hildebrand who was there to answer, as he stopped all 28 Minnesota shots.
“I play a bunch of mini games in my head to break the game down,” Hildebrand said about trying to pitch a shutout. “I think 60 minutes breaking it down to five minute increments, I think it really helps.”
Ferrantino capped the scoring on a rebound goal on MSU’s final power play of the night, giving Hildebrand the shutout and a MSU a 5-0 win over Big Ten-leading Minnesota.
“Last night pucks hit goal posts and stayed out, tonight, hit goal posts, go in,” head coach Tom Anastos said. “I liked how we played, I liked the balance in our lines.
“A lot of good stuff coming out of it, it was a good win for us."
MSU picked up its third win in four games heading into the final week of the season. The Spartans face Ohio State University next weekend for a two-game series before heading off to the Big Ten Tournament.