MSU wins second straight after Appleton overtime goal
After a night of many firsts for the MSU hockey team, it was back at Munn Ice Arena to continue regular season play. In the first game of the series, the Spartans won in an overtime thriller over the visiting Michigan Tech Huskies, 3-2, in a hostly-contested affair.
Of note, the last five times the clubs have matched up, all five of those games have gone into overtime. In a needed change, the team dressed seven defensemen — one more than the usual six — after redshirt-freshman Jerad Rosburg was out with an upper-body injury.
The match was scoreless in the early going with the goaltenders for both teams recording impressive saves, but MSU got on the board early, courtesy of sophomore defenseman Zach Osburn, less than 10 minutes in. The blueliner crept in and buried the bounce into the back of the net.
Just a couple minutes of game time later, though, the Huskies struck back efficiently. Left wing Mason Blacklock scored the equalizer after a backhand got though Minney's right side.
The period ended with the score tied, 1-1. The two teams exchanged the same amount of shots on goal, 7-7, exhibiting the back-and-forth nature of the match.
With 20 minutes in the books, the Huskies came out of the intermission swinging. An early power play opportunity gave them the one-man advantage and they took care of business. A rebound off Minney left center Jake Lucchini with a wide open net and the sophomore handed the away team the one score lead.
As the minutes ticked away in the period, the Spartans were still down by a goal, but on their first power play chance of the night, sophomore right wing Mason Appleton sent the horn buzzing with a shot that snuck past Redmond's right side.
The goal was Appleton's second of the season and came during MSU's achilles heel, the power play. The icers came in just 3-for-32 for a 9.4 percent power play rate, but the forward's score came at the perfect time.
MSU and Michigan Tech went into the second intermission still tied up, 2-2, after 40 minutes of play.
The final period of play saw a defensive struggle as neither team could generate any shots on goal. The home Spartans produced just one shot while the Huskies got a mere two of their own against Minney.
With the limited offense, the game was forced into the extra overtime, marking the sixth straight time the two teams needed the additional period to crown a winner.
This time around, MSU proved victorious, with Appleton netting his second goal of the game. Of all three goals, Appleton's stick was all over them, as he chipped in two goals and an assist.
Along with Appleton stood out another sophomore for MSU, being Osburn. The defenseman contributed a goal and an assist. Last year's Big Ten All-Freshman team member filled in admirably for the injured Rosburg, playing nearly over other shift on the ice.
The win marks MSU's second straight of the year. After dropping its first four to start the season, the Spartans will have another chance to add to its streak on Saturday. The Spartans will face off against these same Huskies with puck drop scheduled at 7:05 p.m. in game two of the in-state series.