Sunday, April 14, 2024

FINAL: MSU hockey falls to Buckeyes again in slimmest of margins

February 18, 2017
Senior right wing Villiam Haag (26) attempts to take the puck from Ohio State left wing Luke Stork (27) during the game against Ohio State on Feb. 17, 2017 at Munn Arena. The Spartans were defeated by the buckeyes, 3-2.
Senior right wing Villiam Haag (26) attempts to take the puck from Ohio State left wing Luke Stork (27) during the game against Ohio State on Feb. 17, 2017 at Munn Arena. The Spartans were defeated by the buckeyes, 3-2. —
Photo by Jon Famurewa | and Jon Famurewa The State News

Whenever this year’s MSU hockey team feels as if it was beginning to turn its season around and generate some positive momentum, the Spartans have always suffered disappointment.

After a win and a draw to the University of Michigan last weekend, head coach Tom Anastos said he felt his team was heading into the weekend series against Ohio State with some positive momentum.

Instead, the Spartans scuffled once more Saturday as they were defeated by the No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes, 4-3.

The loss capped off a weekend sweep by the Buckeyes as the Spartans fell 3-2 on Friday.

In what has become a competitive goalie battle for MSU, junior goaltender Ed Minney was named the starter Saturday one day after freshman John Lethemon was given the nod in goal. The junior from Wind Gap, Pa. logged 20 saves in the loss.

The Buckeyes entered this weekend’s series No. 1 in the nation in power play efficiency. MSU successfully prevented the Buckeyes from scoring on the man-advantage Friday, but it was the polar opposite Saturday

OSU managed to capitalize on two of four power play opportunities.

Similar to Friday’s game, the Buckeyes were the first to put points on the board.

After freshman defenseman Butrus Ghafari was called for interference, the Buckeyes capitalized on the man-advantage.

OSU’s Tanner Laczynski made a pass to junior forward Matthew Weis, and Weis, near the goaline, subsequently passed off the boards to Matt Joyauk close to the left point. Joyauk then fed defenseman Matt Miller, where his one-timer slapshot above the right circle gave OSU their first goal of the game.

The Buckeyes managed to come out strong early in the second period.

1:18 into the second frame, David Gust passed to Nick Schilkey, where his wrist shot on a power play near the goalline found the top right of the net. The goal then extended the Buckeyes’ lead to two.

27 seconds later, the Buckeyes tacked on their third goal of the night.

Behind the net, OSU’s Kevin Miller made a backhand pass to forward Brendon Kearney in front of the goal crease. Kearney’s shot snuck by Minney, and gave the Buckeyes a 3-0 lead.

MSU ended the Buckeyes’ three unanswered goals with one of its own 51 seconds after Kearney’s goal.

Senior forward Villiam Haag passed to junior defenseman Carson Gatt at the left point, where Gatt would make a cross ice pass to fifth-year senior defenseman Rhett Holland at the right point. Holland then passed back to Gatt. His slapshot near the top of the left circle was redirected by freshman forward Logan Lambdin as the Spartans scored their first goal of the night.

MSU scored once more with 6:44 left in the second period as sophomore forward Mason Appleton recorded his 11th goal of the season with a wrist shot along with right circle that sailed by OSU’s Christian Frey.

Just when it seemed the Spartans may have generated some momentum heading into the third period, the Buckeyes scored 1:48 into the period to extend the lead back to two.

Seconds after OSU won the draw in the left circle, a wrist shot by Matthew Weis sailed by Minney — giving the Buckeyes a 4-2 lead and taking the life out of the hopeful Spartan fans.

As the Spartans were on a power play after Miguel Fidler was called for interference, MSU capitalized with one second left on the man-advantage — cutting their deficit to one with 6:02 left in regulation.

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At the right point, Appleton passed to freshman forward Taro Hirose, who then fed freshman forward Sam Saliba. Saliba’s one-timer snuck by Frey.

After the Buckeyes challenged the call on the ice stating a Spartan was offsides, the play was reviewed, but the call stood making it a 4-3 game.

The Spartans couldn’t mount a late-game comeback as they dropped their record to 6-19-3 and 2-9-2 in the Big Ten.

The Spartans will play their final home series next weekend as they face Penn State in a two-game series on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game can be viewed on the Big Ten Network. 


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