Sunday, December 4, 2022

MSU hockey mired in disappointment following close defeats

February 19, 2017
Sophomore right defense Zach Osburn (2) takes a shot as Ohio state defenders try to block him during the game against Ohio State on Feb. 17, 2017 at Munn Arena. The Spartans were defeated by the buckeyes, 3-2.
Sophomore right defense Zach Osburn (2) takes a shot as Ohio state defenders try to block him 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

If there were a word to describe this year’s MSU hockey team, “disappointment” could definitely be considered the paramount description.

After regular season wins over Ferris State and North Dakota earlier in the season, MSU sensed its confidence rising entering Big Ten play.

The Spartans then suffered disappointment as MSU took on Minnesota and was subsequently swept in a weekend series to kick off conference play that began what would be a nine-game losing streak.

Some thought the team was making strides in the right direction numerous times this season. Instead, the glimmers of hope were consistently dashed.

Head coach Tom Anastos said after a win and a draw against the University of Michigan last weekend that he thought his team was entering their weekend series against No. 14 Ohio State University with some momentum.

The Spartans hopes were once more cast down as they were swept by the Ohio State Buckeyes in two hotly contested games, 3-2 and 4-3.

Anastos said after Saturday’s loss to Ohio State that it is disappointing to feel like you’re generating momentum only to be crestfallen in a weekend series.

“It’s disappointing because they're a good team first of all,” Anastos said. “They’re a darn good team, but we've got to find ways to put ourselves in situations to win — your special teams, defending, face-offs. There’s different parts of the game that can cost you or help you and tonight, we lost the special teams battle, we lost the face-off battle, could be the difference in the game.”

Sophomore forward Mason Appleton said the disappointment brought from the sweep by Ohio State will motivate the team to work hard at practice to prepare for Penn State University this weekend.

“Obviously when you win, you’re building momentum,” Appleton said. “You've got to keep the wins up or that momentum goes away. And losing two at home obviously takes all that away, so we’re going to have to come to work Monday, have a really good week at practice because we’re going to play a really good team this upcoming weekend. So we’ve got to be ready for the challenge. We’ve got to find a way to get wins here next weekend.”

Senior forward and captain Joe Cox said despite the weekend sweep, the Spartans didn’t play as poorly as everyone might think, but they still have to improve.

“I don’t think we played as bad of a weekend as everyone thinks,” he said. “They're just a real offensive team. They’re going to put up three or four goals a game. That’s just how they work, and we've just got to kind of work on getting our offensive production up.”

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