After junior forward Brennan Sanford scored the Spartans lone goal in the third period against No. 8 Ohio State, the team still couldn't keep pace with the Buckeyes’ speedy goals Friday night.
MSU would take their third loss into the new year as they start off their weekend home series against the Buckeyes with a score of 4-1.
“It was a tough matchup,” head coach Danton Cole said. “I think the lessons keep coming, but we’ll keep trying to figure some things out.”
As the Spartans won the opening faceoff to start their third game of the week off, Ohio State’s junior defenseman Sasha Larocque would strike first 33 seconds into the period to take the lead. After continually being outshot by the Buckeyes in the first period, 13-5, Ohio State’s senior forward Kevin Miller would increase their lead by two.
The Spartans got two power play chances to decrease the lead, but ended up failing short after sophomore forward Patrick Khodorenko would get called for boarding to make a 4-on-4. MSU's power play unit is ranked No. 12 in the nation, while the Buckeyes rank No. 1 in the nation in penalty kill percentage.
Only 32 seconds into the second period, the Buckeyes would score two goals with 17 seconds separating them. Khodorenko would lead the period with three out of the Spartans ten shots as they continued to look for their first goal to prevent from getting shutout.
Sophomore goaltender John Lethemon would be replaced by senior goaltender Ed Minney after Ohio State’s sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski scored the fourth goal.
“Obviously it’s tough coming into a 4-0 game like that," Minney said. “Especially when the only real game I’ve played was the USA game and my last college game I played was a couple of months ago.”
Minney would play into the third period where he faced five more shots from the Buckeyes and the Spartans took a seven more.
MSU will return to face Ohio State again tomorrow for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop back at Munn Ice Arena.