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PREVIEW: Michigan State prepares for decisive matchup with Wisconsin

January 31, 2019
The Spartan players celebrate with the Spartan fans after a goal during the game against Minnesota on Jan. 20, 2019. The Spartans are tied with the Golden Gophers 1-1 at the end of the first period.
The Spartan players celebrate with the Spartan fans after a goal during the game against Minnesota on Jan. 20, 2019. The Spartans are tied with the Golden Gophers 1-1 at the end of the first period. —
Photo by CJ Weiss | The State News

Who: Michigan State Hockey vs. Wisconsin

When: 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2

Where: Munn Ice Arena, East Lansing, MI

TV/Streams: BTN Plus

Radio: Spartan Sports Network

Michigan State (9-13-4, 5-8-3 Big Ten) prepares to face Wisconsin (9-11-4, 5-5-4 Big Ten) in their second-to-last home stand this season. 

The Spartans find themselves tied for last place in the Big Ten yet again, just after scratching third place two weeks ago. Among three teams tied for seventh, the Spartans share 20 Big Ten points with Penn State and Wisconsin. Each program has the opportunity to make another decisive leap in the conference rankings, as six points would put them both in the mix in a tight Big Ten field.

Goaltending

The Spartans’ goaltending situation has drawn attention as of late, as junior John Lethemon seemed to have locked up the starting position prior to the recent trip to South Bend. 

Allowing six goals in a 6-3 loss, Lethemon ceded the next start to freshman Drew Deridder, whose one-goal effort allowed MSU to salvage one point in the 1-1 tie. Coach Danton Cole has shown his preference to ride the hot hand, so it will be interesting to see if that holds true this Friday.

Prediction

Although Wisconsin swept the Spartans in the first meeting this season, Friday will be a low-scoring affair in which the Spartans edge out a much-needed victory.

Final Score

Michigan State 2, Wisconsin 1

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