Spartans come out on top in third period comeback
With 47 seconds remaining in the third period, freshman defenseman Dennis Cesana took his shot from the center of the blue line to put the Spartans back in the game to tie the No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes.
Michigan State (6-10-3) would upset the Buckeyes (11-4-4) 8-7 after going into a 3-on-3 overtime, but due to official ruling in conference play, this game will remain in a tie. The Spartans would trail in shots at the end of the game 40-38.
“That doesn’t feel like a tie,” MSU coach Danton Cole. “It was a pretty interesting game. Even when it was 6-3 and 7-4 we made some big mistakes and that’s the game of hockey. I thought we were doing an awful lot right.”
Junior forward Logan Lambdin scored the game winner at the 2:20 mark in the second overtime with setups from senior defenseman Zach Osburn and sophomore forward Mitchell Lewandowski. Although Lambdin scored the goal, he will only be credited with one goal from the game after no shots mades during their second power play.
Heading into the third period, the Spartans trailed 4-2. Both teams combined for a total of eight goals before the start of overtime play.
“It just shows we were relentless the whole night,” Lambdin said. “We gave up a lot more than we wanted to and we didn’t get some bounces, but we got our second and third line scoring. That’s just positive looking forward.”
The Michigan State power play unit would go 2-for-3 with goals from senior forward Cody Milan and junior forward Taro Hirose to add to the team scoring. This unit would not be the only success out of the Spartans’ special team as the penalty kill went 1-for-3 allowing one goal and 13 shots.
Junior forward Patrick Khodorenko would earn four assists in the game and his linemate Hirose would lead with two goals. Together those two and Lewandowski would carry with the most points from their Spartan line.
“I thought we played a good game, controlling the puck and trying to make plays,” Khodorenko said. “We were creating chances.”
Just over a minute into the game, Ohio State’s Gustaf Westlund would place the Buckeyes on the board first just after the Spartans led in shots 3-1 up until that point. Hirose would answer over two minutes later to tie the game up after the puck was lose and slid it past Ohio State goaltender Sean Romeo. This would give the Spartans an edge a few minutes later in the period allowing Cesana to score off of Lewandowski’s rebound to take over the lead and his second of the night.
The Buckeyes would score their fourth goal after forward Quinn Preston completed a backhanded pass to forward Mason Jobst that DeRidder could not save. Just as Sanford entered the box for the second time a few minutes later, the Buckeyes would score their fifth goal of the night to take their lead back.
“We were playing like we had nothing to lose,” Khodorenko said. “We try to put anything on net. I thought we never gave up.”
The two teams will battle it out again tomorrow at 8 p.m puck drop back at Munn Ice Arena and live on the Big Ten Network.