Throughout the game, the teams stacked up 16 penalties in total, nine of which were committed by the Spartans while seven were on Cornell.
Both teams capitalized on power play opportunities, with MSU going 2 for 6 overall and Cornell going 2 for 8. It came down to the sole goal scored on even-strength ice that secured the game in The Big Red’s favor 1-0.
For Head Coach Danton Cole, the Spartans' penalty prone game came from a lot of “unforced errors” that Cole thinks were “unnecessary.”
“There were some discipline things, and I don't want to lose the intensity, I’m alright with that, but you can't take those penalties,” Cole said. “You should be working and drawing penalties and frustrate the other team, not the other way around.”
Cole was right, the game was chippy, especially in the first and second periods. Michigan State compiled eight of their nine penalties before the third period. Ironically, Cornell scored all of their goals before the third period as well.
Junior forward Brody Stevens lead the Spartans in penalties, committing three, one in each period.
Dennis Cesana, who scored the Spartans' first goal of the night, said the team has to work on staying out of the penalty box as it “shot us in the foot a couple times, especially when we were rolling early in the first (period).”
“It’s just two teams that play hard and like to use their bodies,” Cesana said.
Senior center Patrick Khodorenko, who scored the other goal for the Spartans, felt the same way.
“When we were playing well, we had a lot of chances ... we were kind of shooting ourselves in the foot taking penalties and not getting pucks in deep,” Khodorenko said.
The Spartans look to split their third straight series in tonight's rematch against The Big Red and Cesana thinks the game will be just as physical.
"I’m sure it will be the same way, if not more (Saturday)," Cesana said.