Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Final: OSU 4, MSU 2, Spartan hockey suffers first loss of season

November 29, 2020
<p>Players on the bench congratulate junior center Mitchell Mattson (27) on his first Spartan career goal in the first period. The Spartans triumphed against the Sun Devils, 2-0, on Nov. 20, 2020.</p>

Players on the bench congratulate junior center Mitchell Mattson (27) on his first Spartan career goal in the first period. The Spartans triumphed against the Sun Devils, 2-0, on Nov. 20, 2020.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

Michigan State ice hockey (2-1-1) suffered their first loss of the season Sunday evening, falling 4-2 to No. 10 Ohio State (1-3-0) in Columbus.

The same goal keepers as Saturday started in net for both teams: Drew DeRidder for Michigan State and Tommy Nappier for Ohio State.

Michigan State’s penalty kill had been on fire to start the season. Through the first three games, the Spartans did not allow a single power play goal in ten combined tries from first Arizona State and then Ohio State. It was almost inevitable though that the streak would come to an end, and it did early in this game.

Ohio State came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, perhaps a little upset after falling in overtime to MSU last night. After a second consecutive slow first 10 minutes offensively for the Spartans, defenseman Aiden Gallacher was called for a holding penalty. One minute later, OSU’s Quinn Preston received a rebounded shot that went right to him off the pads of DeRidder and buried it to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead.

Besides not giving up the rebound, there was not much DeRidder could have done to stop Preston, a 15-time goal scorer last season. He simply was in the right place at the right time.

The goal by Ohio State seemed to somewhat wake up Michigan State, despite the deficit. After the goal at 13:53, the Spartans put seven shots on goal against Nappier, all of which were saved.

MSU was finally able to get on the board thanks to a fourth-line Mitchell Mattson goal midway through the second period. The fourth line was flying all night long generating scoring chances for head coach Danton Cole's team.

Mattson, a junior center who had not scored in his first two seasons in the green and white, netted his second goal of the season and is now tied for the most on the team with top-line forward Charlie Combs.

Michigan State put on lots of pressure after knotting it up at one apiece, but just five minutes later Ohio State regained the lead.

Fresh off an MSU power play, a turnover in the neutral zone by Dennis Cesana led to an OSU 2-on-1 rush that Joe Dunlap was able to capitalize on, giving the Buckeyes the edge again.

The beginning of the third period was a slow one with neither team generating high-quality scoring chances. That was until a Michigan State interference penalty midway through the final period by defenseman Christian Krygier led to a power-play goal by OSU's Grant Gabriele.

What was Ohio State’s second power-play goal of the night gave the Buckeyes a more comfortable two-goal lead, something the Spartans were hoping for but did not get in the third period of Saturday’s game.

However, Michigan State was able to cut the lead to just one thanks to a powerplay goal by Combs, his second goal of the series, with 7:30 remaining.

DeRidder was pulled from net with about one and half minutes remaining in the game, but the Spartans were not able to get a tying goal past Nappier with the advantage. An empty-net goal with 5.6 seconds left by OSU’s Gustaf Westlund sealed the deal for Ohio State, handing Michigan State its first loss of the season.

Despite the loss, MSU beat out OSU in many statistical categories Sunday. They outshot Ohio State 44-31 and won the face-off battle 38-24. DeRidder did not play as well as he had been through the first three games, but by no means was it a bad game. It was perhaps more of a coming down to earth outing after allowing just three goals in three starts.

The blocked shots by Ohio State (17) and strong goaltender play by Nappier, the reigning Big Ten Goaltender of the Year, proved to be the difference resulting in an Ohio State victory.

Michigan State will return home this week for a two-game series versus Minnesota (4-0-0) on Thursday and Friday. Ohio State will host Wisconsin (4-4-0) Thursday and Friday.

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