An overtime winner by sophomore right wing Nicolas Müller gave Michigan State hockey (2-0-1) a 3-2 upset victory over No. 10 Ohio State (0-3-0) in Columbus on Saturday night.
Michigan State’s Drew DeRidder started in net exactly one week after recording his first career shutout. He was solid once again, saving 20 shots and bailing the team out a few times down the stretch.
Tommy Nappier started at goal for Ohio State. The reigning Big Ten Goaltender of the Year had by no means a bad game, saving 42 shots for the Buckeyes. He was victim of a suddenly high volume Spartan offense that peppered him with scoring chances for most of the game.
The game started off slowly for the Spartans as they found themselves outshot 5-1 halfway through the first period.
Then, Spartan senior left winger Gianluca Esteves was flagged for tripping 14 minutes into the game giving the Buckeyes the first power play of the matchup. With 40 seconds left in the power play, MSU and OSU were given double-minor penalties — slashing for Ohio State’s Michael Gildon and embellishment for Michigan State forward Jagger Joshua.
Like they have been all year, the penalty kill was yet again brilliant and the Spartans moved to 8 for 8 on the penalty kill in the young season.
MSU was able to even up the shots on goal by the end of the first. Part of that was thanks to a roughing penalty by Nappier, ironically the OSU goaltender, with just over two minutes left in the period.
In the second period, Ohio State got themselves on the board first from the stick of defenseman Grant Gabriele. He hit a one-time shot right in front of the net to beat DeRidder.
The game changed though two minutes later when Gildon was called for his second penalty of the night. MSU got lots of chances on the power play and were rewarded for their effort. Charlie Combs, a graduate transfer from Bemidji State, netted his first career goal as a Spartan, tying the game at one a piece and giving the Spartans all the momentum.
Michigan State carried the momentum for the remainder of the period. In total, the green and white put up 20 shots on goal in the period including a go-ahead score by left wing junior Adam Goodsir to give the Spartans the lead with just under four minutes left in the second period.
The third period was again dominated by Michigan State. All hopes for an Ohio State comeback seemed to diminish when the Buckeyes’ Layton Ahac was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for a hit to the head with 6:58 remaining in the third. The sophomore defenseman will miss tomorrow night’s game because of the misconduct.
MSU did not generate many good chances during the power play, accumulating only three shots on goal during the five minute span. Their best chance came toward the end of the power play when defenseman Tommy Miller beat Nappier but hit the post.
The Buckeyes penalty kill was able to hold off Michigan State in what was perhaps a conservative effort by the Spartans trying to preserve their one goal lead. Nappier was then pulled from net in favor of an extra attacker with less than a minute in the period.
It took just 17 seconds for Ohio State to tie the game on a well-orchestrated goal by freshman Travis Treloar. He received a cross-ice pass from Evan McIntyre and took a one-time shot and buried it behind DeRidder to tie the game, sending Michigan State to overtime for the second time in the first three games of the year.
The beginning of the overtime period was mainly controlled by the Buckeyes. DeRidder was once again a monster in net and possibly extended the game by robbing OSU’s Tate Singleton in point-blank range.
The Spartans did not register a shot on goal in the first two minutes of the overtime period. All it took was one transitional rush in the 3-on-3 overtime for sophomore winger Nicolas Müller to win the game.
Müller’s goal was the fourth of his career and his first overtime winner for Michigan State.
The Spartans outshot Ohio State 45-22 and won the faceoff battle 42-20.
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The seven penalties for 25 minutes is not a recipe for success for Ohio State, let alone any team. Tonight's game was the beginning of a stretch of six games in 12 days for Michigan State. Game two versus Ohio State is Sunday at 5:30 p.m on BTN+.
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