Michigan completed the sweep in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament with a 8-0 throttling of the rival Michigan State Spartans. With no shot at the NCAA tournament, the season is officially over for Michigan State. Michigan will advance to the second win of the tournament, facing off against either Notre Dame or Ohio State.
From start to finish, the Wolverines dominated their in-state rivals, much like the previous meetings between the teams this season. MSU showed stretches of competency throughout, but the talent gap between the squads was glaringly obvious. Short bursts of excellence by Michigan overcame any sort of progress or momentum from Michigan State.
The first period was, fittingly, an unmitigated disaster for the Spartans.
Michigan set the tone quickly. Just 54 seconds into the first period, sophomore forward Thomas Bordeleau zipped across the blue line and wristed a shot past the goaltender.
Things got worse quickly for the Spartans. Fifth-year senior forward Michael Pastujov extended the lead to two just a few minutes later.
The bleeding didn't stop there. Freshman forward Dylan Duke netted a goal three minutes later to make it 3-0.
After giving up three goals on four shots, senior goaltender Drew DeRidder was pulled from the game and replaced with sophomore Pierce Charleson.
A crosschecking penalty on the Wolverines gave MSU a chance to start clawing its way back with a man advantage. It didn't do anything to stop a Michigan team with all the momentum in the world. Sophomore forward Kent Johnson scored a shorthanded goal for the Wolverines, making the game 4-0 just over halfway through the first.
Michigan made sure to tack on some security goals in the second period. Just over two minutes into the second, Junior forward Johnny Beecher slung the puck between Charleson's legs to extend the lead to five.
Whistled for a slew foot, senior defenseman Christian Krygier was ejected just over halfway through the second period, giving a lethal Michigan power play five minutes to work.
Then, the Wolverines scored three more times.
Freshman forward Mackie Samoskevich, junior forward Johnny Beecher and senior defenseman Nick Blankenburg all found the back of the net during the five minutes on the man advantage. Michigan State's defense couldn't do a thing, watching the opponents play keep-away in the offensive zone, hunting for the perfect opportunity to pull the trigger.
The final period ended with a whimper. Michigan finally relented, pulling back its forwards and slowing the game down to a grind. Michigan State struggled to break into the offensive zone, and when they finally did, sophomore goaltender Erik Portillo easily gloved or knocked away the shots.
Michigan State's loss to Michigan officially marks the end of the season for the Spartans. Michigan State has yet to win a single game in the Big Ten tournament. Including the two losses in the tournament, MSU finished the 2021-22 season with a 12-23-1 record, with just one win coming in 2022.
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