Monday, June 17, 2024

FINAL: Michigan State’s rally falls short in 3-2 loss to No. 16 UMass Lowell

October 15, 2022
<p>5th-year defenseman Cole Krygier (8) fights off UMass players during a game at Munn Ice Arena on Oct. 13, 2022. The Spartans defeated the Minutemen with a score of 4-3. </p>

5th-year defenseman Cole Krygier (8) fights off UMass players during a game at Munn Ice Arena on Oct. 13, 2022. The Spartans defeated the Minutemen with a score of 4-3.

Despite scoring two goals in the second period and outshooting its opponent 38-29, Michigan State could not overcome an abysmal second period in its 3-2 loss to No. 16 UMass Lowell. 

The Spartans’ two goals were both scored by freshmen: forward Daniel Russell and defenseman Matt Basgall

Thanks to Thursday night’s 4-3 win, Michigan State exits the series with a split against the ranked visitors. 

UMass Lowell notched its first goal of the evening just a few minutes in. Michigan State failed to clean up a loose puck near the front of the net and Owen Cole tapped it past graduate senior goaltender Dylan St. Cyr

The rest of the first period was a relatively even affair. While the River Hawks went into the first intermission with more shots on a goal and a 1-0 lead, the Spartans had a few solid series in the offensive zone. 

The second period was an ugly one for Michigan State. Entering the period down just 1-0, a handful of penalties handcuffed the Spartans’ push in the offensive zone.  

The penalty kill unit had to stave off two power plays and three minutes of a major. In fact, the period opened with the aforementioned major, thanks to a penalty for contact to the head by sophomore forward Tanner Kelly in the final second of the first period. 

The River Hawks managed to extend their lead by two in the period, although they converted just once on the power play. The other second period goal was strikingly similar to UMass Lowell’s first goal of the evening — a loose puck in the front of the net was simply cleaned up by the visitors. 

UMass Lowell had all the momentum heading into the third period. However, the River Hawks committed a holding penalty less than two minutes in, giving the Spartans an opening to attempt a comeback. 

Basgall cashed in on the man advantage quickly, sniping a shot top-shelf less than ten seconds into the power play. 

The defenseman’s goal seemed to breathe some life into the tepid Michigan State offense. The Spartans started to tilt the ice towards the offensive zone, notching plenty of solid scoring chances. 

Michigan State looked especially dangerous in the final minutes of the third. With just over two minutes left, Basgall ripped a long-range shot that was deflected by Russell to draw Michigan State within one. 

The final minutes of the period following Russell’s goal were pure chaos. 

A holding call on the visitors gave Michigan State a power play with just under a minute left. The Spartans sent a flurry of shots the goaltender’s way, with perhaps the best chance coming off the stick of senior forward Nico Müller in the final seconds. The forward’s shot just missed a yawning net and the rally fell short. 

Ultimately, UMass Lowell’s Henry Welsch was just too strong in the crease. Michigan State notched 24 shots on goal in the third period alone, but the River Hawks goaltender made just enough plays to escape with the victory. 

Michigan State is back in action with another non-conference home series next weekend, this time against Long Island. The two-game tilt kicks off Friday night, with a 7 p.m. puck drop. 

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