After falling 4-3 to No. 6 Penn State in the final minute of the game Friday night, Michigan State hockey bounced back with a commanding 7-3 victory on Saturday, splitting the series with the Nittany Lions.
MSU came out of the gate looking like the better hockey team, leading 3-0 less than ten minutes into the first period, but the three goal advantage quickly slipped through the Spartans’ fingers as Penn State put up three of its own in the last half of the first period.
After its sloppy performance at the end of the first, MSU gathered itself during intermission and returned to the ice appearing more put together. The Spartans proceeded to put four more goals on the board, while PSU did not find the back of the net again for the rest of the night.
Freshman defenseman Matt Basgall got the Spartans on the board first with his second goal on the weekend. He was assisted on the play by his linemates freshman forward Tiernan Shoudy and sophomore forward Tanner Kelly.
Junior forward Jeremy Davidson recorded an unassisted goal, his first of the season, to put MSU up 2-0 5:51 into the game.
At the 8:43 mark, sophomore forward Jesse Tucker found the back of the net with a shot from the left side of the ice to make MSU’s lead 3-0 .
Penn State was finally able to get on the board with a goal from Christian Sarlo, 16:33 into the first period.
The Spartans quickly fell apart when senior forward Jagger Joshua was whistled for interference after knocking a PSU player hard to the ice. It was ruled a major misconduct and Joshua was ejected from the game, sending Penn State into a five minute power play.
The Nittany Lions were able to capitalize on the man advantage as Tyler Gratton got one past graduate transfer goaltender Dylan St. Cyr at the 18:76 mark, allowing PSU to trail by one.
Less than a minute later, PSU’s Kevin Wall netted a goal of his own to tie the game before both teams headed into the locker room.
MSU was able to prevent any more PSU goals on the power play and was back at full force shortly into the second.
Both teams were down a skater less than eight minutes into the second after freshman forward Karsen Dorwart and PSU’s Christian Berger were both sent to their respective penalty boxes for two minutes on different calls.
Neither MSU or PSU were able to capitalize on the four-on-four play and both teams returned to full force at the 9:44 mark.
Not long after he stepped out of the penalty box, Dorwart netted his third goal of the season with assists from Shoudy and graduate defenseman Michael Underwood to put Michigan State back on top.
Fifth-year defenseman Cole Krygier added to MSU’s lead less than three minutes later with his first goal of the game and second of the series, bringing his season total to four.
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With less than two minutes to play in the second, MSU’s leading point scorer freshman forward Daniel Russell added his fifth goal of the season to the board to put the Spartans up 6-3 before the second intermission.
Michigan State’s defense shined in the third period as St. Cyr recorded eight saves to bring his total of the night to 30. St. Cyr and MSU’s skaters did not allow a single PSU goal in the remaining two periods.
with less than five minutes left to play,
Dorwart put the final nail in Penn State’s coffin with an unassisted, empty-netter, earning his first-career two-goal night. He and Shoudy both finished with four points.
The Spartans split the series with the Nittany Lions, leaving State College 9-4-1 overall and 5-2-1 in the Big Ten.
MSU will take a break from conference play as it heads to Ohio next weekend for a series versus Miami (OH) Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m..
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