Michigan State hockey successfully completed its series sweep of Wisconsin with a 5-1 victory Saturday night, moving to 6-3-1 on the season and 2-1-1 in the Big Ten.
The Badgers suffered their fourth consecutive loss, dropping them to 2-8-0 overall and 0-6-0 in the conference.
After senior forward Erik Middendorf recorded four of MSU’s five goals on Friday night, the Spartans split the work more with five different players picking up goals throughout the course of the game.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin switched up almost its entire lineup after being shutout Friday night, which included swapping goaltender Jared Moe for Kyle McClellan.
The first period was eventful with MSU scoring four times and Wisconsin finally getting on the board for the first time in the series, and the first time in eight periods.
Junior defenseman Nash Nienhuis took the first big shot of the game 1:53 into the game, but it was blocked by Wisconsin defenseman Anthony Kehrer.
Graduate forward and captain Miroslav Mucha put Michigan State on the board first, his third goal of the season, during a power play. Mucha was assisted by sophomore forward Tanner Kelly and Nienhuis.
Less than a minute after Mucha’s goal, senior forward Jagger Joshua netted one of his own, assisted by sophomore defenseman David Gucciardi and freshman forward Daniel Russel moving MSU up 2-0.
It was Joshua's fifth goal of the season, already the most he's scored in a season.
Freshman forward Karsen Dorwart missed a wide open shot 11:15 into the first period after he tripped and the puck slipped away from his stick.
Kelly got MSU on the board for the third time in the first period, which was also his third goal of the season and second of the weekend.
A silver lining for Wisconsin in the period was ending Michigan State’s 22 straight penalty kills after graduate student forward Brock Caufield netted a goal on Wisconsin’s second power play of the game, moving the score to 3-1.
Graduate defenseman Cole Krygier picked up an unassisted goal, his first of the game and second of the season, with 15 seconds left in the first period, putting MSU up 4-1 before the teams went into the locker room.
Though with two seconds left in the first period, Joshua picked up a major and misconduct call for contact to the head, ejecting him from the remainder of the game — the second night in a row MSU was whistled for a major penalty to end the first period.
The second period was rather quiet compared to the first, with neither team producing any extra goals.
The five-minute major penalty called on Joshua didn’t seem to phase MSU as it successfully kept Wisconsin out of the net and picked up yet another penalty kill.
Another penalty was called on the Spartans, with Russel spending two minutes in the box for charging. The call was reviewed as a major infraction, but ultimately remained a minor.
Not long after Russel’s penalty, a two-minute infraction was called on sophomore forward Jesse Tucker for hooking a Wisconsin player.
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After a scoreless second period, freshman forward Tiernan Shoudy kicked off the third with his first goal of the night and second of the season at 1:51 of the third. Nienhuis and Russell both picked up assists on the goal, the second of the night for each of them.
Another Spartan power play came 6:24 into the third period after Wisconsin’s defenseman Tyson Jugnauth was called for interference. Despite the extra man advantage, MSU was unable to convert.
Following his 44-save shutout performance – his MSU career high – Friday night, graduate transfer goaltender Dylan St. Cyr was back in the net for MSU, putting up 44 more saves on the night and only one goal on the weekend
The Spartans remain home next week for a series versus Ohio State on Thursday and Friday. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. both nights with the games streaming on BTN+.
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