COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a subpar performance at the Great Lakes Invitational last week, Michigan State hockey was in need of a win. Facing off with No. 12 Ohio State on the road was an opportunity for redemption, instead the Spartans continued their slump, falling 3-1 to the Buckeyes and extending their losing streak to four.
Less than two minutes into the period, the Buckeyes got on the board first after senior forward Tate Singleton netted his third goal of the season.
Freshman defenseman Viktor Hurtig had the best opportunity of the first period, but it was blocked by Buckeye sophomore goaltender Jakub Dobeš.
Halfway through the first period, OSU’s sophomore forward Cam Thiesing was called for boarding, handing MSU the first power play opportunity of the game. The Spartans were unable to capitalize.
MSU gave up multiple scoring opportunities throughout the period as turnovers were an issue. A turnover from graduate defenseman Christian Krygier almost gave the Buckeyes another opportunity to score, but graduate goaltender Dylan St. Cyr saved it. St. Cyr had 10 saves in the first period.
The Spartans had another power play opportunity after OSU’s senior defenseman Dominic Vidoli was whistled for high-sticking at the 16:52 mark. The Buckeyes proved why they have the best penalty kill unit in the nation as MSU was unable to score an equalizer before first intermission.
Shots were 11-11 after the first period, despite OSU getting a 6-0 head start.
The Spartans kicked off the second period by sending their penalty kill unit out on the ice after Hurtig took a trip to the box on a hooking call. The Spartans successfully prevented OSU from adding another goal to the scoreboard.
St. Cyr had one of his biggest saves of the game as he reached his stick across the right side of the net to create a barrier and stop a shot from freshman forward John Larkin 5:52 into the period.
With less than three minutes remaining in the second period, senior forward Erik Middendorf and Theising got into a tussle by the OSU net and were both sent to the box for roughing.
To make matters worse, junior forward Jeremy Davidson was called for hooking with 1:59 left in the period, resulting in a power play goal by OSU’s freshman forward Stephen Halliday.
By the end of the first 40 minutes, Ohio State put up 31 shots to MSU’s 19.
Graduate defenseman Michael Underwood and freshman forward Davis Burnside spent the first two minutes of the third period in the penalty box serving cross checking penalties, forcing both teams to play four-on-four.
The Spartans prevented a shutout thanks to a goal from sophomore forward Jesse Tucker at the 19:44 mark.
MSU pulled St. Cyr with about a minute left to play. Junior forward Joe Dunlap broke away from the skaters to give OSU an empty net goal, its third of the night.
At the end of the night, OSU outshot MSU 37-28.
The Spartans will have the opportunity to split the series tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. Fans can catch the action on the Big Ten Network.
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