Friday, December 1, 2023

Final: The Spartans take their second sweep of the season against Canisius

October 20, 2023
<p>Two Canisius players on either side of a Michigan State player during a game between each other at Munn Ice Arena on Oct. 19, 2023. The Spartans beat the Griffins 6-3 in one of a two-game series.</p>

Two Canisius players on either side of a Michigan State player during a game between each other at Munn Ice Arena on Oct. 19, 2023. The Spartans beat the Griffins 6-3 in one of a two-game series.

Photo by Sonya Barlow | The State News

The Michigan State hockey team rounded out another weekend series with an electric crowd at Munn. The team secured their second sweep of the season after defeating the Canisius Golden Griffins on Friday night with a score of 4-3.

The Spartans came into this game with a big change on the line chart, starting freshman goalie Luca Di Pasquo started his first game for the Spartans, replacing freshman Trey Augustine.

Di Pasquo came out with heat, and he was quick to make a beautiful save to prevent the Golden Griffins from landing on the board early on.

While the Spartans played hard in their offensive zone, they did not have a shot on goal until Joey Larson threw one towards the  goal five minutes into the game, which was shot just wide.

Not too long after his shot attempt came a power play for the team, but they were not able to capitalize during the attempt, even with a couple beautiful shots on goal. Canisius started out the game playing strong in its defensive zone.

After the power play attempt, a penalty kill was headed the Spartan's way after a cross checking call on Karsen Dorwart. The team was able to hold off on the kill for their first of the game.

As quickly as tempers rose during the game on their Thursday game, they came just as quickly on that Friday as well. The teams played aggressively through the first and their want and drive for a first goal paid off when freshman defenseman Artyom Levshunov sent on straight to the back of the net, right past the leg of the Canisius goalie. His goal was assisted by two veteran players, senior defenseman and captain Nash Nienhuis and fifth year forward and alternate captain Nicolas Müller.

With 14 seconds remaining in the starting period, a scrum broke out in the Spartans defensive end, sending two in green in white to one penalty box and one in blue and gold to the other. Quickly after came another penalty for the Spartans, after a cross check from junior defenseman David Gucciardi which resulted in a five minute major.

Starting the second with two minutes of five on three, and another three minutes of a major, the Spartans were able to clear the two minutes, and even had some time for four on four hockey after a high sticking call on Canisius. MSU was able to kill off both penalties with ease, as its penalty kill this season has been off to an incredible start.

The second period brought several power plays into the hands of the Spartans, receiving back to back after a boarding call and a hooking call on their opponents

While the team was not able to make a two goal game out of the power plays, the still spent a lot of time in the offensive zone. Shortly after the end of their power plays came a penalty kill yet again after another major penalty and a game misconduct on Owen Baker for kneeing

The team could skate this kill unscathed though, with a Canisius goal coming a minute and a half in, but the Spartans struck back, earning themselves a shorthanded breakaway goal from grad student, forward Reed Lebster

The rest of the major penalty was able to be held off with amazing efforts from green and white

While the Spartans came into the third down two players from their lineup, this didn’t deter them from playing to the best of their abilities like they have for every other period of the game.

The Spartans were awarded another power play after a boarding call, but a mistake came quickly after MSU was tagged for having too many men on the ice. While the roles were reversed, and the Spartans had to play down a man for a minute, that was no problem for them, making sure that Canisius did not tie up the game.

Ending the power play, Michigan State snapped back yet again with a goal from Daniel Russell, putting his name on the score sheet for the second night in a row

At the 11 minute mark, a power play came to the Spartans after a slashing call on Canisius. Michigan State fought for its fourth goal, but the opportunity passed them

After an unsportsmanlike conduct call on both teams, the four on four hockey began, and almost halfway through, the Spartans were struck again for a tripping call, taking the game to four on three. Fortunately for the Spartan's another short handed goal came soon after, when Nienhuis sent in a beautiful goal off of a rebound shot from Levshunov

The Golden Griffins quickly retaliated making it a two goal game and then pulled their goalie in the remaining two minutes. The opponents were able to put one goal in the net in the remaining five seconds, but the Spartans skated away with another win defeating Canisius 4-3.

The Spartans head out to Boston for a series against Boston College on Thursday, Oct. 26 and Friday, Oct. 27. They will play on ESPN+ at 7 p.m.

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