After Michigan State’s 5-1 start to the season, the Spartans were swept by No. 3 Boston College over the weekend. It was a harshly fought series, ending in a score of 6-4 Thursday and a score of 5-1 Friday.
On night one of the series, the Spartans totaled eight penalties. Three penalties were from junior defenseman David Gucciardi, and another was a five-minute major from a face mask call on freshman defenseman Austin Oravetz.
“You can’t go to the box. And that is going to happen sometimes in games, and the refs do a good job, but we definitely need to take less penalties,” head coach Adam Nightingale said following the game.
While the Spartans fell on night one, they led for most of the second period with a score of 3-2 after yet another short-handed goal this season and a power play goal from sophomore forward Karsen Dorwart. The team currently leads the Big Ten in short-handed goals. Senior forward Jeremy Davidson had a goal in the third, as well as a last-minute effort from junior forward Red Savage.
The Spartans had no goals through the first two periods of game two. Still, they were able to finally land on the board halfway through the final period with a goal from Dorwart, who accumulated a total of three goals this weekend, but the team was never able to make the comeback that they wanted to make.
MSU fought hard, but there were several things the team has said they need to work on this week leading into Big Ten play—playing a full 60-minute game, staying disciplined and making sure that they are not taking penalties that do not need to be taken.
“I think we need to play the whole 60,” Dorwart said. “Discipline is kind of the problem, so we need to figure that out and play the whole game.”
The penalty kill unit for MSU has been excellent to start the season, but there is only so much the unit can do when unnecessary penalties continue to be taken.
Night two brought a lot of penalties as well, but the Spartans got away with fewer penalties on Friday than they did on Thursday.
“I actually think we did better tonight than we did last night,” Nightingale said. “Obviously, you can look at the score and some of the stuff that we need to clean up away from the puck, (but) we did better.”
The takeaways did come for the team, though, knowing what they need to do and what needs to be done to head into an important run of conference games.
“We want to find some things out about our team that we want to keep working on,” Nightingale said. “We are a young group, and we need practice, and our guys practice really hard. But I think this will help and give us a little more intent to where we’re going.”
The scoreboard showed dominance from BC over both nights, but Nightingale had nothing but respect for the team and his former players that he was able to coach.
“They’ve got a ton of talent and a ton of speed so (Boston College is) going to make it hard on you, but I think we took a step in the right direction,” Nightingale said.
The Spartans head to Columbus for their first Big Ten game of the season on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. against Ohio State, where they look to sweep the Buckeyes and get back into a winning streak.
Support student media!
Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.
Share and discuss “Careless penalties prove to be challenge in tough series loss for MSU hockey” on social media.