Friday, December 1, 2023

Preview: Michigan State hockey looks to challenge No. 3 Boston College on the road

October 25, 2023
<p>Sophomore forward JT Stenglein fights for the puck with Boston College defenseman Michael Matheson Nov. 14, 2014, during the game at Munn Ice Arena. The Spartans lost to the Eagles, 3-2. Erin hampton/The State News</p>

Sophomore forward JT Stenglein fights for the puck with Boston College defenseman Michael Matheson Nov. 14, 2014, during the game at Munn Ice Arena. The Spartans lost to the Eagles, 3-2. Erin hampton/The State News

Photo by Erin Hampton | The State News

With another weekend in the books, the Michigan State hockey team is on the road again, where they look for their first big challenge of the season against No. 3 Boston College.

After another weekend sweep at Munn Ice Arena, where the Spartans beat Canisius 6-3 on Thursday night and 4-3 on Friday, the team is now 5-1 on the season. The US College Hockey Online (USCHO) poll kept MSU stagnant at No. 8, but the Spartans jumped two spots to No. 7 in the USA Hockey poll.

Looking at heading to Boston College, the team is heading into its biggest challenge yet and looking to show what they can bring to the table.

“Obviously, they are a super talented team,” freshman goalie Trey Augustine said. “We are going to find out a lot about where we are, and some things that we’re good at right now and some things we need to work on after.”

Both teams are full of talent and some old teammates for some of the Spartans. Junior forward Red Savage said he spent time playing with some BC players on the National Team Development Program (NTDP).

“I know a handful of guys on their team,” Savage said. “I played with a lot of them back in the day. They have a lot of talent, so it is going to be a ton of fun to play these guys again and reunite with my old teammates.”

While the Spartans are excited to take their road trip to the East Coast, there are still things the team would like to work on and get a head start on going into the series—including their solid power player and penalty kills.

“I think we have shown this year we have some guys that can finish, and as we start cleaning up and get better away from the puck, I think we have a chance to be a pretty good team,” head coach Adam Nightingale said.

As the team's second road trip is just ahead, there are things to look back on from the split series in Colorado Springs and how the team will approach their second road series.

“I think learning how to play on the road is important,” Nightingale said. “You want to be a team that understands what it means to play on the road, and their ability has been full here, and fan engagements have been really high, so that’ll be another opportunity for our team to grow.”

For the team, cleaning things up to head into the weekend has been a big highlight at the practices leading up to the series, but playing with respect and showing the team's ability has been the highlight as the season continues.

“Going into Boston College, it is going to be a really good challenge for us,” Nightingale said. “Obviously, (they have) a program we have a lot of respect for and they have a lot of talent, very well coached no doubt, and we will find out a lot about our group this weekend.”

The Eagles are currently sitting at 3-1 after a 3-4 loss against Denver University last weekend. The team has been very dominant in every other game that they have played, including an overtime win in their first game against Quinnipiac—the reigning national champions.

Both games against Boston College on Thursday and Friday will start at 7 p.m. and will be streaming on ESPN+.

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