Friday, June 14, 2024

Final: MSU hockey sweeps No. 1 Wisconsin to take firm lead in the Big Ten

November 18, 2023
<p>Michigan State men's hockey's third line celebrates a goal scored by Joey Larson (18) at Munn Ice Arena on Nov. 17, 2023.</p>

Michigan State men's hockey's third line celebrates a goal scored by Joey Larson (18) at Munn Ice Arena on Nov. 17, 2023.

After an eventful first game at Munn Ice Arena where Michigan State pulled an upset Friday night against No. 1 Wisconsin with a final score of 4-2, the Spartans completed the sweep against the Badgers Saturday with a final score of 3-2.

Wisconsin was quick to take early possession and snag a shot on goal in the first 45 seconds, but the Spartans played with the same level of aggression as they did on night one.

Michigan State was able to send in a few great shots on goal, but nothing came to fruition early. 

At the 12 minute mark, the Spartans netted the first goal when senior forward Jeremy Davidson sent a laser beam straight to the back of the net off a great pass from grad student forward Nicolas Müller.

At the halfway point of the first, the Badgers caught the leg of sophomore forward Isaac Howard, hading the Spartans 25 seconds of a power play until Howard landed in the box himself for a tripping call as well. Both teams were able to kill off the penalties received.

With 4:06 left to go in the first, the Spartans ended up on the penalty kill after a two minute hooking call on junior forward Tanner Kelly. With the impressive special teams green and white has had this year, they were able to kill the penalty with ease.

The end of the first period came quickly, with the Spartans leading with shots on goal 14-8.

As the second period went underway on Ron Mason Rink — the Spartans came onto the ice with the same momentum as period one.

The Spartans began the second period with a penalty kill less than two minutes into the middle frame, after a boarding call on senior defenseman Nash Nienhuis. Michigan State was able to kill it off, but a second penalty came right after the first after a holding call sent freshman defenseman Austin Oravetz to the box. 

The Spartans played an extremely defensive penalty kill. Freshman goalie Trey Augustine played a key role in the kill as well, making an incredible diving save to prevent the Badgers from putting points on the board for their first goal.

The teams continued their fight on through the second, maintaining the puck for several shots on goal. The game remained mostly quiet until the final minute, as the Badgers were able to slide the puck past Augustine to tie up the game.

The Badgers took control of the shots on goal during the second with 13 shots on goal compared to Michigan State's 3.

With the final period underway, both teams were yet again ready to play. The momentum the Spartans had for the first goal in the beginning period carried over to the final, where sophomore forward Joey Larson was able to put his stick on the puck and rip it into the net to give the Spartans the lead 2-1.

With just under eight minutes to go in the game, the Spartans took a penalty on a cross checking call from freshman forward Tommi Männistö, and the team was able to kill off the crucial penalty late in the game to keep the lead they needed.

In the crucial game for the Spartans, captain Nienhuis was able to throw one to the back of the net with three and a half minutes to produce the two goal lead, but as the Badgers pulled the goalie, Wisconsin was able to make another one goal lead out of the game.

Unfortunately for the No. 1 team, there was no stopping the Spartans as they fled onto the ice to celebrate the sweep with a final score of 3-2.

The Spartans are back in action on Friday, Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m.. Friday's game will be on Big Ten Plus and Sunday’s game will be on Big Ten Network where the take on the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.

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