Saturday, December 2, 2023

Final: MSU hockey upsets No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers on night one 4-2

November 17, 2023
<p>Tommi Männistö (10) celebrates an assist on a goal scored by Tanner Kelly (26) during Michigan State men's hockey game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Munn Ice Arena on Nov. 17, 2023.</p>

Tommi Männistö (10) celebrates an assist on a goal scored by Tanner Kelly (26) during Michigan State men's hockey game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Munn Ice Arena on Nov. 17, 2023.

Photo by Brad LaPlante | The State News

After a hard-fought first night at Munn Ice Arena where the Spartans and the Badgers faced off for a top 15 matchup, the Spartans were able to upset the Wisconsin Badgers with a final score of 4-2.

Both teams started intensely, with a quick push and shove match less than a minute into the game in the Spartans offensive zone. There was no stopping both teams as they both made constant attempts for puck possession.

Junior forward Tanner Kelly, like in his series against Penn State, had a great breakaway opportunity in the first, but he was not able to take it to the back of the net.

Michigan State was first to log a penalty after a high sticking call on freshman defenseman Artyom Levshunov, but the team was able to kill the penalty off after an intense kill, earning a great scoring opportunity from junior forward Red Savage.

The Spartans pushed hard in both zones against the Badgers coming out hot on the heels of their opponents playing with the most physicality that has been seen from green and white the whole season thus far. 

With less than 5 minutes to go in first, a Spartan and a Badger headed to the box on a double roughing call, which resulted in four on four hockey at Munn. Both teams aggressively took to the boards to battle for the puck, but neither team was able to grab the lead.

With 44 seconds to go in the first, graduate student forward Nicolas Müller got the Spartans on the board first with to put the team up 1-0 to head into the second.

The second period  started with an unbelievable save from freshman goalie Trey Augustine that had the Munnsters chanting his name after a breakaway from the Badgers.

The Badgers controlled possession of the puck for the first three minutes, a majority of the action being in the Spartans defensive zone, but that was until a contact to the head penalty call was made on the Badgers. The guys in red were able to effectively kill off the penalty of their own, leaving the Spartans ahead still by just the lone goal.

Just before the halfway point of the middle period, the Badgers were able to put the puck past Augustine to even the score, but there was more fight left from the Spartans during the good ol’ hockey game.

The Spartans ended up back on the penalty kill after a two minute interference call on Maxim Štrbák, but MSU killed off the penalty kill and even have a chance for a shorthanded breakaway shot.

Soon after the end of the Spartans penalty kill, the team was able to head onto a power play of their own and take the lead once again just 38 seconds into the play after a goal from sophomore forward Joey Larson.

The Spartans continued to aggressively play the puck, giving them another goal shortly after from Kelly to put the MSU up by two at the end of the second period.

The Spartans were extremely dominant in the second period as they outshot Wisconsin 21-7 and took the opportunity to go up against the No. 1 team with a score of 3-1.

As the final period started, the Badgers came out looking to take back over the scoreboard to prevent an upset from MSU. The Badgers fought back with 12 minutes to go in the third after Wisconsin was able to slip a goal past Augustine to make it a one goal game.

Both teams fought tooth and nail through the last 10 minutes for the puck, and even through the fight the Spartans had to go on the penalty kill again after a hooking call on sophomore forward Karsen Dorwart. The team killed the penalty with ease, still leaving them up by one goal.

With just over two minutes left, the Badgers pulled starting goalie Kyle McMcellan for a one man advantage, but the senior forward Jeremy Davidson put the puck in the empty net to put the team up 4-2.

In the remaining 10 seconds, the Badgers brought on a penalty for having too many players on the ice, which solidified the upset win for the Michigan State Spartans.

The teams will be back in Munn for night two on Saturday Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. where they look to sweep the No. 1 Badgers. The game will stream on Big Ten Plus.

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