Monday, June 17, 2024

MSU Hockey moves up to No. 11 in national polls, Gavin O'Connell earns Big Ten First Star of the Week

November 7, 2023
<p>Freshman forward Gavin O’Connell (29) during a game against Canisius at Munn Ice Arena on Oct. 19, 2023. The Spartans beat the Griffins 6-3 in one of a two-game series.</p>

Freshman forward Gavin O’Connell (29) during a game against Canisius at Munn Ice Arena on Oct. 19, 2023. The Spartans beat the Griffins 6-3 in one of a two-game series.

After a dominance on the road, the Michigan State Spartans have yet again moved back up in the polls.

The team swept Ohio State in Columbus the first weekend of November with a score on night one of 6-0, with a goal from a variety of players and an outstanding shutout performance from freshman goalie Trey Augustine. On night two, the team continued its strong offensive performance to finish with a  6-4 win, completing their first road sweep of a Big Ten opponent since 2016.

With that said, after dropping to No. 12 in the polls last week, the Spartans moved up one spot in the USCHO and USA Hockey polls to No. 11, putting them just one spot closer to breaking through to that top 10 position that they helped for the first four weeks of the season. 

Freshman forward Gavin O'Connell had a stellar weekend in Columbus, netting two goals in each game against OSU for a huge four-goal weekend.

O'Connell's goals elevated him to the top goal scorer on the team, with a total of six goals. He is also tied for third in the Big Ten in goals and eleventh nationally after his outstanding weekend. 

Michigan State will travel home for their sixth series of the season with a Big Ten matchup against No. 17 Penn State on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena. Both games will stream on Big Ten Plus.

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