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MSU hockey beats Ohio State 5-2 on night two of final home series

February 24, 2024
<p>Sophomore forward Daniel Russell (20) carrying the puck forward during a game against Ohio State University at Munn Ice Arena on Feb. 24, 2024.</p>

Sophomore forward Daniel Russell (20) carrying the puck forward during a game against Ohio State University at Munn Ice Arena on Feb. 24, 2024.

Photo by Donté Smith | The State News

After a tough 6-2 loss to the Buckeyes on night one of the series, Michigan State's hockey was on the prowl for a comeback win on Senior Night to take down its visitors once and for all. Three goals in the second period helped the Spartans beat Ohio State 5-2 on the second and last night of the team's final home series this season. 

The Spartans were quick on the attack as they hit the ice hungry for puck possession. They consistently made clean passes for great takeaways through the neutral zone and broke up passes in a better manner, as well as created great setups on shot attempts to boost their confidence.

Michigan State's defense continued to soar, but at the halfway point of the first period senior defenseman Nash Nienhuis was called for hooking on the first penalty of the game, which gave Ohio State the man advantage. The Spartans were able to even manage some time in their offensive zone and kill off the penalty. 

With just five minutes left in the first period, the Spartans first struck the net with a pass from sophomore forward Daniel Russell that deflected off of sophomore forward Karsen Dorwart to put them ahead 1-0. 

However, Ohio State was quick to retaliate, and with just over three minutes to go in the first period, the Buckeyes were able to yet again make the comeback against the Spartans and tie the game up at one apiece. 

Even with a tie game, the Spartans continued to break out on the rush for multiple shot attempts and ended the period trailing in shots on goal by just one. However, MSU continued to play team hockey to head into the second period of the game.

The next 20 minutes quickly went underway, as both teams continued their endless fight for puck possession and making a strong campaign for the victory. Freshman netminder Trey Augustine made huge saves and played as Michigan State's brick wall.

With 11 and a half minutes left in the middle period, the Spartans grabbed the lead back as freshman defenseman Patrick Geary put the puck into the empty net following a puck-battle that had broken out just in front of the OSU netminder, causing him to slide outside of the crease.

The Spartans were now winning 2-1 with just over 30 minutes left in the game. 

Just to the halfway point a boarding call was made on OSU, resulting in a five-minute major being called on the ice, giving the Spartans the man advantage for the whole five. With a remaining three minutes to go in the power play, MSU’s freshman forward Gavin O'Connell was able to capitalize and give the Spartans their first two-goal lead of the weekend.

And just over one minute later, Michigan State added its fourth goal of the night. A shot from sophomore Isaac Howard helped the team to its three-goal lead over Ohio State, as the dominance continued to shine through the second period.

Three minutes remained in the second period when fifth-year forward Nicolas Müller was tagged for tripping, which sent the Spartans to the penalty kill. MSU was able to continuously clear the puck to prevent OSU from putting another on the board.

Going into the third and final period, Michigan State was ahead 4-1.

MSU started off the third period with a breakaway opportunity from Müller, and while the puck never reached the goal, the initial step to finish the game off was in the right direction. 

Ohio State capitalized off of a shot on Augustine with just 13 minutes to go, and the lead the Spartans held through the second was cut to just two after a puck slid into the net. Even though the Buckeyes scored, the Spartans continued their dominant play across the ice.

With just under 10 minutes remaining in the final period, the Spartans received a bench penalty for having too many men on the ice, but were able to handle the puck and kill the penalty.

Just 20 seconds later, the roles reversed after a tripping call was made on the Buckeyes, which resulted in a thriving MSU power play to go for a game of tic-tac-toe down the ice as a pass from Howard, to O’Connell, and lastly to Russell put MSU up 5-2.

To make the win more memorable, senior goaltender Jon Mor was put into the net for the last 40 seconds of the game as the Spartans solidified their 5-2 victory over the Buckeyes.

Michigan State will now go on to take on the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison for a fight for the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten. Both games will be played at 9 p.m. and will be streamed on Big Ten Plus.

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