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MSU hockey's Jeremy Davidson scores game-winning goal in overtime, Spartans advance in Frozen Four

March 30, 2024
<p>After a quick deficit, the Spartans were able to secure a goal and bring the score to a tie. After the team's goal celebration, the game against Western Michigan would be sent into overtime at Centene Ice Center on March 29, 2024. The Spartans beat the Broncos 5-4.</p>

After a quick deficit, the Spartans were able to secure a goal and bring the score to a tie. After the team's goal celebration, the game against Western Michigan would be sent into overtime at Centene Ice Center on March 29, 2024. The Spartans beat the Broncos 5-4.

Photo by Emily Martin | The State News

Michigan State men's hockey, playing in the first round of the men's hockey NCAA Championships, commonly known as the Frozen Four, against Western Michigan University, came back from down 4-2 in the third period to tie the game and eventually emerge victorious in overtime with a 5-4 win. This win, which seemed almost impossible after the first half of the game with how much Western Michigan was dominating the Spartans, marked Michigan State's second 5-4 overtime victory in a row and allowed the team to advance to the regional finals of the Frozen Four on Sunday against the University of Michigan.

Although the Spartans won the game, the game was far from perfect for them; the Spartans hit a few bumps in the road throughout the first 40 minutes of the game. The Spartans were down 4-2 with a period to go but the Spartans were able to score about eight minutes into the third period, marking a 4-3 score.

But the grit did not quit as a pass from freshman defenseman Artyom Levshunov landed perfectly with sophomore forward Karsen Dorwart to tie the game with 55 seconds left in regulation. With this goal, the team had one thing in mind: stay calm.

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“I think a big thing for our group all year has just been not panicking,” Dorwart said. “Everyone was calm. We knew we had what it took to get that goal.”

And while Dorwart was the game-tying goal, the comeback finish would not have been complete without the winning goal from senior forward Jeremy Davidson. Davidson, who has had his fair share of a story line over the past few years with Michigan State, quickly became a hero and overtime game-winning player.

“(Davidson) has been great … he’s been through a lot, you know he obviously started at (Massachusetts) and then went back to juniors and then came in here," head coach Adam Nightingale said. "(We're) really thankful for him to come in here and buy-in."

From knowing Davidson as a player before -- when Nightingale coached at Shattuck-St. Mary's -- to being able to coach him at high-level hockey, Nightingale was able to see Davidson transform into the player he has now become, a player that helped the No. 1 seed Michigan State, and No. 4 overall in the tournament, beat the No. 4 seed in the region Western Michigan.

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For Davidson, the win was even more special, because he was able to play against -- and beat -- his hometown college, the team he used to always watch.

“I grew up on Western Michigan hockey games all the time, I was actually going to go to school there,” Davidson said "It was definitely special coming here and playing those guys, and obviously getting the win makes it that much better.”

Going into overtime, the Spartans knew that they needed to continue the fight that they had held through the whole 60 minutes and finish off the hockey game in the best way they could by winning. And just a handful of minutes later, Davidson was able to end the game, advancing the Spartans to the next round of the Frozen Four.

Davidson has 22 points on the season, with 12 goals and 10 assists, becoming a senior who is relied on to help out on both ends of the ice, as well as helping to take home those much needed victories.

The Michigan State Spartans will move on to face off against their in-state rivals, the University of Michigan Wolverines, for the sixth time in the season, looking to take home a win against their opponents and advance on to the Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minnesota. The teams will play on Sunday, March 31 at Centene Community Ice Center in Maryland Heights, Missouri at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 and ESPNU.

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