The tenets of a Tom Anastos team are still there. Giving up the body to block shots, finishing the third period strong and keeping games close. Unfortunately on nights when Jake Hildebrand isn't awesome, the offense isn't able to cover up those mistakes. Especially when playing a goaltender like Thatcher Demko from Boston College, who may be the best goaltender in college hockey.
It was about as bad a start as one could imagine with the Eagles taking the lead less than one minute into the first period. Zach Sanford scored on a net scramble with Hildebrand unable to cover the puck. (Going off twitter accounts since in 2014 MSU, a B1G school streams less games online than Michigan Tech). The Eagles would stretch the lead to 2-0 on a goal by Matthew Gaudreau. Michigan State would claw back before the end of the period when Michael Ferrantino took a cross ice pass from Joe Cox and one-timed it past Demko.
The second period only featured one goal, a Boston College goal from Quinn Smith. From the radio broadcast it sounded like Hildebrand was fighting the puck and should have covered the puck. It also sounded like the puck was changing directions from hitting Eagle players but again, no TV coverage. The Spartans won both the second and third period shots on goal and pulled within one on Matt DeBlouw's second goal of the season. I have always been a big fan of DeBlouw and am glad to see a 3rd line may be developing with him centering.
The Spartans pulled Hildebrand and had good chances at the end of the game but could not solve Demko. The Spartans drop to 3-6 on the season after playing an extremely difficult out of conference slate. They probably deserve to be 5-4 but need to get more well rounded to consistently win.
Looking back at the 3 keys to success
- Get a 2 goal lead- Obviously didn't happen. Needed a quick start and didn't get it. Hildebrand has been stellar for two years so I won't worry yet but this team needs a little better from him.
- Stay out of the box- 1 power play chance for the Eagles and the Spartans killed it off. However, on four power play opportunities the Spartans were unsuccessful. They had scored in three games in a row on the power play.
- Take advantage of the few chances you get- No possession numbers yet. The game was even in shots almost with the Eagles holding a 34-33 edge.