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Hockey Recap: Road Split With Ohio State

The Spartans open conference play with a split at Ohio State

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

This past weekend the Spartan hockey team traveled to Columbus, Ohio opening the B1G season against the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Spartans put together possibly their best full effort on Thursday night, defeating the Buckeyes 3-1 to be the B1G leader for one night. However, a poor second period Friday led to a 3-0 defeat to the Buckeyes, bringing the Spartans record to 4-7 on the season.

Thursday Night 3-1 Win

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan State Spartans
0 Goals 3
35 Shots 20
0/3 Power Play 1/2
Tyler Lundey (2) Goal Scorers

Villiam Haag (2), Matt Berry (6)

Brent Darnell (1)

Since Thursday night was on TV, I finally got to watch my first full game of the season. The Spartans, while being outshot pretty widely never seemed out of control of the game. Jake Hildebrand did have to make some great saves to secure the win, but this was a pretty good effort from the entire team. Villiam Haag scored in the first period after a great shift by Mackenzie MacEachern. MacEachern was physical all night and put pressure on the Buckeye defensemen often.

In the second period Matt Berry continued his strong start to the season by putting home a power play goal on a wrist shot that rocketed past the goaltenders' glove. The Spartans went to an umbrella look on the power play which worked well for getting Berry the space he needed to let his shot go from inside the right face-off circle. Not to be outdone on wrist shots Brent Darnell scored from a bad angle with a great shot, finishing off a perfect pass from Berry. The Buckeyes did add a goal late but HIldebrand really deserved a shutout with a great rebound from a poor showing against Boston College.

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Thursday Thoughts in Bullets

  • Ohio State was much more physical in the first five minutes, MSU did well to survive the surge
  • Travis Walsh and Josh Jacobs are such a strong defensive pair
  • Does Ohio State hockey have to play in a cave? There must be about 2000 people in the lower bowl
  • Michigan State plays so much better in the corners and below the goal line compared to last season
  • Matt DeBlouw drew the penalty leading to the Berry goal with a great play driving the net hard. DeBlouw continues to be a favorite of mine
  • If we could get this Hildebrand every night, 2nd place in the B1G is 100% possible.
Ohio State Buckeyes vs Michigan State Spartans
3 Goals 0
28 Shots 29
1/4 Power Play 0/3

Matt Johnson (3) Nick Schilkey (2)

Darik Angeli (3)

Goal Scorers none
Friday brought the return of no television coverage so my analysis of the game is pretty hampered. The first Buckeye goal, scored 2:16 into the second period actually had to be reviewed before standing. Hildebrand had reached for the puck at the goal line and appeared to keep the puck out, and play actually continued for  a few minutes. At the next whistle the play was reviewed and the goal was awarded. The Buckeyes would add a power play goal in the second period, with Nick Schilkey redirecting a shot from the point past Hildebrand.

The Spartans outshot the Buckeyes 11-8 in the final period but were unable to solve Matt Tomkins in net. Just over three minutes into the period the Buckeyes scored their second goal resulting from a 2-on-1 when Derek Angeli was able to beat Hildebrand. Angeli took a pass and got his shot into the net before a sliding Buckeye player took the net off of it's moorings.

Looking back at the 3 keys to success
  1. Take Control Early- Both nights the coaches talked about how the Buckeyes had great starts. So mission unaccomplished on this one.
  2. Help Jake Hildebrand- I thought for the most part the defense looked great Thursday night. Surrendering shots does not always mean you are playing poorly, depending on the chances. However, Friday night, getting shutout is not helping your goaltender very much.
  3. Berry-Ferrantino-Cox Line- Responsible for a power play goal and the third goal Thursday. Need to have some depth scoring develop to contend for a high finish in the league.
Around the B1G
Penn State and Michigan split in Ann Arbor with the Nittany Lions winning 3-2 Friday and Michigan rebounding for a 8-1 win on Saturday. Wisconsin fell to 0-8 on the campaign losing to Colorado College Friday night 5-2 and 3-2 Saturday to Denver. Minnesota played an exhibition game against the US Nataional Under 18 Team and lost 5-4 in overtime.
Next Up
The Spartans will travel to New Jersey for an out of conference series against Princeton. The Tigers scored zero goals last weekend, losing to St. Lawrence 3-0 and Clarkson 4-0. The Tigers are rebuilding under first year head coach Ron Fogarty and stand at 1-6-1 on the season.