For the first time since the inception of the B1G Hockey Conference the Michigan State Spartans have won a regulation game over the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Spartans utilized a strong team effort on defense and an impressive forecheck to defeat the Gophers 4-2 on their home ice. A night after seeing a 3-0 first period lead evaporate (not to mention the basketball loss) the Spartans were able to secure the Honeycrisp trophy back for The Only Colors.
I mean just look at Tom Anastos' reaction after Thomas Ebbing iced the game with the 4th goal and under a minute to play.
That's a man who loves apples and he loves Honeycrisps dammit!
The first period was uneventful in this game with the teams both hovering around 4 shots over halfway through the frame. The last half saw an uptick in shots on net but mot were harmless from far out which will not beat Jake Hildebrand or Adam Wilcox. The best chance in the period was a Leon Bristedt ringing a shot off the post. The Spartans ended up outshooting the Gophers 14-7.
The second period saw the Spartans ramp up their forecheck a little bit and John Draeger, the defenseman born in Minnesota opened the scoring. Draeger drove towards the net from the point and caught a pass from Rhett Holland, spun and slid the puck under Adam Wilcox. The Spartans like Thursday night could not hold the lead with Kyle Rau answering for the Gophers on a rebound goal. It looked like the teams would head to the third period tied, as the Spartans killed off a penalty with just 2:25 remaining in the frame. The Spartans however held possession at the point in the offensive zone with Ron Boyd sending a wrist shot on the net. Wilcox made the save by left a rebound for Ryan Keller who found daylight between Wilcox's arm and his side with the puck sliding across the goal line with just over a minute to go in the period.
The Spartans controlled the third period to the point where the Gophers first shot on goal happened with under ten minutes remaining. The Spartans had forced many turnovers in the neutral zone all night but were unable to capitalize until the 7:04 mark of the 3rd when Jox Cox forced a turnover. Cox passed the puck to Ryan Keller who led a 2-on-1 into the offensive zone sending a shot high on the blocker side at Wilcox. Wilcox fought off the save but couldn't control the rebound leading to a Michael Ferrantino goal. The Gophers made things interesting with a power play goal y Rau with just 4:24 remaining. However, with under two minutes to play and Rau in for an offensive chance, Hudson Fasching took an undisciplined penalty tackling a Spartans' defenseman around his neck. On the ensuing power play Thomas Ebbing scored a goal to ice the game for the Spartans.
Your Vine Highlghts (Brought to you by Jashvina Shah)
A great extended leg save by Jake Hildebrand when the game was 1-1 in the 2nd period.
John Draeger's spinning goal
Great job by Ferrantino to get his stick on the puck. 3-1 MSU https://t.co/3Jtmwfi1Sk— Jashvina Shah (@icehockeystick) February 28, 2015
Your game winning Ferrantino goal.
Spartan Dawgs Defense
Just a night after the Spartans' defense had a terrible night keeping the Gophers out of the middle of the ice, tonight was a great rebound by the whole team. The play was conservative with the Spartans dropping forwards off of the defenseman at the point and playing with five players below the face-off circle. This kept all the Gophers shots from the outside and with Jake Hildebrand controlling rebounds much better tonight there were no follow up chances for the Gophers.
With Carson Gatt out from suspension and Travis Walsh injured last night taking a shot to the face, the Spartans relied on mainly four defenseman tonight. Great efforts from Josh Jacobs, John Draeger, Ron Boyd and Rhett Holland.
Your Stats Table
|Michigan State Spartans||vs.||#15 Minnesota Golden Gophers|
John Draeger (1) Ryan Keller (7)
Michael Ferrantino (10) Thomas Ebbing (4)
Kyle Rau (14, 15)
TOC 3 Stars of the Game
- Ryan Keller (Soph) MSU- Goal and an assist
- Jake Hildebrand (Jr) MSU- 22 saves and continues to lead this team
- Joe Cox (Soph) MSU- 2 assists
Around the B1G
Michigan State got some help from the Ohio State Buckeyes who took down Penn State 5-3 in Columbus. Unfortunately, the Spartans didn't get the other result they wanted as Wisconsin fell to Michigan 3-0. The Spartans will be wanting the Buckeyes and Badgers to win tomorrow as well.
The Spartans will host the Wisconsin Badgers at Munn Arena next weekend. The two teams played each other last weekend, splitting the series 2-1, 3-0 with the Spartans winning the Saturday game. Unfortunately, the Spartans will do so without the services of defenseman Travis Walsh who broke his jaw blocking a shot on Friday night.
Per Anastos Travis Walsh is out for the year with a busted jaw.— Nate Wells (@gopherstate) February 28, 2015