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Late Surge Lifts Spartans Over Gophers 4-2

No. 19 Michigan State defeated Minnesota with three unanswered goals in the third period, jumping into second in the Big Ten

COLLEGE HOCKEY: JAN 20 Big Ten Super Saturday - Minnesota v Michigan State Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

MINNEAPOLIS, Min. - The No. 19 Spartans (14-13-1, 10-7-1) picked up a critical road win against Minnesota (13-11-4, 8-6-4) 4-1 in the second game of the weekend series. The Spartans halted a six-game win streak that began in early January when Minnesota took down the Spartans in East Lansing. After falling 4-1 in the first leg, Michigan State responded, scoring three unanswered goals in the third period, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 victory. The victory moves them into a tie for second in the Big Ten.

Minnesota forward Scott Reedy, who scored two goals last night’s victory for the Gophers, opened the scoring in the second matchup 15:38 into the first period. Reedy’s tally, his 14th of the season, was a bar-down snipe from between the circles that beat Spartan goaltender John Lethemon’s glove side. Michigan State’s Patrick Khodorenko netted his 15th of the season 15:36 into the second period, banging home a rebound past Gopher goaltender Jared Moe to tie the game at 1-1.

Minnesota’s Blake McLaughlin, who had a goal and two helpers in the first game and assisted on Reedy’s opening tally, scored the Gopher’s second just three minutes after Khodorenko tied the game. Minnesota outshot the Spartans 32-20 through the first two periods.

The Spartans would tilt the ice in the third period, scoring three unanswered goals and claiming the 4-2 victory. Dennis Cesana scored a power-play goal 5:04 into the period. Cesana’s long one-timer for the point leveled the game at 2-2.

Defenseman Butrus Ghafari and forward Brody Stevens scored numbers three and four, closing out the weekend with a victory. Michigan State grabs a crucial three points in the Big Ten standings, jumping into a second place tie with Ohio State and Minnesota at 31 points. Penn State sits in first place with 33 points. Both Penn State and Ohio State have 20 games played to Michigan State and Minnesota’s 18. The Spartans will play Michigan at home on Friday and at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Saturday. Game times are set for Friday at 6 p.m. and Monday at 7 p.m.


First period-

MINN goal at 15:38: Scott Reedy (14). Assisted by Sammy Walker and Blake McLaughlin.

Second period-

MSU goal at 15:36: Patrick Khodorenko (15). Assisted by Logan Lambdin and Jerad Rosburg.

MINN goal at 18:12: Blake McLaughlin (6). Assisted by Tyler Nanne and Sammy Walker.

Third period-

MSU power-play goal at 5:04: Dennis Cesana (5). Assisted by Mitch Lewandowski and Jerad Rosburg.

MSU goal at 10:01: Butrus Ghafari (3). Assisted by Tommy Miller and Patrick Khodorenko.

MSU goal at 13:07: Brody Stevens (4). Assisted by Tommy Apap.


Penn State 6-3 Ohio State

No. 9 Penn State defeated No. 13 Ohio State 6-3 after tying 2-2 and losing the extra point in the shootout. Six Nittany Lions registered double-digit afternoons as Penn State jumps into sole possession of first in the Big Ten with 33 points. Ohio State is tied for second with Michigan State and Minnesota. Penn State will host Wisconsin next weekend. Ohio State has a bye-week then will travel to play Michigan State.

Michigan 5-3 Wisconsin

The Wolverines defeated the struggling Badgers 5-3 completing a successful sweep at Yost in Ann Arbor. Michigan’s three points push them up to 27 but they remain in sixth place. Michigan will play Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena on Friday and Little Caesars Arena on Monday. Wisconsin will travel to Penn State.

Notre Dame

The Irish will host Minnesota next weekend. They did not play this weekend with a bye.