After the series was postponed back in December following COVID-19 issues among the Wisconsin Badgers, the Michigan State Spartans made the trip to Madison to take on the No. 13 Badgers. MSU left the want-to-be mitten state in depressing fashion, however, after the Badgers swept the Spartans and outscored them overall on the weekend 10-1.
The Badgers made quick work of the opening game as just over 40 seconds into the game Wisconsin had an early power play and at the 54-second mark Cole Caufield snapped the puck past MSU’s Drew DeRidder for the opening goal of the game.
about two-and-a-half minutes later, Wisconsin extended the lead to 2-0 when Brock Caufield banked the puck in off DeRidder to make it 2-0. Then with 5:42 to go in the first period, Dylan Halloway managed to snag a loose puck at the top of the crease and flipped it into the net past DeRidder who had been knocked down onto the ice to make it 3-0 after the play stood following official review.
MSU came close to scoring in the first down 2-0, but Kristof Papp’s pass to a wide-open Brody Stevens saw the puck bounce off a rut and Stevens wasn’t able to get a shot on goal off despite nothing between him and Wisconsin goaltender Robbie Beydoun.
Ty Pelton-Byce scored again for the Badgers on a power-play with 1:31 to go in the second to make it 5-0. Wisconsin finished the game 6-0 when Holloway got his second score of the game in the third with 11:15 to go.
Pierce Charleson replaced DeRidder in the net for the third period. DeRidder stopped 29 of the 34 shots on goal he faced in the first two periods while Charleson made 15 saves of his own.
Coach Cole Post-Game Remarks
The Spartans briefly upheld the season norm of standing strong in the second game of the series following a lackluster opening performance, but ended up falling 4-1 in the end giving Wisconsin the sweep.
Wisconsin opened the game’s scoring with a 1-0 lead 7:05 into the second period off a goal by Linus Weissbach. Cole Caufield secured the puck off a turnover and raced to the Spartan end with Weissbach before passing him the puck and Weissbach snapping it in for the early lead.
Mitchell Lewandowski finally ended MSU’s scoring drought for the weekend with the Spartans only goal 3:42 into the third period to tie it up 1-1.
That’s Lewy’s 11th career goal vs the Badgers & this one ties it up pic.twitter.com/jAbc2Ma80Y— MSU_Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) January 30, 2021
Nash Nienhuis passed the puck to Dennis Cesana in the MSU end who pushed it up to Lewandowski. Lewandowski made his way up the ice on the left side before firing off a snap shot from the left circle that sailed through the top far corner.
Then disaster struck for MSU as Aiden Gallacher received a major penalty for checking from behind to give Wisconsin a five-minute power play with 8:36 to go. Ty Pelton-Byce gave the Badgers the lead back with a one-timer from the left circle to make it 2-1 Wisconson.
Just over two minutes later in the final period Cole Caufield made it 3-1 on a score from the left circle. The Spartans pulled DeRidder with 1:30 to go to try and have a chance, but Wisconsin’s Caufield scored on the empty net with 34.3 seconds left to finish the game’s scoring and make it 4-1.
DeRidder made 37 stops on the night while MSU was zero-for-two on power plays.
The Spartans are off next weekend before taking on Michigan in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, Feb. 9.