After a crushing overtime loss in the opening night game on Friday at Munn Ice Arena, the Michigan State Spartans hockey team was ready to get back out on the ice and show the home crowd what it was really made of on Saturday night.
Throughout all three periods of Michigan State’s second matchup against Air Force, the Spartans really seemed to dominate and stay well connected. Ending the game with 39 shots, I was impressed with MSU’s offensive patience and ability to move the puck under pressure.
At the end of the first period, MSU came away with two pretty early goals, but Air Force was able to slip one in closer to the end of the period.
Heres a look at the Griffin Loughran goals in the first period - two strikes on the PP! pic.twitter.com/GxMgrGgBbY— MSU_Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) October 9, 2021
The second period brought about a lot of opportunities for both teams, but only near the end was Michigan State able to capitalize and get a goal. With the third power play goal of the game, Mitchell Lewandowski was able to find the back of the net to bring the Spartans up to three goals.
That's the end of the second period - MSU 3 AF 1— The Only Colors (@TheOnlyColors) October 10, 2021
The third period brought out some high emotions from both teams, and penalties flew a little more freely until the end of the game. With about four minutes left in the game, Dennis Cesana scored an absolutely filthy goal right between the goalie’s legs and that pretty much sealed the fate for Air Force.
MSU 4, AFA 1 | 15:30 (3) | Damn, what a goal by Cesana. Skated right-to-left across the crease and puts it between his legs.— MSU_Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) October 10, 2021
With only a minute left in the game, MSU sunk an empty net goal to bring its lead up to four. The Spartans first win at home for the season ended with a final score of Michigan State with five goals and Air Force with only one.
MSU 5, AFA 1 | FINAL | Spartans take game 2 by a 5-1 score to split the series. Two-goal efforts from Loughran and Lewandowski, Charleson with 28 saves in the win in net.— MSU_Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) October 10, 2021
After the game, head coach Danton Cole stepped out for a statement and to take a few questions.
When comparing both games in this series against Air Force, Cole mentioned that the Spartans went over some film and talked with the guys all about what they needed to clean up for this second matchup.
“Much more of a complete game, complete effort,” Cole stated. “Mentally being on the same page and working as groups of five...it was a real good step.”
Cole mentioned that he learned a few things about his team after this first series.
“The ability to play the way you have to play to win, and I think we did it for most of the game,” Coach Cole said. “I think we’ve got a pretty smart team, we can play a certain way where we are in the way and hard to get through and counter attack...There’s a long way to go...Keep learning and keep playing.”
Click the link below to hear Head Coach Danton Cole’s full comments:
Listen here for more postgame thoughts from senior Dennis Cesana about the overall team mood and his fantastic between the legs goal:
Check out Junior Griffin Loughran’s comments about his two goals and his excitement about being a part of this squad: