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MSU Hockey: Spartans Split Wild Series Against Arizona State

MSU Athletic Communications

The Michigan State Spartans returned to the ice in East Lansing against the Arizona State Sun Devils after an extended layoff following a postponement against the Michigan Wolverines. The Spartans had one of the craziest finishes of a truly odd year in game one resulting in a loss, but came back to win game two of the series on Monday.

Game One

The first game of the weekend featured one of the wildest finishes in this strange year for hockey (and all sports). However, the Spartans ended up falling 3-2 in the end.

Just 13 seconds into the opening period, the Sun Devils grabbed the lead in this one with a goal by Dominic Garcia. Jacob Semik sailed the puck from the left point into a deflection off the Spartan defender where it ricocheted into the air and Garcia knocked it into the net for the 1-0 lead.

Despite 15 shots on the goal in the first period, MSU wasn’t able to tie it up. Following the most shots on goal in an opening period all season, Michigan State finally struck home just 36 seconds into the second period on the third shot on goal of the second to tie it up 1-1. Tommy Apap won a draw in the right circle and deflected a shot from Dennis Cesana through his legs past ASU goaltender Cole Brady to tie the game at 1-1.

In the third period, Arizona State’s Johnny Walker, positioned at the right boards hash marks, cut a clearing attempt and got the puck to Chris Grando. Grando was positioned at the top of the crease and tipped it past Drew DeRidder for the 2-1 lead.

While Michigan State erased all three power plays by the Sun Devils in the game, including a major penalty resulting in five minutes for Christian Krygier for elbowing at the 1:56 mark in the second, it was a play that would get reviewed on a MSU power play that would prove near definitive in the game.

Down 2-1 with less than two minutes left in regulation, MSU got the power play. Josh Nodler and Nash Nienhuis set Mitchell Lewandowski up in the right circle for a one-timer that hit an inside post of the net and ricocheted so fast officials waved it off at the time. No more stoppages in play ensured through the end of regulation, but officials finally reviewed the shot and determined the puck had entered the net to tie the game at 2-2.

The clock was reset to 1:06 and the teams resumed play in the third period. Then disaster struck for the Spartans. A deflected shot ended up aimed at Semik who, positioned at the left side of the crease, put it past DeRidder with just 40.4 seconds remaining to give the Sun Devils the decisive 3-2 lead.

Danon Cole Post-Game Remarks

Mitchell Lewandowski Post-Game Remarks

Charlie Combs Post-Game Remarks

Game Two

The Spartans split the series against the Arizona State Sun Devils Monday evening with a 2-1 win in East Lansing.

The Spartans used a strong offensive game in the first period to open up a 1-0 lead late. Outshooting the Sun Devils 10-2, Nicolas Muller hit the post from the left circle where it ricocheted to Kristof Papp in the right corner. Papp zipped it over to Aiden Gallacher at the point who heaved it to Jagger Joshua to slide it past ASU goaltender Cole Brady. It resulted in Joshua’s fourth goal of the season.

Michigan State skated off two Sun Devil power plays in the second period to keep a 1-0 lead alive, but a third power play stymied them. Demetrios Koumontzis secured a loose puck in the right circle and struck home past an outstretched DeRidder in goal to tie it at 1-1 with just 1:26 to play in the second period.

Mitchell Lewandowski helped set up the final game-winner in the third as he kept a puck in the ASU zone on the right side of the ice. Joshua secured the puck and took it all the way to the net. After the ensuing scrum, Muller secured the loose puck and drove it home off the right post to give the Spartans the lead 2-1 with 3:57 to go in the game.

DeRidder’s 32 total saves on the evening, and 16 in the third period, helped make the difference in keeping the game tied at 1-1 until late in action.

Michigan State was able to stymie Arizona State for the remainder of the game for the 2-1 win to move to 7-11-2 on the season, including a 5-5-1 record in East Lansing.

Danton Cole Post-Game Remarks

Nicolas Muller Post-Game Remarks

Jagger Joshua Post-Game Remarks

Michigan State Hockey is back in action on Friday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. EST and Saturday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. EST on the road against the No. 4 Minnesota Golden Gophers.