Michigan State men’s ice hockey took a split with No. 6 Penn State this past weekend, losing 4-3 on Friday night, but rebounding for a 7-3 win on Saturday night.
The Spartans looked strong both nights, opening up a 3-2 lead on Friday by the end of the second period. Unfortunately for MSU, a pair of goals by Penn State in the final seven minutes put the Spartans in the losing column.
On Saturday, Michigan State was much stronger, opening up with three goals. It looked like deja vu as Penn State answered with three of its own. However, PSU wouldn’t score again as MSU took a commanding 7-3 victory.
Game 1: 4-3 loss
Penn State took the win and three points on Friday night in its 4-3 victory. PSU’s Jimmy Dowd Jr. opened the scoring midway through the first period. Not much longer, Michigan State answered with a pair of goals from freshman defenseman Matt Basgall and senior left wing Jagger Joshua.
Jagger Joshua makes this a 2-1 ballgame with his power play goal. Sixth of the season and third on the PP. pic.twitter.com/OcAN5YyS5j— Michigan State Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) November 19, 2022
Christian Berger tied things up at 2-2 with 4:38 left in the second period. Michigan State answered with a goal from fifth-year senior defenseman Cole Krygier 23 seconds later, giving MSU a 3-2 lead going into the final frame.
Berger scored another, tying the game with 6:37 remaining. Tyler Gratton put Penn State on top with 57 seconds left.
In the game, Penn State had one goal waived off due to goaltender interference.
Game 2: 7-3 victory
In the 7-3 win on Saturday, Michigan State opened up with a 3-0 lead. That chased goaltender Liam Souliere from the game. Instead, Penn State brought in backup goaltender Noah Grannan, a freshman. Souliere started and won the game on Friday, but didn’t last nine minutes on Saturday.
Grannan was awarded the loss since Penn State tied the game while he was in net.
Both Souliere and Grannan surrendered three goals apiece. Souliere made three saves, while Grannan made 21. MSU’s final nail in the coffin was an empty-net goal from freshman center Karsen Dorwart.
Basgall scored the first for MSU, a rocket from the blue line.
Basgall nets his second of the weekend to get the Spartans on the board. pic.twitter.com/ruAm9QJ6Bj— Michigan State Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) November 20, 2022
Also scoring in the opening period were junior right wing Jeremy Davidson and sophomore center Jesse Tucker. Within the first 8:43, Michigan State was already ahead 3-0, but Penn State wouldn’t go down without a fight.
Just over eight minutes later, Penn State got on the board with a goal from Christian Sarlo. Shortly after, Joshua was given a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for contact to the head.
On that five minute power-play, Penn State scored two goals: one by Gratton and one by Kevin Wall. That put the game back at 3-3 heading into the first intermission.
From there, it was all Michigan State.
Dorwart scored his third gal of the season halfway into the second period. Three minutes later, Krygier scored his second of the weekend. Five minutes after Krygier’s goal, freshman center Daniel Russell scored his fifth goal of the season. He still leads the team in points with 16.
Daniel Russell leads MSU in points. Here's his latest goal. pic.twitter.com/HM5DH6chJA— Brad LaPlante (@bradlaplante) November 20, 2022
Dorwart scored his second of the game, an empty-net goal, with 4:33 left in the game. That iced the game for MSU.
Notably, Michigan State scored every single goal in this game at even strength.
Michigan State improves to 9-4-1 on the season and is in second place in the Big Ten standings, just behind Minnesota. The Golden Gophers swept a Michigan team ravaged by illness this weekend.
MSU’s 17 points in the conference are as many as it had all of last season when the Spartans finished in last place.
Next week, Michigan State will take on Miami (OH) on the road. The games will start at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday and 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday. Fans can watch on NCHC.tv.