At times both Michigan State and Ohio State have struggled to find the net this season. Tonight was one of those nights where neither team could get much to the net - as both teams defended well in front of their own goals.
In fact, one of the few times either team got anyone to the net, it resulted in goals - or near goals. Ohio State thought they had a 1-0 lead in the second period, but replays confirmed the puck went off the post and crossbar - never crossing the goal line. The Spartans later on in the second period tallied what they thought was a goal good enough for a 1-0 lead, but that too was disallowed after replays showed goaltender interference.
That set the stage for the 3rd period when Ryan Dzingel crashed the net with 2:13 remaining to lift the Buckeyes to the 1-0 victory before over 6,400 at Munn Ice Arena. Michigan State actually played one of their better first periods of the season out-shooting the Buckeyes 14-8 in the opening frame, but the Buckeyes slowly gained control of the pace and eventually out-shot MSU 33-31 for the game. Neither team could convert on the power play as Ohio State went 0 for 3 and Michigan State went 0 for 1.
The officials might as well not have been on the ice over the final 10 minutes as they missed a handful of potential penalties. I swear Philo does this all the time. He missed a potential one on MSU, but all the officials missed a too many men on the ice penalty on Ohio State along with deciding to ignore Brady Hjelle's side kick interfering (and tripping) a streaking Spartan forward. But it's tough to lean on any CCHA official.
It wasn't for a lack of effort, but the Spartans need to try to get to the net more. Ohio State did a great job in front of Hjelle, but the Spartans didn't really challenge him much tonight. On the flip side, the Spartans defense did a nice job in front of Hildebrand, until the final couple minutes when Ohio State finally chipped one in. It was a solid road game by Ohio State - and a well earned three points.
Michigan State is now 1-5-1 on Friday nights this season. They've only scored nine goals in those seven games, and three came in one. Oddly enough, the three goal game was the win. The good news? MSU is 3-2-1 on Saturday (both losses on the road against top 5 teams - at Minnesota, at Miami)
The Spartans haven't scored a goal since November 16th at Miami (2-2 tie). To be fair that's only two games - or to be exact - 146 minutes and 7 seconds (18:53 of the 2nd period in Miami, Jake Chelios).
The two teams will meet again tomorrow at 6 pm at Munn. The game can be heard on 1240 AM or seen on Comcast Channel 900.
Across the Country
Boston University 4 Boston College 2. I only bring this up, because Jerry York could have tied Ron Mason for most career coaching victories. Obviously he'll get it at some point this season (possibly tomorrow).
Ferris State 5 Michigan 0. Ouch. That's a butt kicking in Big Rapids. Michigan continues to struggle.
Notre Dame 3 LSSU 2. The Lakers played tough in South Bend, but Notre Dame continues to roll in CCHA play.
Western Michigan 4 Northern Michigan 2. No surprise here as the Broncos hold home ice.
Miami at Alaska (result pending)