Another night, another loss.
Again, it's not for a lack of effort - the Spartans battled hard for 60 minutes. In fact, Michigan State did a better job of getting to the net, but Brady Hjelle played very well in net again tonight stopping 21 of 22 shots he faced.
The first period started out pretty well for Michigan State. The Spartans were attacking the net with some success, making Hjelle make a handful of tough saves. Chris Forfar then powered a shot between his legs to give Michigan State a 1-0 lead, and ending a scoring drought that lasted 160 minutes and 27 seconds. John Draeger and goaltender Jake Hildebrand got the assists on the play. The first period ended that way with Ohio State holding an 11-10 edge on shots.
The second period looked a little similar to yesterday, as Ohio State got stronger as the game progressed. Unlike last night though, the Buckeyes managed to solve Jake Hildebrand in the middle period. Both on plays to the front of the net, the first from Tanner Fritz 6:50 into the middle stanza, and then Tyler Lundey at the 18:55 mark. Ohio State took a 2-1 lead into the 2nd intermission, but Michigan State held the edge on shots 19-18. The Spartans did have a couple chances in the period, but either they missed the net or Hjelle was there.
The final period saw some chances at both ends - including a mini-break away for Michigan State that Hjelle once again stopped. Ohio State hit the post early on in the period, but then they took a couple late penalties that gave Michigan State a chance. The first came with about seven minutes to go in regulation, but the Spartan power play had some problems settling a bouncing puck down. Michigan State kept pressing though, and the pressure nearly paid off with just over one minute to go as a bouncing puck found its way behind Hjelle, but tipped off the post. Ohio State was then penalized for too many men on the ice, and Michigan State had a power play over the final 41 seconds.
Michigan State got some initial pressure on the two man advantage (6x4), but the puck was eventually stolen, and Tyler Lundey buried the empty net goal to put the game away and give Ohio State a 3-1 win in front of 6,115 fans.
Things don't get much easier for the Spartans either, as they travel down to South Bend for a pair of games next weekend - as Michigan State is now looking to end a four game winless streak.
Across the Country
A lot of games are in progress right now. Notre Dame is destroying LSSU late in the 3rd period by a 6-1 score. Michigan and Ferris State are tied at 3 late in regulation. Western Michigan finished off its sweep of Northern Michigan with a 1-0 win. Alaska and Miami play later tonight.
Across the country - Boston College holds a 4-1 lead over BU. If that score holds, Jerry York will tie Ron Mason on the all-time career coaching wins list.
More to come tomorrow evening.