COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Michigan State hockey team dropped the first of a two game series with No. 7 Ohio State, 5-1, on Friday night at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. With the game tied 1-1 past the midway point of the second period, OSU scored four unanswered goals.
“The game is passionate and enthusiastic and when we’re good we bring that, and that always gives us a chance. I didn’t think we had that tonight,” MSU head coach Danton Cole said.
Ohio State (20-8-5, 13-6-4-3) got the only goal of the first period as Eugene Fadyeyev’s wrist shot from the high slot got past goaltender Drew DeRidder at the 7:18 mark.
Michigan State (11-17-5, 7-12-4-2) evened the game 1:21 into the second on a goal by Tommy Apap. Cole Krygier let a slap shot go from the point and the rebound bounced out to the low slot where Apap got a stick on the puck and backhanded it past goaltender Tommy Nappier.
The game remained tied until there was just over six minutes to go in the period. Tanner Laczynski set up Matt Miller in the left circle and he snuck a high shot past DeRidder from the left circle.
“At that point, I thought we were okay,” Cole said. “We kind of worked through the first period, got it to even and then there was one little breakdown and all of a sudden it’s in our net.”
Ohio State increased its lead to 3-1 on a goal by Freddy Gerard with 3:28 to go in the middle stanza. After a blocked shot, Gerard collected the puck in the high slot and snapped the puck past DeRidder.
Ronnie Hein scored 1:51 into the third to push the OSU lead to 4-1.
John Wiitala made it 5-1 less than four minutes later at the 5:31 mark as he moved to the net off the rush on the right side and put the puck into the upper far corner of the net.
The Spartans extinguished all four OSU power plays, but also went scoreless on the power play at 0-for-2.
OSU outshot the Spartans, 32-22.
The Spartans and Buckeyes will meet in the regular season finale on Saturday at 5 p.m.