COLUMBUS – A night after topping Ohio State, 4-2, a pair of second-period goals proved to be the difference as OSU topped the Michigan State hockey team, 2-1, on Saturday evening at Value City Arena. Mackenzie MacEachern scored for the Spartans in the final minute of the second period to make it a one-goal game and MSU outshot OSU, 10-5, in the third and 29-27 for the game, but couldn’t manage to get another puck past the Buckeyes’ goaltender Christian Frey, who made 28 saves.
“I liked how we played tonight,” said MSU head coach Tom Anastos. “I thought Ohio State was better tonight than they were last night and I thought we stepped up to that challenge.
“We couldn’t solve their goaltender tonight. I thought he had a really good game and had key stops when they needed him to make them.”
Both teams had limited scoring chances in the first period, but Buckeyes’ best chance came in the opening minute when MSU goaltender Jake Hildebrand stoned Christian Lampasso on a breakaway. The Spartans’ best scoring chance of the first came when Villiam Haag beat an OSU defenseman wide and took the puck to the net, slipping a shot off the post that was eventually covered by Frey.
The Buckeyes (8-14-2, 3-5-2-1) broke through for their first goal 4:17 into the second period when Miguel Fidler swiped a loose puck in the low slot past Hildebrand.
Ohio State made it 2-0 with 5:29 to play in the second period on a goal by Mason Jobst. While jousting with Rhett Holland in front of Hildebrand, Jobst got his stick in the puck in the air, batting it into the net.
Despite yielding a pair of goals, the Spartans pressured the Buckeyes in their own zone for stretches in the second period. Finally, with 15 seconds remaining in the period, the Spartans got on the board with some good work deep in the OSU zone by the line of MacEachern, Michael Ferrantino and Mason Appleton.
Ferrantino collected the puck from Appleton behind the OSU net and then curled out front to Frey’s right. Ferrantino sent a perfect cross-ice pass to MacEachern, who one-timed the puck past the netminder on the short side to make it 2-1.
The Spartans continued to generate chances in the third, the best coming when Haag and JT Stenglein both had great attempts from in front of Frey, but the goaltender was able to keep it a 2-1 game.
The Spartans (6-18-2, 2-8) return to action on Friday, Feb. 5 when they meet Michigan at Joe Louis Arena.