EAST LANSING — A night after coming back from a pair of three-goal deficits to earn a tie and 3-on-3 overtime win, the Michigan State hockey team fell to No. 7/4 Ohio State 6-0 on Saturday night at Munn Ice Arena. After a scoreless first period that saw the Spartans produce some of their best scoring chances of the night, Ohio State grabbed control of the game with three goals in the second period.
“It was a tough game,” MSU head coach Danton Colesaid. “They played well and buried their chances. It wasn’t that we were without chances; I think their goaltender made some good saves, we had some good plays but they deserve the win tonight and this one we got caught on the wrong side.”
Ohio State (12-4-4, 5-2-3-2) got its first of three goals in the second period at the 4:40 mark when Ronnie Hein got the puck in the low slot, after it banked off the boards behind the net, and put it past goaltender John Lethemon.
OSU made it 2-0 as they scored off a faceoff win deep in the MSU zone. Mason Jobst won the draw to Quinn Preston who made his way to the net from the left boards and jammed it under Lethemon with 11:46 to go in the second period.
The only penalty of the game through the second period was called on the Spartans at the 11:45 mark and the Buckeyes took advantage on the ensuing power play. After Lethemon lost his stick on a scrum in front, the puck got to Mason Jobst on the left side of the crease and he put it into the net.
The Spartans (6-11-3, 2-6-2-2) had chances to get on the board early on, including a shot by Brennan Sanford that rang off the post midway through the first period. Mitchell Lewandowski had a one-timer from point blank off the right side of the crease in the waning minutes of the second, but OSU goaltender Tommy Nappier foiled the attempt.
After playing on Sunday and Monday at the GLI in Detroit, Saturday night marked the Spartans’ fourth game in seven nights.
“We talk a lot about when we have energy and we’re physical we’re a better team,” Cole said. “I think in a lot of ways we ran out of a bit of gas and emotion tonight.”
A five-minute major to Logan Lambdin 3:09 into the third and then another MSU penalty at the 6:24 mark allowed the Buckeyes to add to their lead. John Wiitala scored at the 5:25 mark and Dakota Joshua at the 6:24 mark to make it 5-0.
Brendon Kearney capped the scoring with 3:29 to go.
Nappier finished with 29 saves for the shutout, while Lethemon made 38 saves.
The Spartans hit the road to face Penn State next weekend on Friday and Saturday.
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