Michigan State 3, Long Island 1


Jack Moreland

Michigan State’s 3-2 loss against UMass-Lowell on October 14, 2022. Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Jacob Phillips, Hockey Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING – Michigan State opened its home series against the Long Island University Sharks Friday night. After a tightly-contested first period, the Spartans opened up the scoring in the second and closed out a 3-1 win to start the weekend.

“For us, it doesn’t matter if it’s non-conference or conference. We want to keep improving,” said head coach Adam Nightingale. “That’s our goal every day.”

The Spartans started strong and were aggressive on the forecheck, looking to put as many shots on goal as possible. Two minutes later, the Spartans found themselves up 1-0. Junior center Nicolas Müller had the puck in the right faceoff circle when he launched it on net. The puck bounced off of the stick of an LIU defenseman and slid behind the Sharks’ 6-foot-6 inch goalie Vinnie Purpura.

The two teams found themselves in penalty trouble after the goal. Senior left winger Jagger Joshua and sophomore center Jesse Tucker wound up in the box for two-minute minors. After LIU got caught with too many men on the ice, Spartan forward Jessie Tucker committed a hooking minor which negated the Spartan power-play. 

During the 4-on-4, LIU sophomore Isaiah Fox found himself on a breakaway after a Spartan mishap in the offensive zone. Fox skated in and wired a shot that made its way through St. Cyr’s pads and into the net, tying the game 1-1. 

The second period started much like the first, with an aggressive forecheck from the Spartans and a lot of pressure on Purpura. Less than 90 seconds into the frame, sophomore defenseman David Gucciardi scored his first goal of the season as he rocketed a slapshot from the blueline past Purpura and into the net to reclaim the Spartan lead. .

“We were able to kind of take off and run away with it a little bit,” said Gucciardi. “We started playing our style really, really good in the second.”

Unlike the first period, the Spartans backcheck proved effective at stopping LIU’s scoring chances. LIU looked to get things even, but the Spartans would hold strong. The closest the Sharks came was an odd man rush on St. Cyr. As St. Cyr shifted right, the puck moved left forcing him to jam his leg pad against the pipe to block the shot.

MSU would double its lead late in the period with Karsen Dorwart’s first goal of the season.  With under five minutes remaining in the period, freshman right winger Daniel Russell hit a pass to Joshua who broke away with the puck alongside  Dorwart. Joshua passed the puck across the slot to Dorwart who sent the puck right past Purpura  putting the Spartans up 3-1.

“Russ[ell] makes a really good play in the D-zone to get the puck out,” said Dorwart. “and then Jags [Joshua] with the great pass to me so I kind of had an easy job. There was a wide-open net.”

From there, all the Spartans had to do was manage the clock in the third period. The Sharks went on the power play twice more in the period, but each time the Spartans successfully killed the penalties. With 73 seconds left in the game, MSU called a timeout as LIU pulled Purpura. Even with the man advantage in the final minute, the Sharks couldn’t slip one past St. Cyr, leaving the Spartans with a 3-1 victory.

 The Spartans will close out their October home slate tomorrow at Munn Ice Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m.