Michigan State hockey falls to USNTDP


The MSU hockey team huddles together before a game/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Joe Damiani , General Assignment Reporter

EAST LANSING – Michigan State University began its 2022-23 season by hosting an exhibition game against the U.S. National Team Development Program U18 at the newly renovated Munn Ice Arena. Michigan State looked to s off its new season strong under new head coach, Adam Nightingale, but the 2023 Michigan State goalie commitment, Trey Augustine, kept his future university at bay between the pipes. The USNTDP earned a 3-4 victory over the Michigan State Spartans with two goals from Will Smith and a pair from Gabe Perrault and Oliver Moore.

“I thought we started slow,” Nightingale said. “Which we kind of expected when you’re playing a team that’s played some games and a good skillful team that we made mistakes against that made us pay. I think the third period is what we’re going to be as a team and I loved our resiliency.” 

Michigan State started slow against the USNTDP, failing to convert from a five-on-three power play with 17:27 left in the first period. With the score tied 0-0 in the first period, USNTDP forward Will Smith scored his first of two goals from a slick rebound off a shot by Ryan Leonard to take the 1-0 lead.

“I think it was just kind of getting used to playing with one another, ” Michigan State freshman Karsen Dorwart said. “Those guys were playing together for a year now, so it’s just kind of like getting our feet under us.”

The Spartans opened the second period by trading unsportsmanlike conduct penalties between returning sophomore Jesse Tucker and USNTDP Kai Janviriya. Tucker retaliated with a slash. 

Dorwart scored the first of four goals, and the Spartans’ only goal in the second period was assisted by freshman Tiernan Shoudy and freshman Daniel Russell. 

USNTDP then went on to score three unanswered goals. The first was Smith’s second goal of the contest, assisted by Drew Fortescue. Michael Underwood was penalized for roughing with 7:15 left in the second period, which gave USNTDP the chance to grow the lead further with a powerplay goal from Moore, followed by another USNTDP goal scored by Gabe Perrault, who threaded through Viktor Hurtig and goalie Dylan St. Cyr to lead the Spartans 4-1.

“You know, we could have easily rolled over. I thought from the second half of the game on we were the better team and dominant,” Nightingale said.

The Spartans came out of the gate in the third period rolling. After making a goalie change and bringing in Pierce Charlson for St. Cyr, MSU started taking over. It only took two minutes and 55 seconds for MSU to score.

The game stayed in favor of the Spartans throughout the third period with junior Jeremy Davidson joining the tally to make the game competitive the rest of the way. Sophomore Jesse Tucker and USNTDP’s Paul Fisher traded offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, forcing the game to be four-on-four. Michigan State pulled Charlson with one minute and 29 seconds left to bring on an extra skater and put in the goal that would tie the game and force OT, but it did not come.

The Spartans have come away from their loss against the USNTDP with lessons learned and an outline for their next week of practice before opening non-conference play on Friday, Oct. 7, hosting Bowling Green in game one of the series at Munn Ice Arena.