Spartans Fall to Falcons in First Regular Season Match


Jesse Tucker fights off a defender during Michigan State’s 3-1 loss to Bowling Green on October 7, 2022. Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Jacob Phillips, General Assignment Reporter

EAST LANSING – Michigan State hockey hosted its first game of the regular season with a bout against the Bowling Green Falcons. It proved to be a tough match with much of the action coming in the third period. After a close game, MSU lost to the Falcons 3-1.

 “I thought as the game went, we got better and better… and I think for this group, that’s a big thing,” said head coach Adam Nightingale.

The first period proved a struggle for both teams. The Spartans won the first faceoff but were immediately stopped by an offsides call. The Spartans continued to have trouble keeping the puck under control with three more offsides calls in the period.

“It’s hard when you’re trying to play fast… and a lot of that happens at that blue line,” said Nightingale. “There’s a discipline side to it too, where you’ve got to be engaged and make sure you stay onside.”

Jeremy Davidson collides with a defender during Michigan State’s 3-1 loss to Bowling Green on October 7, 2022. Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

MSU also ran into penalty trouble after an open-ice hit from junior forward Jeremy Davidson. Davidson went to check sophomore Austen Swankler as he jumped to catch a wild puck, but the hit landed too early sending Davidson into the box for a 2-minute interference penalty.

The Spartans, however, found themselves on offense more than defense during the penalty kill outshooting the Falcons 2 to 1.

The second period saw Bowling Green take better control of the puck. The Falcons put 17 more shots on MSU graduate senior goalie Dylan St. Cyr. One of those shots made its way behind St. Cyr early in the period. Senior forward and team captain Alex Barber shot the puck around MSU graduate senior defenseman Michael Underwood and St. Cyr to put the Falcons up 1-0.

Penalties continued to halt both teams’ progress including a holding called on MSU freshman forward Daniel Russell. Just 30 seconds later, Bowling Green sophomore forward Ryan O’Hara got caught cross-checking, putting the two teams in a four-on-four situation. Bowling Green earned a second penalty in the period with senior forward Max Coyle getting called for roughing.

Even with repeated shots from sophomore forward Jesse Tucker, the Spartans couldn’t use the power play to even the score. After Bowling Green was back to full strength, the two continued to put shots on goal with neither goalie allowing any more goals in the period.

The third period saw MSU strike back quickly. Just 20 seconds into the period, freshman forward Daniel Russell scored his first collegiate goal, tying the game 1-1.

“Nash (Nienhuis) made a good kick out to Jagger (Joshua) and he made a really good seam pass to me in the middle,” said Russell. “I just shot it and it went in.”

Daniel Russell scores on an outside shot in the third period during Michigan State’s loss to Bowling Green on October 7, 2022. Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Despite MSU’s newfound momentum, Bowling Green quickly put the Spartans back on the defensive. A minute after Russell’s goal, O’Hara put the puck right over St. Cyr’s left shoulder, putting the Falcons back in the lead with 2 goals.

Even with a power play five minutes into the period, the Spartans couldn’t get a shot past Rose. With just over a minute left to play, MSU pulled St. Cyr in favor of a sixth man. From there, all O’Hara had to do was bring the puck across the blue line and flutter into the net to bring the Falcons up by 2. MSU tried once more to put pressure on Rose, but in the end, it wasn’t enough as the game ended 3-1 with the Falcons on top.

Game two of the home-and-home series with Bowling Green is set for Saturday at 7 p.m. in Bowling Green, Ohio.