Michigan State vs. Ohio State preview: players to watch, predictions and more


MSU goalie Dylan St. Cyr gets ready to head onto the ice against Wisconsin. / Photo Credit: Sarah Smith

Ryan Radosevich, Hockey Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING – Michigan State is coming off an impressive series sweep against Wisconsin. The 6-3-1 Spartans wrap up their four-game homestand as they welcome in No. 10/11 ranked 7-2-1 Ohio State for a Thursday-Friday series. OSU is currently tied for second in Big Ten standings at nine points while MSU has eight points in fourth place. 

After a successful season last year, the Buckeyes find themselves in the winning column early on this year. OSU has series sweeps over Wisconsin, Mercyhurst and Bentley and a split against No. 1 Minnesota.

MSU has also found early-season success with a sweep over Long Island University and an impressive series sweep last weekend against the Wisconsin Badgers 5-0 and 5-1 respectively.

MSU leads the all-time series 94-54-13 but Ohio State got the better of the Spartans winning three out of four matchups this past season.   

Players To Watch

No. 24 Erik Middendorf, F, Michigan State:

Going into last weekend’s series against the Badgers, Middendorf only had one point on the season. He turned that around with a four-goal performance on Nov. 4 against Wisconsin. Middendorf has the second-most goals on the team. He was able to score two goals against the Buckeyes last season so keep an eye out for him. 

No. 19 Stephen Halliday, F, Ohio State: 

The freshman center is tied for the team lead with 10 points in as many games. Drafted in the fourth round by the Ottawa Senators, Halliday has cemented himself as a valuable piece for the Buckeyes early in the season. Halliday was dominant while playing on the Dubuque Fighting Saints totaling 95 points (35 goals, 60 assists) in 62 games and he’s continuing his scoring ways early in the scarlet and gray. 


Impact Staff Predictions

Ryan Radosevich: Series split. MSU has a lot to prove if they want to pick up the split. With their impressive weekend against Wisconsin, totaling 10 goals to the one of the Badgers, I think the Spartans will take at least one game. 

Jacob Stinson: Series split. Look at the teams that OSU has beaten. Wisconsin, Bently and Mercyhurst have a combined five wins; Michigan State has six. Jakub Dobeš, OSU’s goaltender, has been inconsistent against better competition and I think he’ll have an off night against a Spartan team that is firing on all cylinders on offense. 

Jacob Phillips: Ohio State sweeps. Penn State did a lot better against the Buckeyes, but OSU is still No. 10 in the country. They also surpass the Spartans in every major stat: goals, wins, power play and penalty kill. If MSU wants to win, it needs to play better than anything we’ve seen so far.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday.