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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Michigan State falls in shootout to Michigan Tech in GLI Championship

MSU+sophomore+defender+Matt+Basgall+moves+the+puck+against+Ferris+St.+on+Thursday%2C+December+28%2C+2023+at+Van+Andel+Arena.
Jack Moreland
MSU sophomore defender Matt Basgall moves the puck against Ferris St. on Thursday, December 28, 2023 at Van Andel Arena.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – On Friday evening, Michigan State hockey took to Van Andel Arena for the second time in two nights for the championship game of the Great Lakes Invitational against Michigan Tech. 

Once again missing from Michigan State’s lineup were starting goaltender Trey Augustine and top line forward Issac Howard, both playing for Team USA in the IIHF World Junior Championship. Howard netted two in USA’s victory over Czechia on Friday, including the deciding shootout goal.

“You’re never gonna hear us make an excuse for our team, we’re going to play and we’ve got some really good hockey players and I thought all those guys stepped in and helped,” said Michigan State head coach Adam Nightingale. 

MSU senior forward Jeremy Davidson celebrates after scoring a first period goal against Ferris St. on Thursday, December 28, 2023 at Van Andel Arena. (Jack Moreland)

Michigan Tech also faced a gap in its usual roster as forward Max Koskipirtti played alongside Michigan State’s Tommi Männistö to represent Finland at the WJC tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden. Koskipirtti is the first husky to attend the tournament since 2013.

“Max is one of our top forwards, top players, top scorers, best tested, pure game player, friendly, but just significant, especially to our special teams and our overall team,” said Michigan Tech head coach Joe Shawhan.

The Spartans started off strong, maintaining control of the puck in Michigan Tech’s defensive zone, recording five shots before the Huskies were finally able to get a single shot on goal several minutes later into the period.

From there, the Huskies took control of the puck. Seven minutes into the period, Michigan Tech’s Blais Richartz had a shot that had the crowd on their feet, the puck going straight into freshman goaltender Luca Di Pasquo’s pads for the save. Seconds later, MSU’s Artyom Levshunov was called for an interference penalty, and just over a minute into the Husky power play, Jack Works, assisted by Logan Pietila, twin brother of goaltender Blake Pietila, and Kyle Kukkonen, was able to put the Huskies on the board.

Back in their offensive zone, the Spartans finished out the period recording back to back shots including Griffin Jurecki rebounding Red Savage’s shot. The Spartans outshot the Huskies 16-9.

In the second, MSU once again found the puck on their sticks to begin the period, before Chase Pietila headed to the penalty box for hooking to give MSU their first power play of the game. Sophomore forward Joey Larson was able to capitalize on the power play opportunity to net his 10th of the season and open scoring for Michigan State just under six minutes into the second period.

The second period saw lots of physical action, including a Michigan State penalty for cross checking that was successfully killed.

The Spartans continued the fight and Larson was able to net his second of the game with 41 seconds left in the period. Michigan State tallied 15 shots in the second period to Michigan Tech’s one.

“I thought [in the] first we were really good. In the second, I thought it might be one of our best periods [of the season],” said Nightingale.

The Huskies quickly tied the game just 2:22 into the third period with another joint effort from Works and his linemate Kukkonen. Seven minutes later, Works was back with a hat trick for Michigan Tech and the Huskies’ second lead of the game. Nightingale attempted to challenge the call offside but after deliberation, it was ruled a good goal on the ice.

Michigan State’s response came in the 12th minute with a goal from Red Savage for his second point of the night after an assist on the first goal, tying the game up at 3-3 and sending the game into overtime. The Spartans outshot the Huskies once again 17-10 in the period.

Three-on-three overtime was played on both ends of the rink, with both teams yielding shots on goal. Michigan State recorded nine and Michigan Tech had five, but ultimately none made their way past Blake Pietila or DiPasquo. 

MSU freshman goalie Luca Di Pasquo saves a shot by Ferris St. on Thursday, December 28, 2023 at Van Andel Arena. (Jack Moreland)

“Part of it is being driven… being your best when your best is needed,” Shawhan said in response to Pietila’s 54 save performance.

The Huskies were able to net the winning goal in the penalty shootout to win the MacInnes Cup and their 12th GLI title in 57 tournaments.

Among those named to the All-Tournament Team were Spartans Joey Larson and David Gucciardi as well as Huskies Blake Pietila, Jack Works, and Ryland Mosley.

MSU will next face off on Jan. 5 in an exhibition game against the National Team Development Program at 7 p.m. in Munn Ice Arena.

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About the Contributor
Jack Moreland, Sports Photo Editor
Jack (he/him) is a Journalism major focusing in sports reporting and media photography. Growing up in nearby Okemos, Michigan, he has been a lifelong Spartan and is proud to sport the green and white. Jack is a big Baby Keem fan and is known to post on your block with your wishlist on you.

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