Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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MSU hockey falls to Michigan in NCAA tournament regional final

Avery Kotel
MSU sophomore forward Isaac Howard pursues the puck against Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2024 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo – For the sixth time this season, the No. 1 seed Michigan State hockey team faced off against Michigan, this time in the Maryland Heights regional final with a trip to the Frozen Four on the line. The No. 3 seeded Wolverines defeated the Spartans 5-2 with four third-period goals to advance to their third consecutive Frozen Four, bringing MSU’s historic season to a stunning close.

“We win with class and we lose with class, I thought our guys finished the game really well,” said MSU head coach Adam Nightingale. “That’s how we’re trying to lay the foundation for our program.”

In a tie game at 2-2 midway through the third period, twelve seconds was all it took for the Wolverines to pull away. Junior forward Dylan Duke, who has scored in every matchup this season against the Spartans, scored the game-deciding goal, with sophomore forward TJ Hughes picking up the assist.

Sophomore forward Gavin Brindley scored the second goal off a great between-the-legs pass from Frank Nazar to extend the Wolverine lead to 4-2.

“Give credit to them [Michigan], they’ve got some talent, some guys made big-time plays,” said Nightingale. “Frankie [Frank] Nazar made a special play.”

Duke scored his second goal of the game to put the finishing touches on the win for Michigan with two minutes to play.

Graduate goaltender Jake Barczewski shined in the win, recording 38 saves on the night. Graduate defenseman Marshall Warren and junior defenseman Ethan Edwards also recorded goals for the Wolverines.

Freshman forward Gavin O’Connell and sophomore forward Joey Larson both recorded power-play goals for MSU in the loss. Freshman goaltender Trey Augustine recorded 30 saves for MSU.

Despite the loss, the Spartans have much to be proud of this season, as the team won the Big Ten regular season and tournament title for the first time in program history.

“We were first place wire to wire and that’s not easy to do in our conference with the youngest team,” said Nightingale. “That’s why I respect our guys a ton, every night this year we played, the other team was coming in playing first-place Michigan State, and that’s pretty impressive.”

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About the Contributor
Caden Handwork
Caden is a sophomore journalist from Gross Pointe, Mich. He is the host of the Hedging the Bet podcast and a general assignment reporter for Impact 89FM.

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