One Shot and 20 Minutes Short of Victory in Final Game

After shocking No. 5 Wisconsin in overtime Friday night, the Spartans were looking to end Big Ten and regular season play on a high note.

Unfortunately, the Badgers had other plans.

In the first period, Wisconsin netted 4 goals and held the Spartans to just three shots on goal after 20 minutes of play.

For a team that has been struggling on the offensive side of play, Michigan State gained back some ground in the second period, cutting the Badger lead in half.

Forward Matt Berry netted his 10th goal of the season 1:26 into the second period on the power play and senior Dean Chelios scored his second goal of the season at the 9:50 mark.

MSU outshot the Badgers 16-5 in the second period and headed into the locker room with the momentum in their favor.

Heading into Saturday’s game, the Spartans were 10-1-0 when scoring three or more goals.

Just over five minutes into the third period, freshman forward Villiam Haag beat the Badger defense down the left boards and sniped a wrist shot past Wisconsin’s goaltender Joel Rumpel, cutting the lead to 4-3.

In the last minute of play the Spartans pulled goaltender Will Yanakeff for an extra skater, but were unable to convert and the Badgers survived, 4-3.

Despite digging a big hole in the first period, the Spartans stuck with their game plan and showed a lot of resilience in the last two periods.

“There’s a lot of good that came out of the weekend,” head coach Tom Anastos said. “I’m sorry I keep dwelling on the negative, but you see what you let slip away by not playing twenty minutes.”

Michigan State will travel to Minneapolis, Minn. Thursday for the Big Ten tournament. After being awarded the No. 5 seed, the Spartans will face No. 4 Ohio State in a single-game elimination series.

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David Defever is the host of Behind the Mask for Impact Sports.

Photo: Jonathan Yales/Impact Sports