Men’s Hockey Ties Windsor, Falls in Shootout

In Michigan State’s opening exhibition match against the Windsor Lancers, Matt Beaudoin tied the game at two for Windsor with a power-play goal midway through the third period, which eventually forced overtime Tuesday night in front of a crowd of 3,683 at Munn Ice Arena. Nobody scored in the five-minute extra session and Windsor would win the shootout 1-0 on a goal by Spencer Pommells. The game goes in the books as a 2-2 tie.

“That was an ideal exhibition game for us,” said fourth-year head coach Tom Anastos. “It’s an experienced team. It’s an older group. A lot of those players have a lot of high-level hockey experience. As a step to get ready for our first game, I wish we could play one more like that.”

Jake Hildebrand made 22 saves and Brent Darnell notched a goal and assist for Michigan State.

The action in the first period resembled a rivalry game even though it was an exhibition game. 15 total penalties were assessed in the first period alone. Both teams would combine for 40 penalty minutes on the game.

“I thought we were playing nose-in all night and we were going to tough spots. I liked our compete level,” Anastos said.

The Spartan offense ended up outshooting the Lancers 16-3 in the first period, but the Spartans had nothing to show for it.

“I thought there were two areas that I was pretty pleased with from an offensive perspective,” Anastos said. “Our forecheck, we created pressure and we got five guys involved. That was a positive step.  I thought we did a better job in the neutral zone possessing the puck entering the zone. I think, generally speaking, we managed the puck pretty well there.”

Windsor would break through early in the second on a breakaway goal by Pommells. Pommells got behind the Spartan defense and faked to the forehand before going to the backhand and sliding it five-hole on Hildebrand.

The Windsor goal seemed to settle the Spartans down as they carried the play for much of the rest of the period.

The Spartans would tie the game as Darnell and Mackenzie MacEachern broke through on a two-on-one over three minutes later. MacEachern completely froze Parker Van Buskirk on the left side and fed a cross-ice pass to Darnell, who buried it from inside the right face-off circle.

Michigan State would go back on the power-play about seven minutes later and the offense would cash in on a wrist shot from Ron Boyd on a feed from MacEachern. MacEachern was along the far boards and sent a pass to Boyd, who walked to the top of the left face-off circle before putting one in to Van Buskirk’s blocker side.

That would be it for the scoring as Michigan State carried a 2-1 lead into the second intermission, out-shooting Windsor 17-5 in the period, many of them being Grade-A scoring chances that were thwarted by Van Buskirk.

With only eight shots against in the first two periods, Hildebrand was not very busy.

“Those are tough games to play in as a goalie,” Anastos said. “I think it was a good experience for him. I thought he made some pretty big saves on a timely basis. I thought he played a pretty good game.”

Michigan State’s penalty-kill would go to work again in the third period with Windsor cashing in on their sixth power-play to tie the game at 10:40. Beaudoin was left alone in front of the Spartan net and Kenny Bradford hit him with a tape-to-tape pass and all Beaudoin had to do was just shovel it in.

The best chance the Spartans would have for the rest of regulation was short-handed, as MacEachern chased down a puck along the boards that handcuffed Van Buskirk. MacEachern was able to direct a shot on a retreating Windsor goalie but the puck would not go in.

Windsor had the best chance in overtime, as an open Mike Christou launched a one-timer from the left face-off circle that Hildebrand stopped.

Van Buskirk denied Michael Ferrantino, JT Stenglein and Darnell in the shootout and Hildebrand yielded one goal on two shots.

Michigan State returns to action on October 17th as the Spartans welcome the University of Massachusetts.

Brian Bobal is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports

Photo: Jonathan Yales/Impact Sports