Women’s Hockey Suffers First Loss of Season

It was not the start to the new year that the MSU women’s hockey team was hoping for.

Going into last weekend’s contest against Robert Morris, Michigan State was one of only two teams in the ACHA Women’s D-I division to be undefeated.

However, the Spartans’ unbeaten streak ended after they fell to the Robert Morris Eagles 6-3 on Saturday night after playing to a 2-2 tie the previous evening.

On Friday night, the Spartans started strong against the No. 4 Eagles, who could only muster 10 skaters for the contest. Andrea Stewart put MSU on the board in the first period as her rocket from the point sailed passed the Eagle goaltender to give the Green and White a 1-0 lead. The first goal was quickly followed up in the second period by a score from Elise Plancon, which gave State a 2-0 lead.

Soon afterward, MSU began to get into penalty trouble, and Robert Morris capitalized with two power-play goals to notch things up 2-2 after 40 minutes of play.

In the third, both MSU and Robert Morris had goals called back, the Eagles after roughing Spartan netminder Maria Barlow, and State after an offsides play. The score would remain even for the rest of regulation and overtime, leaving the Spartans to take their third tie of the year.

On Saturday night, things did not go the Spartans’ way from the get-go. The Eagles scored two quick goals from senior Julia King, to take a 2-0 lead midway through the first frame.

The Spartans would later trade punches with Robert Morris in the second period with Lauren Grigg (two goals on the night) and Hannah Lensing finding the back of the net for MSU.

The Spartans for a time had things tied up 3-3, but the Eagles found the back of the net before the second intermission to take a 4-3 lead. After the Eagles’ fourth goal, it was all Robert Morris, as they would go on to score two goals in the third to win the game 6-3, and hand the Spartans their first loss of the season.

Despite the sub-par weekend, MSU actually moved up in the ACHA standings to No. 10. The Spartans’ next series will be against arch-rival Michigan at Munn Ice Arena this Saturday and Sunday.

Jason Ruff is the host of Behind the Mask for Impact Sports

Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports