Minney Sees First Action in 4-4 Tie


The first period wasn’t even eight minutes old, but the Spartans were right back where they started.

Jake Hildebrand had just let in his seventh goal of the weekend. After Thomas Ebbing had tied the game at one, No.19 Michigan Tech took the lead right back.

That’s when coach Tom Anastos gave the nod to sophomore netminder Ed Minney.

“I was a little nervous, I haven’t played in a while so… But I felt really good in practice these past couple weeks especially, so I had a lot of confidence going in,” Minney said.

In his first official action, Minney looked calm in the eye of the Michigan Tech storm. Michigan State was able to tie the game up before the end of the period thanks to senior captain Michael Ferrantino’s top shelf shot.

The Spartans were able to take a  3-2 lead when Mackenzie MacEachern put away his seventh goal of the season on a 5-on-3 power play midway through the second.

The Spartans extended the lead when Brennan Sanford caught a no-look pass in the slot and rifled it into a wide open net. The Spartans led 4-2 with 18 minutes left in regulation.

It marked the fifth consecutive game that the Spartans had scored four or more goals in a game.

However, just like on Saturday, the wheels fell off.

“For whatever reason, I think subconsciously we do it, where we kinda get up in a game and start looking at the clock. All of a sudden that TV timeout comes and two timeouts and guys are thinking and […] you kinda get in that mode where you’re on the defense. You’re sitting back, you’re waiting, you’re trying to block shots versus just going at ‘em and taking away their time and space,” Ferrantino said.

Michigan Tech poured on the pressure with 18 shots over the course of the period. The Huskies were able to pull within one when junior Tyler Heinonen tapped in a rebound in front of the net. Then, with 51 seconds left, the Huskies got the equalizer when Jake Lucchini drew Minney out of position before sliding it to senior Malcolm Gould for an easy score.

“They really just bring everyone and throw everyone to the net, throw pucks at the net,” Minney said.

During the overtime period, Tech dominated with six shots to the Spartans’ two. The game was officially declared a tie, but Michigan State won the following shootout 2-0, giving Spartan fans a false sense of victory.

This now marks the third-straight game where Michigan State has given up the go-ahead goal in the final two minutes.

“We haven’t found a way yet to finish the deal,” Anastos said. “Two nights in a row to give up leads and give up late goals, obviously it’s something we’ve got to build some confidence somehow so we can close the deal,” Anastos said.

When asked about his team’s mindset late in the game, Anastos said that he was constantly telling his team to stay hungry.

“We were harping on it constantly on the bench. Constantly,” Anastos said. “Part of it is, I think, you have to gain experience doing it and having some success doing it.”

Anastos also made mention of Minney, and was impressed with the sophomore’s play in his collegiate debut.

“I thought from the moment he got in he was focused, he was under control. I thought he played with good poise; I think his team rallied around him and he gained all of our confidence with how he played,” Anastos said.

Despite the stout play by Minney, there will be no goaltending battle. Hildebrand is still the guy.

“Hildy’s our starting goalie, Ed’s number two,” Anastos said.

Listen here for audio of Anastos’ postgame comments:


After allowing nine goals in the past two games, Hildebrand and the Spartan defense will have to shore things up, and fast.

No. 4 North Dakota, the newly minted “Fighting Hawks”, come to East Lansing next weekend for a Friday, Sunday series. The first meeting between the two schools since 2008.

Hockey MSU vs MTU 4-4