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Michigan State hockey: Slow start leads to crushing Michigan loss

MSU hockey wasn’t able to overcome a slow start.



Michigan State hockey
© Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State hockey got off to a slow start, missed some opportunities, and lost to Michigan in a heated rivalry game.

If you are a fan of Michigan State hockey, this game had everything you wanted, outside of a Spartan victory (they lost 4-2). The game was full of great puck movement and physical play, leading to a combined 110 minutes of penalties. Those penalties led to multiple players on both teams getting ejected, affecting the game on Saturday night.

There is no secret that if you are a Michigan State hockey fan, this series with Michigan is massive. With Michigan State on the bubble for the first time in a long time, every game matters, and this one was full of important opportunities that Michigan converted and the Spartans did not.

These opportunities all started in the first period.

The first period for Michigan State, outside of the first few minutes, was not good. Michigan State could not get possession of the puck, the defense was struggling, and Michigan was the much more physical team.

Less than three minutes into the game, Michigan already had a 1-0 lead in East Lansing. That lead would continue to grow as both Adam Fantilli and Gavin Brindley scored 12 minutes into the game. This looked exactly like the past 8eight games that Michigan and Michigan State played. While Michigan State looked out of the game, score-wise, the effort of the team picked up and led to a goal that would eventually be called back.

Michigan State was in trouble down 3-0 heading into the second period but the effort seemed better towards the end of the first.

The second period starts and the game starts to flip in Michigan State’s favor. The defense started to play better and the offense is finally connected on its passes. The physicality of Michigan State picked up as well. This led to Michigan State responding within five minutes of the start of the second with a goal by Tiernan Shoudy. Michigan State seemed to finally have life after the lead was cut to two.

This is where things started to get chippy.

Michigan and Michigan State each had a player ejected from the game because of a fight. As the game went on, it seemed like Michigan was getting more frustrated despite going into the third period up 3-1.

The third period is where Michigan State needed to show up, especially because tournament hopes are on the line and they showed up quickly.

Within five minutes, Nicolas Muller put the Spartans on the board again and Munn was rocking. The fans were back in the game and got louder by the minute. The quiet Munn Arena two hours earlier was no longer quiet. As the clock ticked down, Michigan State got chance after chance but nothing was going in. The best chance was a shot that slipped right by Michigan’s goalie that almost went into the net to tie the game.

Eventually, Michigan State had to pull the goalie where Michigan would eventually score and put the game away for good.

While Michigan State lost, this is a performance that showed how far the program has come and that the fans are ready for a winner. Under past coaches, that game could have ended up being a lot more one-sided, just like the first period. At the end of the night, Michigan State had more shots on goal and face-off wins.

Though Michigan State did not get the win, there will be motivation to get the victory on Saturday because the tournament is still a possibility for Michigan State and because Michigan’s head coach said “they can’t play with unless they goon it up.” This part of the quote was his response to the question, “When you play a game that intense, how much more rewarding is it to hear that final buzzer sound?”

This part of the quote will not sit well with the hockey players and is definitely not right now with Michigan State hockey fans. Both of these teams do not like each other already and a statement like that by Michigan’s coach will only build the contentment between both teams, making tomorrow’s game a must-watch for any Michigan or Michigan State fan.


Michigan State hockey lands former Red Wings draft pick Red Savage

MSU hockey is loading up on talent this offseason.



Michigan State hockey
© Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State hockey acquired Red Wings draft pick Redmond Savage via the transfer portal this week.

The Detroit Red Wings’ 2021 fourth-round draft pick and “all-time names team” member Red Savage has reportedly transferred to Michigan State hockey to continue his college career.

In a sport that does it backwards where you get drafted and then play, the Scottsdale native has elected to come to the banks of the Red Cedar to continue his college hockey career.

After a quarterfinal bounce ended Miami-Ohio’s Frozen Four hopes, the 2021 mid-round pick’s season fell just a little short of expectations, tallying seven goals and seven assists this 23-game season but found a silver lining in his impressive three-goal, three-assist outing at the 2023 U-20 tournament (seven games).

Savage is the son of longtime NHL player Brian Savage who notched over 350 combined points in a 650-plus game career. 

A forward like Savage could be exactly what Michigan State hockey needs after having its best season in years. This could as well be a huge moment for head coach Adam Nightingale. If he can show Red as a transfer success story like the ones of the football and basketball teams, it could propel him to center stage in the college hockey community. Other teams may have more first-round draft picks and talent, but one could argue no team has momentum like the Spartans.

Expect Red to come out firing for the Spartans this season. Fourth-round draft picks can sometimes be long shots to make it to the NHL, but Red quite literally has what it takes in his now green blood. He’ll be giving it all being on the back-nine of his college hockey career so he can prove worthy of his NHL contract.

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Previewing the 2023 Big Ten gymnastics championship

Let’s take a look at the Big Ten gymnastics championship.



Big Ten gymnastics
© Mark Emmert/Des Moines Register, Des Moines Register via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Michigan State women’s gymnastics will compete in the Big Ten gymnastics championship meet this Saturday afternoon.

Michigan State women’s gymnastics will compete in the Big Ten gymnastics championship meet this Saturday, March 18 at XTREAM Arena in Coralville, Iowa.

Michigan State completed its regular season last Saturday in a meet against Northern Illinois. This was their best regular season in program history. They finished the season 14-2 overall, and 8-1 in Big Ten play and are currently ranked No. 9 in the country. The team posted program records this season in all four events. They also shattered their overall team score by over half a point.

Individually, freshman Nikki Smith, sophomore Gabi Stephen, and sophomore Skyla Schulte have the three highest all-around scores in MSU history, with Smith’s and Stephen’s scores coming this month. In addition, Nikki Smith posted the program’s third-ever 10.0 on vault this year, and Senior Jori Jackard recorded the first 10.0 in program history on uneven bars.

The meet will likely come down to No. 2 Michigan and No. 9 Michigan State. They have been far and away the best teams in the Big Ten all season. They tied atop the Big Ten standings this season. Michigan State pulled the upset and won against Michigan at Jenison early in the season, making MSU the No. 1 seed in the championship meet. However, Michigan will be the favorite and will be out for revenge. But Michigan State has the ability to pull the upset once again.

Michigan has been the more consistent team this year, with an average score of 197.798. MSU’s average is 197.175. The gap between their season-high is much smaller, however. Michigan’s season-high is 198.300, while MSU’s is 198.225. This meet could go either way. No other Big Ten team this year has recorded a score above 197.6. It would be a major upset if another team were to finish in the top two.

Michigan has been the premier gymnastics program in the Big Ten for years.

Though another Michigan State victory this weekend could be a signal of a changing of the guard. A win would give MSU the head-to-head victory, the Big Ten regular season title, and the Big Ten championship meet title. MSU’s success has come mostly off of the back of their underclassmen. This newfound success appears to be sustainable in the long term as well.

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Michigan State Hockey wins first-ever Big Ten Tournament game

MSU’s NCAA tournament hopes are still alive.



Michigan State hockey
© John Mersits / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State hockey wins Game 2 of the three-game series against Notre Dame, keeping its NCAA tournament hopes alive.

Michigan State hockey made history tonight. That history comes from a 4-2 victory in Game 2 against Notre Dame in this year’s Big Ten Tournament.

Coming into Saturday’s game, Michigan State was 0-14 in these tournament games since the Big Ten Conference was formed in 2013. This is not only history finally being made, this is a huge result for this years team especially if they want to make the NCAA tournament.

Coming into this game, the NCAA tournament was out of reach if the Spartans lost. This is because of a tough loss last night 1-0 when some may say Michigan State deserved to win with having over 40 shots on goal. Michigan State just missed many chances and you have to give credit to Notre Dame for that win. Because of that loss, today’s game was a must-win or Michigan State would have been sent home for the year and it looked like that was going to happen until its offense finally scored its first goal.

During the first period of Game 2, the Spartans were outshooting the Fighting Irish by over 10 but they were down 1-0 and the home crowd was rocking. It felt like Michigan State was the much better team but Notre Dame was converting their few chances they had.

The second period started and it seemed like both teams flipped what they were doing. Nine minutes into the second period, Michigan State had no shots on goal and Notre Dame actually had more shots than the Spartans. That first shot with 11 minutes left in the second changed the game. Michigan State finally put one in the back of the net during a power play and you could see the confidence growing.

Michigan State continued to take shots and next thing you knew, it was 4-1 Michigan State in the third period with 6 minutes left. Michigan State was absolutely dominating in this game and that really continued to the end even with a goal late to Notre Dame.

This win forces a Game 3 on Sunday night at 6 p.m. ET.

Game 3 is going to be one of the biggest games Michigan State hockey will play in over 10 years. With a win, Michigan State would not only have their first series win but it would mean they could maybe get into the NCAA tournament. The tournament is not a guarantee with a win but with a loss, there goes any chance.

The winner of Game 3 will take on Minnesota and for either of these teams, that will be a tough task to even win one game. No matter what happens on Sunday, this has been a very successful season for Michigan State and it shows what this team can do going forward with Adam Nightingale. Even though a loss still means a very successful year, it would be huge for the program to get the win tomorrow and advance to the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.

If you are interested in watching, puck drop is at 6 p.m. ET tomorrow on FS2.

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