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Michigan State Hockey wins first-ever Big Ten Tournament game

MSU’s NCAA tournament hopes are still alive.

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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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