WISCONSIN 3 - MICHIGAN STATE 1
The second-ranked team in the nation, Wisconsin Badgers came into Friday night's game with a solid 9-1-2 overall, which includes the longest current unbeaten streak in the nation at ten (8-0-2)
Michigan State owns a 46-37-2 series advantage over the Badgers, including a 23-13-0 mark at Munn Ice Arena. Last year the Green-and-White shutout Wisconsin 4-0
These two teams played a fluid and even opening stanza, which included nearly five minutes of penalty-less hockey midway through the period.
As the case in almost every game this season, the Spartans struck first. MSU Captain Drew Miller top-shelved a rebound past the Wisconsin net-minder for the power play tally with :02 seconds remaining in the period.
The Badgers took advantage of the missed opportunity, beating MSU freshmen goaltender Jeff Lerg at 10:19 of the third period, tying the game at 1-1. Jake Dowell took the puck from behind the Spartan net and fired a shot that rang off the post past Lerg high on the glove side.
Wisconsin would strike again with 4:11 left in the game when Adam Burish took the rebound off of an initial save by Lerg and buried it in the net. The Badgers sealed the deal with an empty net goal at 19:04 sending the MSU icers to yet another heartbreaking loss.
"The kids played hard, I knew we had to score a second goal, we just could not find the net, and it's real tough to win a game 1-0" Coach Rick Comley explains after the 3-1 loss to Wisconsin.
MICHIGAN STATE 2 - MINNESOTA 2
The big question was how this team would react to yet another third period collapse this season the very next night, against a very fast and skilled Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The seventh ranked Gophers did not waste any time as they came flying out the gate with a first period goal by forward Danny Irman only 1:14 into the game, beating MSU goaltender Dominic Vacari.
Spartan freshmen Tim Crowder found the equalizer later in the first, not only giving him his sixth goal of the year (tied for the team lead in that category) but more importantly knotting the game at one.
The fireworks continued in the opening period as Danny Irman strikes again with his second goal of the night giving the Maroon-and-Gold a 2-1 advantage.
Michigan State's Tyler Howells tied the game in the latter part of the opening period, when he took a pretty pass from David Booth (who returned in the Western Michigan series) and beat Minnesota net minder Jeff Frazee.
Just when it seemed the atmosphere was ripe for a scoring fest the game turned into a defensive struggle.
The highlight was MSU killing off a two-man advantage for Minnesota to preserve the point for the Spartans. In the end the 2-2 tie brought a standing ovation by the Munn Ice Arena crowd for both teams.
"We kept battling back, we have great respect for Minnesota but all-and-all we leave the building feeling a lot better then we did last night." Coach Rick Comley, after Saturday night's 2-2 tie with Minnesota
UP NEXT: MSU VS BOWLING GREEN
The unpredictable Michigan State hockey team stands at 5-6-4 overall, including a 4-2-2 record against ranked teams. MSU looks to improve their 2-4-3 CCHA conference record, when they face-off with Bowling Green in a home-and-home series this weekend.
Until next time hockey fans, remember to always light the lamp.