Michigan State Hockey Sweeps The #19 Wisconsin Badgers!

Hondo S. Carpenter

Munn Ice Arena

East Lansing, MI

The Michigan State Spartan hockey team led by Danton Cole will almost certainly return to the top 20 this week after sweeping the #19 Wisconsin Badgers this weekend. It was a great weekend for the good guys in green!

Spartan hockey SID Jeff Barnes wrote a terrific write on the weekend. You can read that here:

Spartans Sweep No. 19 Wisconsin With 5-4 OT Win

EAST LANSING – The Michigan State hockey team swept No. 19 Wisconsin in thrilling fashion with a 5-4 overtime win on Saturday night at Munn Ice Arena. Trailing 3-1 entering the third period, the Spartans scored three straight goals to take a 4-3 lead. Wisconsin tied the game with 20 seconds to go, but Patrick Khodorenko’s second goal of the game 2:30 into overtime gave the Spartans the weekend sweep.

The win moved the Spartans to 6-3-1 in the Big Ten and to 8-7-1 overall.

“Well, that was exciting,” MSU head coach Danton Cole said. “You go through the third and play really well; down 3-1 in the third and come storming like that back. The high of that emotion and the puck being about five feet from getting out and turns around and ends up back in our own net and then we find ourselves in overtime.”

With the puck deep in the UW zone in overtime, Khodorenko made a move in the corner to keep possession and dish it to the point. Dennis Cesana gave the puck to Mitchell Lewandowski on the right side, who sent it back across to Khodorenko in the left circle. Khodorenko then snapped the puck high into the far corner of the net to give the Spartans a 5-4 win.

The goal was Khodorenko’s second of the game and his third point of the night.

“What a play by Patrick Khodorenko. He’s been really, really good for us lately,” Cole said. “He just made some big plays for us tonight so that was good to see.”

Trailing 3-1 entering the third period, Lewandowski got the first of the Spartans’ three straight goals in a span of less than 11 minutes. Lewandowski got up ice and through the neutral zone where he quickly gained the UW blue line and wristed the puck past goaltender Jack Berry from the high slot to make it 3-2 at the 2:48 mark.

Less than five minutes later, Sam Saliba tied it with a shorthanded goal. Jeard Rosburg sent Saliba on a breakaway and the senior captain didn’t miss, beating Berry with a backhand between the legs at the 7:11 mark.

Lewandowski gave the Spartans their first lead with 6:32 to play in the third period. In a play that was similar to his first goal, Lewandowski got into the UW zone and quickly snapped the puck from just over the blue line. Berry got a piece of the shot, but the puck trickled into the net for a 4-3 MSU lead.

UW pulled Berry for the extra attacker and with 20 seconds to play, defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk got a loose puck and scored from the left circle, sending the game to overtime.

Wisconsin got the only goal of the first period, but Khodorenko got his first of the game 1:24 into the second to tie it. Just after the expiration of a power play, Saliba immediately sent a one-time pass to Khodorenko, who was cutting down the slot. Berry got a glove on the shot, but Khodorenko followed up and put the rebound home.

Despite the Spartans outshooting Wisconsin 16-10 in the second period, Cole Caufield put the Badgers in front with two consecutive goals later in the middle stanza, giving UW a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Michigan State recorded a season-high 44 shots on goal, while Wisconsin had 37.

Both teams were held without a power-play goal for the second straight night as UW was 0-for-3 and the Spartans 0-for-2.

The sweep was the Spartans’ second of the year.

Michigan State will play one more series before the Christmas break as the Spartans will host Arizona State in a pair of non-conference games next Saturday and Sunday at Munn.

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