Skip to main content

MSU Hockey Beats Ohio State, Advances to B1G Championship Game

After winning the Big Ten regular season championship, Michigan State is one victory away from claiming the conference tournament title as well...

After winning the Big Ten regular season championship, Michigan State men's ice hockey is on the verge of winning another title in the conference tournament.

On Saturday, the Spartans took down Ohio State, 2-1, in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals to advance to a championship matchup with in-state rival Michigan next Saturday, March 23. More on MSU's victory below:

East Lansing, Mich. – No. 4/4 Michigan State earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Ohio State on Saturday night at Munn Ice Arena to advance to next week's Big Ten Championship game. The Spartans are now 23-9-3 on the year and will make their first Championship game appearance in the 11-year history of the league. OSU ends its season with a 14-20-4 overall record.

MSU will play fourth-seeded Michigan for the title next week, as the Wolverines won a 2-1 decision on the road at Minnesota in the semifinal nightcap. MSU and Michigan will meet for a league tournament title for the first time since the CCHA championship game in 2002.

A capacity crowd – one that was fueled by the excitement of the first postseason game at Munn Arena since 2010 – was into it from the jump, as both teams came out with high-tempo and hard-hitting play looking to set a tone. MSU broke through in the second period with a goal just 1:23 into the period – on a defensive clearing attempt front out of the zone, the Spartans got a tip and gained possession, with Daniel Russell and Isaac Howard headed to the net. Howard dished it over to Dorwart in the right circle – his shot was tipped at the left post by Russell for the sophomore's 11th of the season.

Senior captain Nash Nienhuis scored the game-winner 2:16 into the final period, just 13 seconds after the Buckeyes had evened the game at 1-1. Max Montes's ninth of the season on a wraparound gave the Buckeyes some life – but Nienhuis's goal from the left hash mark off a nifty feed from the right corner by Tanner Kelly put the Spartans back on top.

The Buckeyes continued to press for an equalizer, but freshman goaltender Trey Augustine was up to the task with his 15 third-period saves. Both teams had 38 saves on the night, and Buckeye goalie Logan Terness was equally excellent – he made 36 stops, including three shorthanded breakaway chances from the Spartans.

The teams each had a goal called back in the game. MSU's was in the second period just two minutes after its first goal, when Jeremy Davidson looked like he had doubled the MSU lead but it was waived off on a goalie interference call. Ohio State had one taken off the board five minutes into the third, when the Buckeyes were deemed offsides after a review.

Michigan State will host the Big Ten championship game next Saturday, March 23 at 8 pm against the Wolverines. The game will air live on Big Ten Network.

For more coverage of Michigan State Athletics: