Saliba Scores Twice in Loss to No. 8 Ohio State
MSU returns to action next weekend at Wisconsin.
EAST LANSING - The Michigan State hockey team fell to No. 8 Ohio State in the second of a two game series, 5-3, on Saturday night at Munn Ice Arena. Sam Saliba scored twice for the Spartans in the loss.
“I think our guys did a heck of a lot better job tonight,” MSU head coach Danton Cole said. “I thought it was good the way we battled and it’s something we can build on. We just have to keep moving forward and finding good things. There were some good things over the last four days, there was some bad stuff, too, that we have to knock out. I’m proud of the way they worked tonight.”
The Spartans (8-13-1, 2-9-1-1) got on the board first as Mitchell Lewandowski picked up his team-leading 11th goal of the season. Patrick Khodorenko forced a turnover behind the OSU net and got the puck to Lewandowski, who one-timed it on net. Goaltender Sean Romeo got a piece of the shot, but it trickled past him and over the goal line.
Ohio State (14-4-4, 7-4-1-0) claimed the momentum from the Spartans with two goals in a span of 17 seconds to grab a 2-1 lead later in the opening period. Matthew Weis knocked in a rebound on the power play at the 13:59 mark to tie the game. Then, after a faceoff in the MSU end, Dakota Joshua deflected a puck from the high slot past goaltender Ed Minney.
The Spartans pushed back in the second, outshooting OSU 9-6, and got rewarded with their first power-play goal of the weekend 4:29 into the period to tie the game. Jeard Rosburg dished the puck to Logan Lambdin in the right circle where he let a wrister go toward the net. Saliba, who was just to Romeo’s left, got a stick on the puck and deflected it in for his fifth goal of the year.
Ohio State retook the lead 4:10 into the third while 4-on-4. John Wiitala was able to slip open in the right circle and one-timed the puck low along the ice to make it 3-2.
The Buckeyes made it three straight with two goals in in 1:52 just past the midway point of the third. Joshua scored unassisted off a faceoff in the MSU end with nine minutes to play and 1:52 later Freddy Gerard scored on a slap shot from the left circle to make it 5-2.
Saliba pulled the Spartans within two goals with 6:32 to go. Brody Stevens hit Saliba with a perfect pass in the left circle and Saliba let a rising shot go that beat Romeo upstairs.
MSU went 1-for-5 on the power play, while OSU was 1-for-4.
The Buckeyes had a 31-23 advantage in shots on goal.
Saturday’s game was the fourth six days for the Spartans – the first time they’ve played four in six days since 1976.
Michigan State will hit the road next weekend to face No. 15 Wisconsin in Madison.