Feb. 8, 2014
EAST LANSING - For the second straight day, Michigan State and Ohio State played to a 2-2 tie with the Buckeyes winning the shootout to take the extra point in the Big Ten standings. In the Saturday matinee game at Munn Arena, MSU's Greg Wolfe and OSU's Matt Johnson scored both goals for their respective teams, as MSU's record moved to 8-13-6 overall and 2-5-5-3 in the Big Ten.
Trailing 1-0 after the first period, Wolfe scored a pair of power-play goals in the second, giving MSU a 2-1 lead entering the final stanza. Johnson tied the game just over halfway through the third period and neither team was able to find the back of the net from then on.
For the second time this season Jake Hildebrand made 48 saves to tie his career high.
"I was curious to see how we would respond after last night's tie and shootout loss," said MSU head coach Tom Anastos. "I thought we responded well, but we started to run out of gas later in the game because we were playing a shorter bench. I thought guys competed really hard."
Johnson got his first goal of the game less than four minutes in as he converted a 2-on-1. Alex Lippincott started the play when he blocked Brock Krygier's shot from the point, forcing the odd-man rush the other way. Johnson took the pass from Lippincott while charging the net and beat Hildebrand.
Hildebrand turned away the rest of the Buckeye attempts in the period, making 18 saves in the frame.
The Spartans took advantage of four Buckeye penalties in the second period and cashed in early as Wolfe tied the game at the 41 second mark. Wolfe picked up a pass from Lee Reimer and hammered a rising slap shot past OSU goaltender Christian Frey from near the right circle.
Wolfe and the Spartans took their first lead on another power-play goal with 1:34 to play in the second period. Jake Chelios set up Wolfe at the center of the blue line with a perfect pass that Wolfe one-timed toward Frey. Wofe's shot hit the crossbar and bounced down into the net, giving MSU a 2-1 advantage.
Ohio State (14-9-3, 4-5-3-2) pressured MSU early in the third period and Johnson was able to tie the game at the 11:01 mark, again scoring on a 2-on-1. Johnson picked up the loose puck in the neutral zone and skated down the right side. He cut to the center just outside the crease and beat Hildebrand with a backhand.
In overtime, Tyler Lundey had the Buckeyes' best chance as he rang a shot off the pipe from inside the left circle. MSU countered with an equally strong scoring opportunity off a faceoff in the OSU end. The Spartans set up what was a near perfectly-executed play that resulted with Frey stopping Mike Ferrantino's redirect attempt on the doorstep.
"You don't see those plays work exactly the way you design them all the time and that one came very close," said Anastos.
The Spartans will head to Penn State next weekend to take on the Nittany Lions on Friday and Saturday.