No. 7 Wisconsin Tops Spartans, 6-3
Mitchell Lewandowski scores twice in the loss.
EAST LANSING - No. 7 Wisconsin used a three-goal first period to get past the Michigan State hockey team, 6-3, on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena. The Spartans scored a pair of goals early in the third to make it a one-goal game, but the Badgers (7-4-1, 2-1) got the next one and then another in the opening minute of the third to eventually pull away.
“It was obviously not the start we wanted,” said MSU head coach Danton Cole. “You always have to give the other team credit, they were jumping early, we weren’t and that’s a good way to find yourself down 3-0. We battled a little bit through the second and played with a little bit more speed and little bit more jam and not shockingly we got some more things done.”
Matthew Freytag got the first Badger goal 1:59 into the game as he got open in front and one-timed a pass from Tarek Baker past goaltender Ed Minney.
The Badgers made it 2-0 on the power play exactly 11 minutes later at 12:59 on a goal by Will Johnson.
Ryan Wagner pushed the Wisconsin lead to 3-0 with a goal off the rush down the left side with 4:42 to go in the first.
It didn’t take long for the Spartans to push back at the start of the second as Milan cashed in on the power play with a one-timer from the left circle 1:04 into the period.
Taro Hirose and Lewandowski combined to set Milan up for the goal, his second of the year.
The Spartans made it a one-goal game at the 6:23 mark courtesy of Lewandowski and Gatt. Gatt started the play in the Spartan end, playing catch with Lewandowski as they headed up ice. Just after entering the UW zone, Lewandowski pulled up with the puck with a nice move and let a rising shot go into the top corner.
The Badgers made it 4-2 as Baker banged in a rebound with 6:02 to play in the second.
Cameron Hughes took advantage of a turnover deep in MSU territory to make to 5-2, 43 seconds into the third period.
A power-play goal by Wyatt Kalynuk extended the Badger lead to 6-2 just under seven minutes later.
Lewandowski got his second of the game with 5:18 to play in the third.
“I do give the guys a little bit of credit, they kind of kept battling through there,” Cole said. “It’s hard when you’re down 3-0 and 5-2 in those situations.”
John Lethemon took over in goal for Minney following the third Wisconsin goal and made 11 saves.
UW’s Kyle Hayton made 14 stops.
MSU went 2-for-6 on the power play while Wisconsin was 2-for-4.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday at Munn at 7:05 p.m.