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michigan state hockey falters in third period falls to michigan in ncaa tournament regional final

Michigan State hockey falters in third period, falls to Michigan in NCAA tournament regional final

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – Michigan State’s hockey team got the best of Michigan plenty this season. The Spartans would gladly trade one of those wins for this one. Facing off for the sixth time, MSU and Michigan took the ice in an NCAA tournament regional final in suburban St. Louis, this time a trip to the Frozen Four on the line. With the game deadlocked with just over seven minutes remaining, the Wolverines found two goals in 12 seconds to take the air out of the Spartans and avenge four straight losses, knocking MSU out of the NCAA tournament with a 5-2 win. Michigan advances to the Frozen Four for the third straight year, where the Wolverines will face No. 1 overall seed Boston College on April 11 in St. Paul, Minnesota. MSU’s season comes to an end with a 25-10-3 record after winning the Big Ten regular season and tournament championships, the latter in overtime against Michigan, and winning the program’s first NCAA tournament game since 2008. Junior forward Dylan Duke crashed the net and was able to slide a puck past MSU freshman goaltender Trey Augustine for the Wolverines’ go-ahead goal. Then on the ensuing face-off, Michigan forward Frank Nazar caught MSU on a 2-on-1, where he made a between-the-legs pass to sophomore forward Gavin Brindley, who blasted a shot past Augustine. Duke would add a late power-play goal to make it a 5-2 final. Tied 1-1 entering the third period, Michigan defenseman Marshall Warren found open ice deep in the right circle, and Michigan’s Jacob Truscott was able to funnel the puck his way, where Warren beat Augustine to give the Wolverines a 2-1 advantage. MSU would respond midway through the third on the power play, when sophomore forward Joey Larson jumped on a loose puck in the slot and fired a one-timer past Michigan goaltender Jake Barczewski to level it up. Michigan was the faster team to start, but an early penalty gave the Spartans a chance to score first. MSU freshman forward Gavin O’Connell redirected a point shot from sophomore defenseman Matt Basgall and the puck slipped past Barczewski to put MSU in front. Michigan tied it early in the second period on a 3-on-2 rush. Forward Dylan Duke slid a pass over to defenseman Ethan Edwards, who fired a one-time shot past Augustine. Michigan was without star sophomore defenseman Seamus Casey – a first-team All-Big Ten selection who had seven goals and 38 assists for the Wolverines this season. MSU was without junior defenseman David Gucciardi, who scored in Friday’s regional semifinal win over Western Michigan. Contact Nathaniel Bott at nbott@lsj.com and follow him on Twitter @Nathaniel_Bott

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