It has the makings of a new rivalry.
Michigan State and the Gophers required overtime and a shootout on Friday night for the second time in three meetings this season. Their after-whistle exchanges weren’t friendly. And yet again, the Spartans got the best of the country’s No. 1-ranked team in a shootout.
J.T. Stenglein and Matt Berry scored shootout goals to complete the Spartans’ 2-1 edge in a sudden-death sixth round. Taylor Cammarata briefly extended the shootout, but Sam Warning was stuffed by Jake Hildebrand to end the late night.
The game officially ended in a 2-2 tie, the same finish the Gophers and Spartans had the first time they met in early December in East Lansing, Mich.
“The competition in the Big Ten, I think, is really going to build into something special. It’s premature to say too much too soon, but you can feel momentum building,” Spartans coach Tom Anastos said. “I hope we build rivalries with Minnesota and all the other schools. I think it’d be great for college hockey.”
Michigan State (8-12-4, 2-4-2-3 Big Ten) is the only conference team to have any success against the Gophers (18-2-5, 7-0-2).
The Gophers rallied from an early deficit to force overtime. Justin Kloos deflected in Brady Skjei’s deep attempt in the third period.
Both teams exchanged good scoring chances in overtime but neither could convert.
Hudson Fasching continued the Gophers’ recent string of power-play success. The freshman forward cleaned up Travis Boyd’s slapshot in the final minutes of the first period.
Officials spent extra time making sure they got several calls right on Friday night. Kloos hit both posts on a power-play attempt in the second period. The video review determined the puck never crossed the goal line.
The second review was done in a huddle after a hit from behind on Vinni Lettieri. Only a minor penalty of cross-checking was called while Lettieri left for the locker room. He would later return.
The third video review confirmed the Gophers’ game-tying goal off Kloos’ skate. The fourth video review took the longest and reversed a shootout goal for Michigan State’s Joe Cox.
“[The Spartans have] taken points away from us in the conference, and we’re not happy about that,” Fasching said. “We’re going to come out [Saturday] and get the job done.”
Falling into a big hole on Friday night didn’t help the Gophers. Michigan State built a 2-0 lead midway through the first period on goals by Michael Ferrantino and Villiam Haag.
Ferrantino circled the goal and finished off the pass from Matt Berry. The Gophers defensemen were caught in the same corner leaving Ferrantino unattended.
The Spartans’ second goal was result of what appeared to be another Gophers defensive miscue. Haag created enough space for an open shot, and the Gophers’ Jake Bischoff aided in shielding goaltender Adam Wilcox.
Wilcox barely budged at the shot and the Gophers trailed 2-0 just 12:14 into the game.