Monday, December 21, 2015
Northeastern Downs Michigan State
Michigan State closed out the first half of its 2015-16 hockey campaign with a 2-1 non-conference loss at NCAA opponent Northeastern on Saturday evening at Matthews Arena.
Thomas Ebbing tallied the only goal for the Spartans (5-11-2 overall), with just over seven minutes remaining in regulation. NU had staked itself to a 2-0 lead on a first-period goals from Mike McMurtry, followed by a second-stanza score by Zach Aston-Reese.
Senior goaltender Jake Hildebrand had 29 saves for MSU, while freshman netminder Ryan Ruck earned his first career victory for Northeastern (3-12-3) with 26 saves.
The game marked MSU's second single-game voyage to the Boston area this fall. The Spartans fell at Boston College, 6-4, on Nov. 13, despite rallying from a three-goal third-period deficit with three consecutive tallies in less than two minutes. MSU also split a two-game series at Princeton last season.
MSU men's basketball head coach Tom Izzo, who secured his 500th career victory against BC last month, was on the Spartan hockey bench for at least part of Saturday night's game at NU. Both MSU's men's and women's basketball teams were in Boston to play Northeastern as part of the Winter Showdown, according to msuspartans.com. The Spartan women triumphed by a 77-51 count over the Huskies on Friday night at Matthews Arena, while the MSU men did likewise with a 78-58 win on Saturday afternoon in the same venue.
Spartan hockey will return to action on Dec. 29 against Michigan Tech in the first round of the 2015 Great Lakes Invitational at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.