Michigan State ice hockey drops two showings at Wisconsin


Lauren Demay via The State News

Senior defender Christian Krygier (15) watches as Wisconsin attempts to score a goal during the third period while guarding another player.

The Michigan State University (MSU) Spartans ice hockey team lost two straight matchups against the University of Wisconsin Badgers on Jan. 14-15 at the Kohl Center in Madison, WI.

MSU entered the matchup with a .500 record, albeit with a losing record against Big Ten opponents, but looked to get back to winning ways after dropping two straight vs. the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Badgers were on a similar losing streak, having a sub .500 record and comparable record against the Big Ten.

In their first matchup, the Badgers and Spartans traded goals early in the first period, before the Badgers scored two straight goals to close out the first period 3-1. MSU battled back, scoring a pivotal goal at the end of the second period, bringing the Spartans within striking distance. In the third period, it was all Badgers, who scored two power-play goals to put the Spartans away 5-2. Credit to Badgers sophomore forward Mathieu De St. Phalle, who scored two for them and lead both teams in scoring.

On Jan.15, the Spartans looked much better, gaining control early in the second period, scoring two goals to put MSU in the driver’s seat early. Unfortunately for the Spartans, power plays would once again plague them in the third period, which saw two unanswered goals, including another score from De St. Phalle, which would ultimately put the Spartans down, 3-2.

Despite the overall losing record, much credit is due to Wisconsin, who got their revenge against MSU, who swept an early-season meeting at the Munn Arena in East Lansing. After a pair of ties against Providence College and Ohio State University, Wisconsin gets their first win in 2022 as they look to build on this win before facing against the Big Ten-worst Penn State Nittany Lions on Jan. 21-22 .

MSU finds itself below .500 on what has been a rough start to 2022. The Spartans won their last matchup vs. Michigan Tech, but have yet to earn a win in the new year. The Spartans have dropped four straight, and with both losses coming off of power plays, this is a team who looks to work on their mistakes before matching up with the top three Big Ten teams over the next three weeks, culminating with the annual Duel in the D with top-ranked University of Michigan Wolverines on Feb. 12. 

In a battle of two teams looking to gain momentum, both games came down to execution and which team would commit fewer mistakes. With both teams looking at a hard schedule over the next few weeks, this turned into a must-win situation for the Spartans and Badgers. In a battle of attrition, the Badgers brought out their inner honey badger in an effort to fell the Green and White warriors.