EAST LANSING – Trailing 7-4 with 5:00 remaining in the third period, the Michigan State hockey team scored three goals in a span of 3:48 to tie No. 7/4 Ohio State on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena. Logan Lambdin gave the Spartans the extra point in the Big Ten standings by scoring in the 3-on-3 overtime, following a scoreless 5-on-5 OT session.
"Well, that doesn't feel like a tie – I guess; It was a pretty interesting game," MSU head coach Danton Cole said.
Trailing 4-2 going into the third period, the Spartans (6-10-3, 2-5-2-2) went on to face two separate three-goal deficits in the stanza. The Spartans fell behind 6-3, 7:24 into the third and then 7-4 with 5:00 to go.
Zach Osburn (15:25), Hirose (16:31) and Cesana (19:13) scored the final three goals for the Spartans to make it 7-7.
"Even when it was 6-3 and 7-4, we made some big mistakes and that's the game of hockey," Cole said. "We didn't take care of things a few times and kind of left Drew (DeRidder) out to dry. I still thought we were doing an awful lot right; we had a little lull, I think at 6-3 before we got it to 6-4, we had a couple shifts and it didn't look like we had energy. Then we had a shift where guys went out, we had a couple shots on net and there was a little bit of life – and I liked it. I don't know if my comments would be a ton different depending on how it came out but I liked the way the guys battled and that's got to be a minimum; we didn't give up and kept going – kept throwing pucks at the net and scored a lot of goals against a very good defensive team. "
The first period proved to be precursor of what was to come as the teams combined for five goals in the opening stanza.
After Ohio State's Gustaf Westlund gave OSU (11-4-4, 4-2-3-2) a 1-0 lead 1:16 into the game, but the Spartans' answered to tie it 2:33 later courtesy of the KHL line as Hirose finished off an odd-man rush with Khodorenko and Lewandowski both picking up assists.
Michigan State grabbed what turned out to be its only lead in regulation when Hirose found Cesana for his third of the season with 5:36 to go in the period.
The Spartan lead lasted just 35 seconds as Tanner Laczynski let a rising shot go from the left circle that got past DeRidder with 5:01 to go in the period.
OSU's Quinn Preston took advantage of a miscue behind the MSU net and scored to make it 3-2 with 3:17 to play in the first period.
Mason Jobst scored the lone goal of the second period, finishing a 2-on-1 at the 8:28 mark to make it 4-2 Buckeyes heading into the third.
The Spartans made it 4-3 by taking advantage of their first power play of the night at the 47-second mark of the third period. Khodorenko slid a perfect pass cross-ice to Cody Milan in the left circle where he one-timed it past Romeo.
OSU answered with a power-play goal of its own at the 2:20 mark to reclaim its two-goal advantage, 5-3.
Ryan O'Connel made it 6-3 at the 7:24 mark.
Lambdin got the fourth Spartan goal at the 13:55 mark to make it 6-4, but OSU's Dakota Joshua put the Spartans back in a three-goal hole just 1:05 later.
Osburn's goal to make it 7-5 came when he let a wrister go from the top of the right circle into the far corner of the net.
The Spartans got their second power-play goal of the night to make it 7-6 with 3:29 to play. Khodorenko spun and flung the puck from the right circle toward the low slot where it deflected off Hirose, then and Buckeye defenseman and into the net.
With DeRidder on the bench for the extra attacker, Cesana completed the comeback with 47 seconds to go. Milan and Khodorenko got the puck into the high slot where Cesana gathered it and let a wrist shot go low into the left corner of the net.
After the scoreless 5-on-5 overtime the game was officially a tie moved into the 3-on-3 five-minute OT to determine who got the extra point in the Big Ten standings. Lambdin ensured the Spartans got the extra point when he scored on a high shot off the rush from low in the left circle, sending the crowd of 5,585 into a frenzy.
OSU finished with a 39-36 advantage in shots on goal. MSU was 2-for-3 on the power play, while OSU was 1-for-3.
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