Spartans Take Care of Badgers, 3-0

EAST LANSING - Matt Berry scored a pair of power-play goals and Jake Hildebrand made 21 saves as the Michigan State hockey team shut out Wisconsin, 3-0, on Friday night in front of a crowd of 6,042 at Munn Ice Arena. The win bumped the Spartans’ record to 15-14-2 overall and 9-6-2-2 in the Big Ten.

The shutout was Hildebrand’s fifth of the season and ninth of his career.

“It was a good start to the weekend,” MSU head coach Tom Anastos said. “We scored some timely goals and, obviously, special teams were a big factor in the game. It was nice to see the puck go in on the power play and the penalty kill did a good job. Hildy made some key saves at some key times.”

The Spartans made it 1-0 when they converted on the man-advantage at the 11:48 mark of the opening period as Berry got his first goal of the night.

Mackenzie MacEachern picked up the puck and skated around the top of the zone toward the right circle where he then fired a cross-ice pass to Berry on the far side of the crease, who tapped the puck into the net.

After being held to just one shot in the opening period, the Badgers (4-23-4, 2-13-2-2) got their best chance of the game 18 seconds into the second stanza. Grant Besse took a pass from the corner in the low slot and was left one-on-one in front with Hildebrand. The goaltender got the best of Besse as he stretched across the crease and kicked out the puck with his left pad.

The Spartans went to the power play twice in the second period and generated good chances on both opportunities. But it was hard work while 5-on-5 that got the Spartans their second goal of the game at the 14:25 mark.

“We were a little on our heels there in the start of the second period, but I thought we rebounded,” Anastos said.

Ryan Keller started the play by forcing the puck loose to Brent Darnell behind the Wisconsin net. Darnell made a move to head to the front and had the puck knocked off his stick, but Michael Ferrantino was striding off to UW goaltender Joel Rumpel’s right and knocked in the puck with a backhand to make it 2-0.

Berry made it 3-0 2:25 into the third period when he got his second of the game on the power play. Berry took the puck from Matt DeBlouw and rifled a wrist shot past Rumpel from the high slot.

Berry’s two goals gave him 10 on the season; Ferrantino’s goal was his team-leading 11th goal.

The Spartans finished the game 2-for-6 on the power play and killed all four of Wisconsin’s attempts on the man-advantage.

The Spartans, which are 8-3 in their last 11 games, will meet the Badgers again on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Munn.