Michigan State’s first shut out loss of the season was a defensive struggle.
The Falcon defense kept play along the boards and forced the Spartans to the outside throughout the first two periods. However, the third period has been the Spartans best period so far this season, and it was again tonight. Michigan State, showing a lot more energy, out shot Bowling Green 14 – 7 in the third. However, they were unable to find the back of the net and Bowling Green goaltender Andrew Hammond was able to add a shut out win to his record.
Michigan State freshman net-minder Jake Hildebrand got his second start of the season tonight and posted a solid .96% save percentage with one goal against. Hildebrand’s save percentage now stands at .93% compared to starter Will Yanakeff’s .87%. Head coach Tom Anastos may start looking to play Hildebrand more often.
Both teams had five power plays, yet neither team was able to convert.
Although shot totals favored the Spartans 29-25 after three periods of play, Michigan State looked as if they couldn’t put the puck on the net at times. Many shots ended up high or wide.
The Spartans travel to Bowling Green tomorrow for the second game of the series.