3 best things about Michigan State hockey's Big Ten Tournament semifinal win

Michigan State's Gavin O'Connell clears the puck against Ohio State in the second period of the Big
Michigan State's Gavin O'Connell clears the puck against Ohio State in the second period of the Big / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA
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On Saturday, my wife and I were fortunate enough to attend the Big Ten Tournament semifinal between Ohio State and Michigan State hockey at Munn Ice Arena.

Of course, the first stop had to be the MSU Dairy Store for some Izzo's Malted Madness which I'm sure was the perfect good luck charm to get Michigan State hoops that 9-seed on Selection Sunday. Next stop was a quick visit to my wife's cousin at Mason Hall.

We had a nice dinner at Beggar's Banquet and it was a windy walk to Munn Arena. Once inside, you could see the Big Ten regular-season trophy as well as the Duel in the D trophy; a quick reminder that there are some good things going on in the athletic department.

The building filled quickly and was buzzing by puck drop. While the first period was scoreless, that doesn't mean that there wasn't any action. Both teams had ample opportunities to put the puck in the net. While it was low-scoring, it kept the game interesting and gave the Spartans a real test.

Here are the three best things about Saturday's MSU hockey win.

1. Munn was electric

Full disclosure, this was my first hockey game at Munn. I can only wonder why I didn't think to attend at least one hockey game during my educational years but this game more than made up for it.

The Munnsters were in full force, cheering loud and booing anything that wasn't dressed in green and white. There was a loud cheer for the few members of the basketball team, which is a good sign that even though this season has not played out like everyone wanted, they still support their athletes.

Early on, there were big saves by Trey Augustine and a close call with Red Savage hitting the post but it was just priming the crowd, ready to explode. The anticipation paid off, as Danny Russell tipped in a shot from the slot. About 6,100 people rose to their feet with another hundred or so already there with plenty of "standing room only" tickets sold.

From there, it was a back and forth battle with the Buckeyes ultimately tying it up early in the third. But a few game seconds later, Nash Neinhuis put the Spartans back on top for good. This game had everything: three called-back goals, an usher who was cursing at refs instead of checking tickets, and most importantly, a ticket to the finals for the Spartans to take home the Big Ten hockey tournament trophy.

Yes, football and basketball take up most of the shine, but there were plenty of loyal students and fans ready to defend the Spartans' home ice advantage.