PREVIEW: Michigan State hockey prepares for rematch this weekend vs. in-state rival Michigan

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Emily Martin

EAST LANSING – These upcoming two weeks are huge for the Michigan State hockey team. This past weekend, the Spartans came away with a split weekend against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, suffering a 4-1 loss in the opening game before turning it around and securing a 4-0 shutout on Saturday. As the Spartans head for the home stretch of the regular season, they will look to grab some point to stay atop the Big Ten standings.

Michigan State suffered a devastating 4-1 loss against Notre Dame in the Friday matchup but brought it back with a 4-0 win on Saturday.

There were some memorable goals made in the first period, including the opening goal by sophomore forward Karsen Dorwart, a wraparound goal by senior forward Jeremy Davidson, a power play goal by freshman defenseman Artyom Levshunov, and the final goal finding the back of the net from junior forward Red Savage.

There has been a slight pattern over the past few matchups for the Spartans; their talent shines extra bright when it’s needed, leading to a split weekend. We have seen this with the past three weekend matchups, where the Spartans split with Michigan, Minnesota, and Notre Dame.

In hopes of completing a sweep this upcoming weekend, the Spartans have been preparing to take on the Michigan Wolverines for their second set this season.

“We’re trying to get better every day, but you know, we’re feeling some urgency,” sophomore defenseman Matt Basgall said. “Really looking to get back on that train and try to get a sweep here soon, especially this weekend will be very important against Michigan… we’re looking to get into our best hockey up in the next little stretch.”

Spirits are high due to Michigan State hitting two milestones this past week against Notre Dame.

After the 4-0 comeback on Saturday, the Spartans received the news that they are now the team with the most conference wins in the Big Ten this season, reaching a record of 12 Big Ten wins so far — with about six more regular season games left. Not only that, freshman goaltender Trey Augustine was also named the goalie with the most shutouts this season compared to any other conference goalie.

The last series against Michigan didn’t completely go in favor of Michigan State, but they are far from giving in.

Another Spartan strong suit is coming out on top in enemy territory. The Spartans crushed the Wolverines on Jan. 20, pinning the final score at 7-5 in Ann Arbor.

Michigan State will return to Ann Arbor this Friday, Feb. 10 to take on Michigan at Yost Ice Arena at 7 pm. The following night is the moment fans from all over Michigan and surrounding areas have been waiting for – the annual Duel in the D game at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit at 8:30 pm.