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U18s Fall to Michigan State, 5-2

By USA Hockey's NTDP, 01/05/24, 9:00PM EST


Baker scores against future team; U18s return home tomorrow

Photo by Michael Caples

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Austin Baker (White Lake, Mich.) scored against his future team, but the U.S. National Under-18 Team dropped a contest to the Michigan State Spartans, 5-2, Friday night at Munn Ice Arena. 

The U18s made an early impression as Austin Baker (White Lake, Mich.) connected on the power play just 2:29 into the game. After a faceoff win, Logan Hensler (Woodbury, Minn.) found Christian Humphreys (Pittsburgh, Pa.) at the left circle. His shot was stopped by Spartan goaltender Luca Di Pasquo, but Baker was on the doorstep to pot the rebound for a 1-0 lead. 

The Spartans responded with 8:26 to play in the frame as Owen Baker found Austin Oravetz off a 2-on-1 rush, who put his shot by Nick Kempf (Chicago, Ill.) to even the score. Karsen Dorwart gave Michigan State a lead going into the first intermission as he lifted a backhand shot over the shoulder of Kempf with 3:19 remaining in the opening frame. 

The home team made it three in a row with the lone goal of the second period. After Red Savage's attempt bounced off the post and back in front, Joey Larson managed to knock it home to extend the Spartans lead to 3-1 with just under five minutes remaining. 

Seventy-four seconds into the final stanza, MSU's Gavin O'Connell redirected a point shot into the top corner of the cage to extend the Spartans lead to 4-1. 

With 2:28 to play in regulation, Cole Eiserman (Newburyport, Mass.) was first to a loose puck behind the net and centered it for Brodie Ziemer (Hutchinson, Minn.) who popped it into an empty net and cut the lead to 4-2. 

After Team USA called timeout and pulled Kempf for an extra attacker, the Spartans found the empty net with 1:27 to play to ice the game at 5-2. 

The U18s return to home ice tomorrow to host the Michigan Wolverines. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. in front of a sold out USA Hockey Arena. The game will be streamed on 

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