Josh Nodler
Josh Nodler (Michigan State University)

The sophomore forward from Oak Park blistered a one-timer into the net from deep in the left circle with 37.6 seconds left Jan. 9 to give the MSU a come-from-behind 3-2 win over arch-rival Michigan.

Josh Nodler picked the perfect time to score his first goal of the season.

The sophomore forward from Oak Park blistered a one-timer into the net from deep in the left circle with 37.6 seconds left Jan. 9 to give the Michigan State University hockey team a come-from-behind 3-2 win over arch-rival Michigan on the Spartans’ home ice at Munn Arena.

 

Michigan State’s matinee victory came less than 24 hours after the Spartans suffered a 9-0 beating at the hands of the No. 9-ranked Wolverines the previous night at Michigan and gave Michigan State a split of the Big Ten series.

While the game-winner was Nodler’s first goal of the season, he hasn’t been absent on Michigan State’s score sheet. Through the Jan. 9 game, he had a team-leading seven assists, and he was tops on the team in points with eight in 12 games.

“Not scoring isn’t what you’re looking for … but it’s something you can’t let get in your head. You have to keep playing your game,” Nodler said in a story posted on the Michigan State athletics website.

“Obviously, that goal (Jan. 9) is a little weight off my shoulders, but it’s all about the team and wins,” Nodler said.

Michigan State coach Danton Cole is happy with Nodler’s play this season.

“Josh has been doing a lot of good stuff,” Cole said. “He’s a young guy, a true sophomore, and he’s had to cover a lot of minutes for us. He’s gotten a lot of assists, but when you get that zero (for goals) off your stat sheet, it’s a good feeling. We’re really happy for Josh to finally get that first goal.”

Michigan State (5-5-2, 4-5-1-1), scored twice in the final 4:38 of the Jan. 9 game to overcome Michigan’s 2-1 lead and get the win over the Wolverines (6-6-0, 4-6-0-1).

On Nodler’s game-winning goal, Michigan State’s Christian Krygier grabbed a loose puck between the circles in front of the Michigan net and looked to shoot.

Instead, he fed a perfect pass to Nodler, whose shot eluded Michigan goalie Strauss Mann. Mann got a piece of Nodler’s shot, but the puck trickled into the net.

“Coming off that (9-0) loss, our guys were definitely upset and angry, and we used that energy (in the 3-2 win),” Nodler said. “We played hard, we were physical, we moved the puck and got the puck in deep.”

Nodler, a Berkley High School graduate, was the Michigan State hockey team’s Rookie of the Year last season. He was selected in the fifth round (150th overall) by the Calgary Flames in the 2019 NHL draft.

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