Josh Nodler
Josh Nodler (Michigan State University)

Josh Nodler played a role in Michigan State’s first goal of that game.

Somebody needed to score the first goal of the season for the Michigan State University hockey team.

That guy turned out to be junior center Josh Nodler from Oak Park.

Playing on the Spartans’ new first line in the first period, Nodler took a pass from right wing Griffin Loughran in front of the Air Force net and put the puck past goalie Alex Schilling for the game’s first goal.

“That was cool to score our first goal of the year,” Nodler said.

The Spartans lost the Oct. 8 game 3-2 in overtime at home at Munn Ice Arena, but they beat Air Force 5-1 the next night.

Nodler played a role in Michigan State’s first goal of that game. This time, Nodler’s shot was saved, the puck popped into the air, and Loughran batted it home.

Besides playing on the Spartans’ top line, Nodler has a leadership role on the team this season. He’s one of three assistant captains, as voted by his teammates.

“It’s nice to know I have the respect of the team,” Nodler said.

A 5-foot-10, 195-pound Berkley High School graduate, Nodler was selected by the Calgary Flames in the fifth round (150th overall) of the 2019 NHL draft.

The Flames will retain their rights to him through next season.

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