Michigan State hockey swept on the road by No. 12 Ohio State

COLUMBUS – The new year is off to a rough start for the Michigan State hockey team.

On the heels of a competitive 3-1 loss to No. 12 Ohio State on Friday night, things got much worse for the Spartans on Saturday as the Buckeyes dominated in a 6-0 victory. OSU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period in sending 14th-ranked MSU to its fifth straight loss.

The Spartans haven't won since beating Michigan 2-1 on Dec. 9 and have scored just six total goals during their five-game skid.

Special teams continue to struggle for MSU, as the Spartans failed to convert on any of their four power-play chances on the weekend against the staunch OSU penalty kill. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, scored on the man advantage in both games and added an NCAA-leading eighth shorthanded goal Saturday.

Of the 17 goals MSU's penalty kill has allowed this season, seven have occurred during its five-game slide. And the Spartans have just one power play goal in their past six games.

MSU sophomore Jesse Tucker scored the lone MSU goal on Friday in the third period, jamming a loose puck in front past OSU goaltender Jakub Dobes. MSU sophomore forward Tanner Kelly picked up the lone assist on Tucker's goal. Dobes stopped 58 of MSU's 59 shots over the weekend to earn two wins.

MSU goaltender Dylan St. Cyr made 32 saves on Friday night and made 13 saves in the first period Saturday before being pulled for Pierce Charleson. The junior backup, in his first action since playing against Long Island in October, made 19 saves and allowed three goals in two periods.

MSU returns home next weekend when it will host No. 5 Penn State. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. puck drops. The two teams split their previous series in November.

Contact Nathaniel Bott at nbott@lsj.com and follow him on Twitter @Nathaniel_Bott

This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Michigan State hockey swept on the road by No. 12 Ohio State: