MSU falls to U-M after winning 'Duel in the D' Friday night
In a back-to-back weekend series, a loss the first night usually equals an all out effort to win the next night. And after a much needed 3-2 overtime thriller victory over rival University of Michigan (17-4-4), MSU hockey fell victim to the Wolverines wrath and lost 4-1 at home.
“We knew they were going to come with a push,” captain Michael Ferrantino said. “We weren’t quite ready for it. It’s not acceptable at home, it’s not acceptable definitely against them.”
Justin Seman notched two goals for the visiting Wolverines and Tyler Motte scored his third goal of the series to lift Michigan over the Spartans and avoid back to back upsets on the weekend.
Selman opened the scoring for U-M eight minutes and ten seconds into the opening frame when the puck popped open into the slot. Selman took the loose puck, spun and fired it in behind a screened Spartan goaltender in Jake Hildebrand, making the score 1-0 U-M.
MSU struggled with keeping the Wolverine forwards from the front of the net and out of the shooting lanes. Michigan’s speed and MSU’s loose defense allowed the Wolverines to pelt Hildebrand with 20 shots in the period.
“We came out flat and when you don't have everyone going you’re not going to flow the way you want to,” junior Joe Cox said. “You saw that in our defensive game.”
MSU ramped up the defense in the second, doing a much better job of clearing U-M out of the front of the net; holding the Wolverines to only eight shots in the second. MSU started it’s own offensive attack in the second pouring on 17 shots but to no avail.
“We got back to what we were doing last night,” Cox said of the second period offensive push. “I thought we had a really good start in the second period.”
The Spartans struggled to find the twine all game, evident by not converting on four two-on-one opportunities and hitting three posts. Shooting through the Wolverines wasn’t option either as U-M, in addition to goaltender Steve Racine’s 33 saves, blocked 21 MSU shots.
Despite its second period effort, MSU would find itself down 2-0 entering the third period when U-M forward JT Compher slid behind the defense, took a pass right in front and slid the puck under Hildebrand.
Selman notched his second goal of the night a minute and 52 seconds into the third and two minutes and 14 seconds after that, Tyler Motte put the game out of reach at 4-0 with his power play goal.
Villiam Haag prevented the shutout with 7:26 left in the contest when he banged home a rebound from the crease making it 4-1.
Haag’s goal reinvigorated the Spartans, but it was to no avail as MSU’s 13 other shots in the period couldn’t find the back of the net.
“Coming off of last night’s game we were expecting a real hard push from them,” head coach Tom Anastos said. “By the way we played in the first period you wouldn't have thought that we even talked about it.”
Michigan registered its eighth win in 10 games and MSU its eighth loss in 10 games. MSU takes on Penn State next week at home for two game series.