FINAL: MSU dominates Wolverines in 4-1 in Ann Arbor
On Saturday night, MSU took on the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, for the second night in a row and avenged its loss Friday night, blowing out the Wolverines 4-1.
This is MSU’s second Big Ten win of the season, both wins coming against U-M at Yost Ice Arena. This improved MSU’s record to 6-17-2 (2-8-2 Big Ten) and put Michigan at 9-14-3 (2-8-2-2 Big Ten).
MSU got off to hot start in the first period, outshooting U-M 14-5 with shots on goal, but was unable to convert on any of those attempts in the first period.
The offensive pressure finally broke through in the second period, when fifth-year senior defenseman Rhett Holland scored the first goal of the night with assists from sophomore forward Brennan Sanford and senior forward Thomas Ebbing, with 12:42 left in the second period.
With 3:32 left in the second period, MSU scored off of a sophomore defenseman Zach Osburn shot that hit the top of net, allowing the Spartans to still hold their lead.
Shortly after, Sanford, Ebbing and senior forward Joe Cox and along with U-M’s James Sanchez and Nick Pastujov were called for roughing for being in several scrums after the whistle was blown.
This didn’t stop the Spartans, however, as freshman forward Taro Hirose scored his sixth goal of the season on a breakaway with a backhand shot in between the legs of U-M’s Jack LaFontaine.
Hirose’s goal wasn’t the only shorthanded goal of the night, as sophomore forward Mason Appleton scored just 55 seconds into the third period on Zach Nagelvoort who replaced LaFontaine at the start of the third period.
Appleton’s goal was the third unassisted goal of the night for the Spartans and his 10th goal of the season.
MSU’s penalty kill unit was also in sync Saturday night, as it allowed only one goal in the Wolverines' eight power play opportunities.
There were a total of 21 penalties on the night, as the Spartans were responsible for 10 of them and U-M eight of them.
Freshman goaltender John Lethemon started in net for MSU Saturday night after taking over for junior goaltender Ed Minney in the second period in Friday night's loss to the Wolverines, as he allowed no goals and 20 saves.
This was Lethemon’s third appearance over the last three games and his second start in the Spartans' last three games.
The offensive attack for MSU was also a factor in the win, as MSU outshot the Wolverines 34-24 in the game, even though they lost the faceoff battle, 45-29.
The Spartans next play Ohio State Buckeyes at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing for a two-game weekend series. Puck drop for the first game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Friday night.