MSU hockey loses to rival U-M 9-2 in front end of back-to-back games, rematch tonight
MSU hockey (5-14-2) was in the game for all of about 10 minutes before five Michigan (12-3-3) goals in a span of 5:40 would boil over into a 9-2 Wolverine rout of the Spartans.
“We should feel sick to our stomachs,” head coach Tom Anastos said about the blowout loss and his team’s performance. “Yet at the same time we don’t have time to dwell on it too long cause we have to play tomorrow.”
MSU would strike first in the game when freshman forward Mason Appleton popped open into the slot and one timed a pass off a skate and in behind Michigan goalie Steve Racine. The Spartans held onto the one goal lead for barely three minutes before Michigan forward JT Compher set off a streak of five Michigan goals.
Following Compher’s snipe, Michigan outscored MSU 4-1 over the next 5:40 getting goals from
Tyler Calderone, Alex Kile, Kyle Connor, and Dexter Dancs. MSU’s lone goal hit the back of the net off a Zach Osburn blast from the point on the power play. MSU ultimately went 1 for 4 on the man advantage.
Though Osburn’s goal cut the lead to 3-2, the barrage of Michigan goals left the Spartans down 5-2 at the end of the first.
“They’re explosive and when you give them chances they’re gonna score,” captain Michael Ferrantino said of Michigan’s quick strike offense.
Racine shut the door on the Spartans stopping the last 17 of his 24 saves over the second and third periods; making largely easy saves from a pressing Spartan offense.
While MSU stalled, Michigan continued its attack adding two more goals in the second period from defenseman Zach Werenski on an odd man rush, and from Kyle Connor. Connor, named the first star of the game, finished with three goals and two assists for a five point and continuing his dominating performances this season.
Jake Hildebrand was pulled from the game shortly after Connor’s second goal of the night and replaced by backup goaltender, Ed Minney. Down 7-2 as the third started the Spartans played to keep their dignity but Michigan added two more goals from Tyler Motte and Compher increasing the lead to 9-2.
The Spartans were dismal on the penalty kill as Michigan scored three goals on nine shots on six power play tries. Michigan amassed 46 shots total throughout the game.
“As far as we’re concerned here, we’re done with this game,” Ferrantino said. “We’ve moved on to tomorrow, we’ve got a quick turnaround and we gotta go into Yost and be way better.”
The Spartans 26 shots on goal were largely easy saves for Racine as MSU generated little offensive explosion.
“We’ve got to get more traffic, more scoring chances,” Anastos said of the lack of offense. “We’ve got to get pucks through from the point and when you’re not scoring those are all things you have to do.”
MSU has a rematch with Michigan at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor tonight to try and exact revenge for its embarrassing loss. Historically, the second game of the first series always bodes well for the loser. Puck drops at 7:05 p.m.