Munn Ice Arena
East Lansing, MI
Two Michigan goals in under a minute sunk the Michigan State Hockey teamâ€™s upset hopes against arch-rival Michigan on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena, losing by a score of 5-2. The loss is the second in as many nights for the Spartans against 14th ranked U of M and moves MSU to 8-11-3 overall and 2-4-2-2 in conference play.
After the game, Spartan Head Coach Tom Anastos was simply at a loss for why his team was unable to match the Wolverines intensity and focus on the ice for all 3 periods.Â
Anastos indicated that he sensed that his teamâ€™s attitude lacked the necessary concentration going into this series ending game against their biggest rival on home Ice.
Â â€œI didnâ€™t like our approach to the game, I felt it earlier in the day. We gotta grow up. You have to take pride wearing that jersey, representing that jersey, representing the people you represent, and that takes 100% commitment, 100% of the timeâ€ Anastos did not see that commitment manifest itself on the ice tonight.
â€œWe played a good team who was ready to play, hungry to play, and they were hungrier to play than us and thatâ€™s unacceptable.â€
For the second straight night, MSU was able to hang with the Wolverines for most of the game, only to be doomed by costly of late game mistakes.
MSU struck first in the game, scoring first on a power play goal on a one time shot by MSU forward Tanner Sorenson with 2:11 to play in the first period. With just 6 second before the end of the first period, Michiganâ€™s J.T. Compher managed to beat MSU goaltender Jake Hildebrand on a backhand shot, knotting the game at 1-1 to end the period.
The Wolverines drew first blood in the second period when Derek DeBlois fired shot from the boards that took an unusual hop off the ice and ended up to sneaking past Hildebrand for the Wolverines second goal. The Spartans quickly responded with yet another power play score, this time delivered by Mike Ferrantino, tying the game at 2-2 with 12:41 to play in the second period. The Spartans out-shot the Michigan in the second period by a 17-9 margin and missed several chances to take the lead going into the second intermission.
The last period of play, however, belonged to the Wolverines. The lively sellout crowd at Munn Ice Arena was brought to a stunned silence by back to back Michigan goals scored less than a minute from each other. With over 14 minutes to play, U of M forward Derek DeBlois scored his second goal of the game off a deflection in front of the net. Seconds later, defensemen Mac Bennett followed with a goal of his own, giving the Wolverines a 4-2 advantage.
MSU fans started fleeing to the exits after Michigan added yet another third period goal at the 6:06 mark scored by J.T. Compher during an MSU power play.
A series of skirmishes broke out in the waning moments of the game, resulting in penalties on both teams, including the ejection of MSUâ€™s Jake Chelios.
The atmosphere in the MSU locker after the game was somber to say the least. Sophomore forward Mike Ferrantino stated that although he knows MSU â€œWeâ€™ll bounce backâ€, losing again to Michigan will â€œsting pretty bad.â€
â€œYou can play as many good minutes as you wantâ€ Ferrantino continued, â€œbut itâ€™s the second you letdown that will kill you. Unfortunately for MSU, both games this weekend against the Wolverines were marred by Spartan mistakes in critical moments that, according to Ferrantino â€œabsolutely killed us.â€
The schedule for the Spartans does not get any easier going forward. MSUâ€™s next game is Thursday on the road against the number 1 ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers.