Jan. 6, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. - Miami freshman Jimmy Mullin wristed the puck from below the dot in the left faceoff circle 1:24 into overtime as the Red Hawks took the first game of the two-game series, 2-1. Drew Palmisano was once again excellent, making 25 saves.
"I thought that we got what we expected - a tough, physical game from an opponent that has some pretty good size across the board," said head coach Tom Anastos. "They made things tough for us, but we generated some shots and did a good job getting in front of the net. We'll have to do our work tonight and devise some different looks that can help us maybe break through that tomorrow. "
All the offense in regulation could have been missed with a trip to the concession stand, as the teams traded goals 12 seconds apart late in the first period. Miami got on the board first, as Bryon Paulazzo had the puck behind the net, then tucked the puck past Palmisano at the right post. On the ensuing faceoff, Dean Chelios split the Miami defenders as he carried the puck across the offensive blue line, and dished to Greg Wolfe in the right circle. Wolfe sniped the shot over Knapp's left shoulder for his seventh of the season and a tie ballgame.
The Spartans had five power play chances - including 1:20 of five-on-three in the second period - but Miami did a nice job of clogging lanes, intercepting passes, and blocking shots. As the game wore on, the two teams each had 10 shots in the final period, but all four shots in OT were by the Red Hawks - which included Mullin's game-winner.
The Spartans had a 34-27 edge in shots, giving Knapp 33 saves in the Miami end. The Spartans killed off both Miami man advantages in the game.
The teams will stage the rematch Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena.