Jan. 23, 2014
DETROIT - Phil Di Giuseppe scored with 2:18 to play, breaking a 1-1, to push No. 14 Michigan past the Michigan State hockey team, 2-1, on Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena. It was the first of a two-game conference series between the teams that will resume on Friday at Munn Arena at 6:30 p.m.
The Spartans are now 8-11-3 overall and 2-3-2-2 in the Big Ten, while Michigan is 11-6-2 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
The Wolverines took a 1-0 lead into the third period, but Mike Ferrantino tied the game at the 6:04 mark.
The winning goal came off a scramble in front of Spartan goaltender Jake Hildebrand. With the puck bouncing around the slot just outside the crease, Di Giuseppe pounced on the loose puck and knocked it past a sprawling Hildebrand.
Both goaltenders - Michigan's Zach Nagelvoort and MSU's Hildebrand - made several timely stops off odd-man rushes throughout the game. Nagelvoort finished with 32 stops, while Hildebrand had 34.
"We had some really good scoring chances and we didn't finish, so it's hard to win scoring one goal," said Spartan head coach Tom Anastos. "I thought we played really hard and it was a good hockey game both ways. It was intense and it was tough."
After a scoreless first period that saw both teams produce 10 shots on goal, Michigan's JT Compher scored the first goal of the game at 11:36 of the second stanza. Standing just off the right side of the crease, Compher banged at a rebound and the puck trickled past Hildebrand, just crossing the goal line.
The Spartans created and handful of good scoring opportunities during the period, including one by Matt Berry off a turnover deep in the Michigan zone. Berry induced the turnover in the slot and grabbed the puck, quickly firing it on net. But Nagelvoort got his pad on the shot and kicked it away.
Michigan State got its second power-play opportunity early in the third period. While the Spartans couldn't produce a goal on the man-advantage, they wound up tying the game just seven seconds after the power play expired. Off a faceoff in the Michigan end, Ferrantino won the draw and the puck drifted back to Rhett Holland at the point, who fired it toward the net. Joe Cox directed the rebound toward the net and the puck bounced off Ferrantino, past Nagelvoort.
The goal was Ferrantino's fifth of the season.
Another power play at the midway point of the third gave MSU a shot to take its first lead, but it could not convert.
"I liked the way we played the whole game," said Anastos. "We were able to cause some turnovers and create some good scoring chances."
The two teams will complete the two-game series on Friday at Munn Ice Arena. Faceoff is slated for 6:30 p.m.