Spartans Tie No. 1 Minnesota, 2-2; Win Shootout
Spartans down the Gophers in a shootout for the second time this season.
Feb. 1, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS - Michigan State and top-ranked Minnesota played to a 2-2 tie, while the Spartans picked up an extra point in the Big Ten standings by winning the shootout, on Friday night at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.
With the teams still knotted, 2-2, after 65 minutes, it took six rounds in the shootout to decide the team that would earn an additional point in the Big Ten standings. After Matt Berry and Taylor Cammarata both scored in the fifth round of the shootout, JT Stenglein opened the sixth round with a blast that beat Minnesota goaltender Adam Wilcox. Jake Hildebrand responded by stoning Sam Warning at the other end, giving MSU the 2-1 shootout win.
MSU is now 8-12-4 overall and 2-4-3-3 (W-L-T-SW) in the Big Ten. Minnesota is 18-2-5 and 7-0-2-0 in conference play.
It marked the second time this season MSU has downed the Gophers in a shootout. On Dec. 6 in East Lansing, MSU topped Minnesota, 1-0, in a shootout following a 2-2 tie.
"We played hard tonight and our goaltender played very well," said MSU head coach Tom Anastos. "We blocked a lot of shots and competed hard defensively. I'd still like to see us finish more of our opportunities. We had some scoring opportunities tonight that we didn't quite finish, so our team is getting better and maturing a little bit at a time."
The Spartans started strong, taking a 2-0 lead by striking twice in a 1:34 span just past the midway point of the first period.
The Spartans' first goal came as a result of hard work along the boards by Berry deep in the Gopher zone. Berry grabbed the puck out of the left corner and carried toward the net. With Mike Ferrantino positioned on the far post, Berry slid a perfect pass and Ferrantino directed it into the net for his seventh goal of the season and fourth in as many games.
Villiam Haag made it 2-0 at the 12:14 mark with a goal that again developed out of the left corner. After a point shot by Jake Chelios that was deflected by Thomas Ebbing, Haag collected the puck in the corner, peeled away from the boards and then made his way toward the goal. He then fired a wrist shot from just below the faceoff dot that beat Wilcox for a 2-0 Spartan advantage.
The Gophers got on the board late in the first as they cut the deficit in half with a power-play goal. Hudson Fasching got the goal as he put a rebound past Hildebrand with 56 seconds to play in the period.
Minnesota outshot the Spartans, 13-9, in a scoreless second period. The best scoring chance of the stanza came when Justin Kloos rang a one-timer off the post during a power play.
Kloos made good on his next opportunity, directing a Brady Skjei shot past Hildebrand at 5:27 of the third period. Charging toward the net from the left side, Kloos got his foot on the puck, directing it into the net. The play was reviewed by the officials and the call was upheld, determining there was no distinct kicking motion on the play.
Michigan State outshot the Gophers, 10-5, in the third period and then 3-1 in the overtime session.
MSU finished with a 30-28 advantage in shots on goal for the game.
"I liked our approach and I liked that we competed hard - we've got to figure a way to get over the hump," said Anastos.
The Spartans and Gophers will meet again tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Detroit Plus.