Spartans Drop Heartbreaker to Wolverines at JLA
Feb. 11, 2012
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Detroit, Mich. -- An overtime game-winner by Kevin Lynch 1:50 into the extra period gave Michigan a 3-2 victory over Michigan State in the annual meeting of the teams at Joe Louis Arena. Greg Wolfe and Brett Perlini had the scores for the Spartans, who fell to 16-12-4 overall and 11-10-3-2 in conference play. Will Yanakeff made 32 saves for MSU on the night, including three saves in overtime. The teams played in front of a sellout crowd of 20,066.
The teams split the weekend series, with both games ending in a 3-2 decision; it is, however, Michigan's second straight overtime win over the Spartans at the Joe, as UM took the Great Lakes Invitational championship by an identical score back on Dec. 30.
"I thought we were resilient tonight, that we had our chances to win the game," said head coach Tom Anastos. "I liked our effort, and the opportunities we had. We missed some open nets and couldn't convert on the chances we had, so it's a tough game to lose.
"However - this was a great crowd tonight, and the big-game atmospheres are great to play in," continued Anastos. " If you think about it, more than 27,000 people watched these two games this weekend - and that in itself is special."
The game-winner came 1:50 into the extra period. Lynch's game-winner came as a Derek DeBlois was on the wall on the right side, and threw the puck into the slot. The Spartan defender went to one knee to block the pass, but the bouncing puck found its way past the blueliner and onto Lynch's stick, and his swipe at it was lifted past Yanakeff blocker side for his sixth goal of the season.
AJ Treais scored the first goal of the game for the second straight night. Treais backhanded his own rebound as he moved across the goalmouth, putting it past Yanakeff's blocker hand at 12:12. Luke Glendening and Phil DiGuiseppe had the assists.
The Spartans tied the game at 3:32 of the second period. Seconds after Greg Wolfe just missed on a nice goalmouth pass by Kevin Walrod, the sophomore made the most of a second chance, taking a pass from Walrod off the half wall and one-timed his 10th goal of the season from the top of the left circle.
Skating on the power play, MSU took its first lead of the night at 6:14. Off a pass from Lee Reimer, Brett Perlini took a sharp-angle shot from the bottom of the right circle that sailed over Hunwick's glove hand. It was the senior's eighth marker of the season.
The Wolverines knotted the score just two minutes later, as Treais got his second of the night off a feed from Luke Glendening, as the junior beat Yanakeff blocker side for his third goal of the weekend.
Matt Crandell hit his second post of the night at the 10 minute mark, and Alex Guptill's breakaway chance in the last minutes of the period that was saved by Yanakeff were the better scoring chances for the teams in the latter half of the middle frame, but neither team could get on the board and the squads entered the final period with the game knotted at two.
Momentum shifted between teams throughout the final frame, enticing cheers and exasperated sighs from the capacity crowd of 20.066. Despite ample chances for both squads to put the game away, the teams went on into overtime, and Lynch's heroics ended the game less than two minutes into OT.
NOTES: For the second straight night, the teams had the same number of shots (35) ... One of MSU's two goals came on the power play, the fourth straight game that MSU has an extra-man goal ... The Spartans killed off the one Michigan power play they faced ... MSU played its eighth overtime game this season, and dropped its third OT decision. The first two came in back-to-back weeks against Michigan in the GLI (Dec. 30, 3-2) and at home against Miami (Jan. 6, 2-1) ... The last two games against Michigan at Joe Louis Arena have been 3-2 overtime losses ... the Spartans played in their 15th one-goal game of the season, and MSU is 6-9-0 in those tilts. Six of the last seven games between MSU and the Wolverines have been one-goal affairs, and the last three all 3-2 finals ... Torey Krug had an assists on Perlini's power-play goal, giving him 28 points on the season; that matches his career-best offensive season ... Krug's four-game point scoring streak is now the team's longest, as Matt Berry's five-game streak came to an end ... Greg Wolfe's second period tally was his 10th goal of the season, and it gave MSU four double-digit goal scorers. The Spartans had just two last season, and both had 11 goals ...
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