Oct. 28, 2011
East Lansing, Mich. - Greg Wolfe had his first career two-goal game and Dean Chelios had a goal and two assists as Michigan State downed Robert Morris, 5-2, at Munn Ice Arena on Friday night. Will Yanakeff made 23 saves for the Spartans, who improve to 3-4-0.
The Spartans opened the scoring at 11:05. Greg Wolfe had the puck in the right circle and put it on net. Levine made the save, but Dean Chelios was there to collect the rebound and backhand it into the left side of the net.
The Colonials had done an admirable job of continuing their remarkable streak on the power play - the team entered the game 23-for-23 stretch over its opening five games. RMU turned away the Spartans on each of their first five chances of the night - including 1:03 of a five-on-three the Colonials had to kill early in the period. The Spartans broke through with a pair of extra-man tallies midway through the second period to turn a tight game into a 3-0 lead. The first came at 11:01, when Greg Wolfe picked up a loose puck in the right circle, skated calmly to the left side to avoid the congestion at the right post, and had an empty net on the left side into which he backhanded his second goal of the season. Two and a half minutes later, Brett Perlini passed the puck from the right half-wall to Brock Shelgren, stationed on the left hash. Shelgren's offering was a snipe that beat Levine over his blocker hand.
The Spartans took their third penalty of the game at 14:56, and RMU broke up the shutout with a power-play marker of its own. Furman South one-timed the puck on a cross-slot pass for his first marker of the season.
Towards the end of the period, the teams were each assessed penalties - a two-minute minor to Evan Renwick for boarding, followed by a five-minute major (and game misconduct) to Anthony Hayes that signaled the end of the junior's night. The Colonials carried nearly a full two-minute advantage into the third period, but the Spartans were up to the task and killed it off.
Just a minute after regaining its full complement of players, the Spartans increased their lead to 4-1. Wolfe skated right-to-left in front of the net with the puck, and carried it behind the goal line on the left side. He backhanded the puck, banking it off the back of the skates of the RMU goaltender Levine and into the back of the net.
RMU cut into the ;ead at 14:01 on a power-play marker by Adam Brace. Brace's shot from the right point was saved by Yanakeff, but the rebound popped up and over his blocker hand and into the back of the net.
The third period was much more of a parade to the penalty box than any sustained periods of hockey. The play was not chippy, but the teams combined for 51 total penalty minutes in the game; MSU was 2-for-7 on the man advantage, while RMU finished 2-for-10.
The teams will meet on Saturday at 7 p.m. for a rematch at Munn Ice Arena. NOTES: Greg Wolfe had his first career two-goal game. He also had a pair of goals in MSU's exhibition victory over Western Ontario to start the season ... The Wolfe-Reimer-Dean Chelios line had three goals and four assists and was a +6 in the game ... Mike Merrifield got his first goal of the season ... Matt Crandell and Brett Perlini each had a two -point game, with two assists ...