Dec. 7, 2013
EAST LANSING - Top-ranked Minnesota scored three-straight goals, including two in the first period, and went on to defeat Michigan State, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon at Munn Ice Arena. Villiam Haag scored a power-play goal in the second period for MSU and Mike Ferrantino added another in the final second of the game.
"We expected Minnesota to come out hard today and they did in that first period," said Spartan head coach Tom Anastos. "We thought we would have to weather a storm and we didn't weather it enough. Consequently, it was very difficult to recover.
"We got banged up a little, but I thought we competed really hard in the second and third periods. We had some chances and it would have been nice to score at the end of the second period to close the gap, but the puck didn't go in for us. Minnesota was the better team today."
The Gophers (12-2-2, 3-0-1-0) pressed the Spartans early and continued to do so throughout the period, outshooting MSU, 17-3, in the stanza. Minnesota got its first of two in the period at the 11:47 mark. Christian Isackson and Gabe Guertler played give-and-go from the left corner and Isackson finished the play by tapping the puck past Spartan goaltender Jake Hildebrand.
Minnesota kept the pressure on and made it 2-0 with a power-play goal with 1:35 to play in the first. Seth Ambroz set up in front of the net where he was able to get a piece of Michael Brodzins shot from the point, deflecting it past Hildebrand.
The Gophers upped their lead to 3-0 at 6:05 of the second period on a point shot by Mike Reilly.
Michigan State (5-8-1, 0-1-0-1) got its fourth power play opportunity of the game in the later stages of the second period and made good to make the score 3-1. The scoring play started when Greg Wolfe powered through center ice and dished the puck to Dean Chelios on the left side. Chelios lifted a perfect pass across to Haag who touched it through the legs of Adam Wilcox for his fifth goal of the season.
"Villiam keeps getting better every game," said Anastos. "He goes to net as well as anyone on our team right now."
The Spartans pulled Hildebrand for the extra attacker in the final minute of the game and Ferrantino was able to punch a rebound past Wilcox with one second left, making the final score 3-2.
"As long as there is time on the clock, you keep playing. That was good to see," said Anastos.
Minnesota finished with a 38-21 advantage in shots on goal.
Michigan State will host Ferris State next Saturday at 7 p.m. in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game.