Dec. 29, 2010
Detroit, Mich. - Michigan State battled back from a three-goal deficit, but fell just short in the semifinals of the 46th annual Great Lakes Invitational. The Spartans dropped a 5-4 decision to Colorado College after allowing three second-period tallies, and will now play in Thursday's third-place game at 4:05 p.m.
After a 18-day layoff, the Spartans started slow, but attempted a third-period comeback, outshooting the Tigers by a 15-2 margin and putting a pair of tallies on the board. MSU fought for a final-minute equalizer, but ran out of time before the tying goal could materialize.
The Spartans fall to 6-10-3 overall, and will play either Michigan or Michigan Tech on Thursday at 4 p.m. Freshman Lee Reimer had a goal and a pair of assists for his first career multi-point contest, while Dustin Gazley had a goal and an assist and Derek Grant had two helpers.
The Tigers got on the board first, getting the game's first goal at 6:36. Tyler Johnson streaked up the right side to chase down the puck, and he backhanded it out into the right circle for a crashing Dakota Eveland. Eveland redirected the pass and beat Drew Palmisano with a shot over his blocker-hand at the left post.
The two teams traded goals late in the frame. The Spartans first tied the game when Tim Buttery made the first pass out of the zone to Dustin Gazley, who deked around a defender in the neutral zone, brought it to the top of the right circle, and had his shot blocked by a Tiger defenseman. Lee Reimer collected the loose puck and took his shot from the left side of the left circle, and beat Joe Howe high blocker-side for his first collegiate tally. CC regained the lead 72 seconds later, when Stephen Schultz redirected a deflection from action at the right post, where Palmisano had made an initial save. It was the senior's 10th of the season.
The Tigers got a third at 4:15 of the middle period. Andrew Hamburg collected a loose puck at the right side of the back of the goalcage and brought it back out in front to challenge Palmisano one-on-one. He got the goalie to commit, then lifted the puck over his right leg pad for his fifth goal of the season.
The teams exploded for a three-goal outburst in a 1:20 span midway through the second period. It started with a Jeff Collett marker at 9:51, in which Collett went one-on-one with the Spartan goaltender, to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead. MSU countered at 10:27, when Gazley got his sixth of the season off assists from Reimer and Derek Grant. CC re-extended its lead to three goals when Tyler Johnson potted his 13th goal of the season at 11:10. The fifth goal forced a goalie change for MSU, as Will Yanakeff spelled the junior Palmisano for his third appearance this season. The freshman made his first six saves of the game - including two point-blank efforts from CC - to keep the score at 5-2 entering the second intermission.
The third period belonged to the Spartans - they held a commanding 15-2 edge in shots in the period, were able to sustain long stretches in the offensive zone, and MSU was able to climb back into the game. Brock Shelgren's blast from the right point at 6:15 brought MSU within two, 5-3. Derek Grant pushed the puck out to the blueliner from the left half-wall, and Shelgren's blast beat Howe blocker-side.
MSU kept pushing, and pulled within one at 19:11. Daultan Leveille, stationed at the right post, watched as blueliner Matt Grassi launched a shot from above the hash marks. His shot was stopped in traffic in front, but Reimer's stick hit the puck towards that right side, and Leveille buried it.
The Spartans put Yanakeff on the bench in favor of an extra skater, but could not gain the equalizer. The freshman netminder finished with eight saves, while Palmisano had 10 in just over 30 minutes of work.
NOTES: MSU went 1-5 on the PP, and killed off all four power-play chances against ... Lee Reimer scored his first collegiate tally in the first period. He was the first freshman to record a point this season, but was the third to get his first collegiate goal ... Reimer also had his first career multiple-point game ... Reimer's first-period goal snapped a 145:42 scoreless streak for MSU, dating back to the Dec. 3 game at Ferris State ... Michigan State was playing its first game in 18 days, as its last action came on Dec. 11 in the outdoor game at Michigan ...