Dec. 30, 2011
Detroit, Mich. - Drew Palmisano made 45 saves for the second straight night, but Kevin Clare's game winner 11:44 into the extra period gave Michigan a 3-2 overtime victory over the Spartans in the finals of the 47th annual Great Lakes Invitational on Friday evening in Detroit.
Tanner Sorenson and Brett Perlini had the Spartan markers, but an ill-timed penalty late in the game gave Michigan the game-tying goal with less than a minute to go in regulation, and Clare's heroics gave Michigan their 15th Great Lakes Invitational title and second straight.
"I was proud of our team," said head coach Tom Anastos. "I really wanted this win for our seniors. It's disappointing, but it really was a very good hockey game tonight. Palmy was outstanding in both games. What you want out of your goaltender is for him to give you a chance to win - and Palmisano did that for us this weekend."
Clare's game-winner came after both teams had their chances in the first half of the extra frame. Lee Moffie got around the Spartan defender as he carried it up the left side. He sent a cross-slot pass that made its way through traffic to Clare, at the right post, who had an open net to work with as Palmisano was screened at the left post.
Palmisano made 45 saves in the OT loss, his second straight night with 45 saves, one shy of his career best of 46. His 90 saves in this year's tournament broke the record for saves in the two-game tournament. Geoff McMullen of Colgate had 89 saves in the 1970 tournament for Colgate, which beast Brown (4-3 ) in the consolation game after losing to eventual tournament champion Michigan Tech 11-6 in the first game.
The opening score in the game didn't come until the latter half of the second period. Freshman Tanner Sorenson carried the puck up the right side, and let loose a wrister from the top of the right circle that beat Hunwick over his glove-hand shoulder. It was the first goal of the freshman's career, with assists going to Torey Krug and Daultan Leveille.
Michigan tiedthe game at the midpoint of the third period. The Wolverines had a power play at 7:38, but spent much of the second minute of their man advantage trying to get the puck back into the offensive zone. As the penalty expired, Palmisano came up with a big pad save on Phil DiGiuseppe at the left post. The Spartans could not get the puck out of the zone, and had pressure deep . Palmisano sprawled to his left to make a save as Derek DeBlois came across the goalmouth left-to-right, and the sophomore was able to flip the puck over the prone netminder at 10:11.
The Spartans got the goal back at 12:32. Kevin Walrod made a nifty spin-o-rama move just above the left circle, and dished it off to Brett Perlini. Perlini's snipe from the left dot ricocheted off the top of Hunwick's right leg pad and into the back of the net for the go-ahead marker.
The Wolverines got a lift at 17:42 of the final frame, when Brent Darnell was sent to the box for tripping. Hunwick came off in favor of an extra skater, giving Michigan a six-on-four. Blueliner Mac Bennett put puck into the corner, and Luke Moffatt fired it out of the corner and into the slot. Kevin Lynch was there there to get a stick on it, and he deflected it into the net to knot the score at two with just 50 seconds remaining in regulation.
Michigan put 24 shots on net in the final frame, a season high allowed in any period by the Spartans. UM outshot MSU 6-4 in the extra period.
Palmisano, Perlini, and Torey Krug were named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Spartans, now 11-7-2 on the year, will return to conference play next weekend when they host Miami at Munn Ice Arena.