Jan. 7, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State struggled once again on the power play, as Miami broke open a tight game with a three-goal third period and completed the sweep of the Spartans with a 4-0 victory. Will Yanakeff made 40 saves, while Connor Knapp got the shutout with a 20-save effort.
Michigan State is swept for the second time this season, and the first time at home. The Spartans entered the weekend with a 6-1-2 record at Munn Ice Arena, but with the two losses to Miami, the Spartans have three losses, all to teams from the state of Ohio. Ohio State split with the Spartans back in October. MSU is now winless in its last four CCHA games, getting a loss and a tie against Michigan (Dec. 9-10), then dropping their first two conference games of 2012.
It took just over 30 minutes and a 5x3 for Miami to see the game's first goal. With Anthony Hayes and Brett Perlini sent to the box 66 seconds apart, Reilly Smith one-timed a shot from the right circle past the glove hand of Yanakeff.
Miami scored twice in the opening half of the third period to blow open a tight game. Early in the period, Tyler Biggs wristed a rebound of a Cameron Schilling shot - a booming shot from the left circle that Yanakeff redirected to the right - and his shot found its mark over the glove-hand shoulder of Yanakeff. Miami added to the lead at 8:12, as captain Alden Hirschfeld shot through traffic from the right hash mark for his sixth of the season.
The final goal came with 1:20 remaining, as Blake Coleman converted a two-on-one for his seventh goal of the year.
MSU struggled on the power play all weekend, as Miami did a nice job of clogging lanes and blocking shots, denying MSU in eight opportunities tonight and 13 overall on the weekend. Miami's only power play goal of the weekend came on that five-on-three opportunity.
Michigan State continues a six-game homestand with a two-game set against Northern Michigan next weekend at Munn Ice Arena.