Spartans and Wolverines Play to 4-4 Tie at Joe Louis Arena
Michigan wins the shootout to take home the Iron D Trophy.
DETROIT – For the third time in four meetings this season, Michigan State and Michigan needed overtime to settle the outcome. The two teams played to a 4-4 tie on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena in the “Duel in the D,” but Michigan won the shootout, 2-1, in five rounds to earn the extra point in the Big Ten standings and take home the “Iron D” Trophy.
Three different Spartans had two points, including Sam Saliba (2g), Taro Hirose (1g, 1a) and Mason Appleton (2a).
The Spartans wasted no time in getting going as Hirose scored 36 into the opening period with the help of linemates Joe Cox and Appleton.
Appleton spun out of the corner with the puck, getting it to Hirose in the bottom of the left circle. Hirose let a shot go that beat goaltender Hayden Lavigne upstairs on the short side.
A 5-on-3 power play helped the Spartans push their lead to 2-0 at the 6:50 mark with Saliba getting his third goal in the last four games.
Again it was Appleton, with the help of Hirose, that set up the goal as he made a perfect cross-ice pass from the left corner right on the tape of Saliba, who was standing just off the top of the crease and directed the puck under Lavigne’s pads.
Unfortunately for the Spartans, the Wolverines scored twice in the final 5:06 of the period to knot the game. Jake Slaker made it 2-1 when he put in his own rebound from the left side and with 28 seconds to go in the period, Max Shuart tied it up.
“I really liked the way we started the game, obviously,” MSU head coach Tom Anastos said. “I didn’t like the two goals we gave up, it kind of took a little energy from us. I thought we struggled in the second period.”
The Spartans (5-17-3, 1-8-2) withstood an early push from the Wolverines to start the second, which included killing the Wolverines’ first power play of the night.
Less than a minute after extinguishing the U-M power play, the Spartans reclaimed the lead as senior Chris Knudson scored his second goal in three games against the Wolverines this season.
Hard work by the fourth line of Knudson, Connor Wood and Brennan Sanford kept the puck in the U-M zone. Defenseman Damian Chrcek picked up a rebound off a shot by Wood and ripped it back toward the net. The rebound kicked to Knudson at the bottom of the left circle and he swept it low past Lavigne.
Michigan (9-13-3, 2-7-2-2) was able to take advantage of its second power play of the night, scoring with five seconds remaining on a Spartan penalty to knot the game, 3-3, with 3:55 to play in the middle period off a shot by Nolan De Jong from the right circle.
The Wolverines got their first lead of the night 2:40 into the third as DeJong got his second in a row, sending a wrister from the point through traffic to make it 4-3.
Senior Villiam Haag helped the Spartans tie the game with 4:58 to play with hard work along the right boards to keep the puck in the zone. Haag pushed the puck in the U-M zone off a neutral zone face off and took it into the right corner. With Saliba breaking to the net with his stick on the ice, Haag made a perfect pass to the freshman as he one-timed the puck home to make it 4-4.
Cox had the Spartans’ best chance of overtime, hitting the crossbar from the right circle midway through the extra session.
Cox was the lone Spartan to score in the shootout, which U-M won in the fifth round courtesy of U-M’s Sam Piazza.
U-M finished the game with a 31-19 edge in shots on goal. Both teams went 1-for-2 on the power play.
“I gave our guys credit for fighting back and fighting through it,” Anastos said. “Tomorrow night we have to play a stronger 60 or 65 minutes to get three points.”
The Spartans and Wolverines will meet again on Saturday night at Yost Ice Arena at 7:30 p.m.