Hockey: Michigan Doubles up on Michigan State 4-2

After an eight-day layoff, the No. 2 <b>Michigan ice hockey team</b> was back in action Thursday tonight, doubling up on interstate rival Michigan State 4-2 at Munn Ice Arena, in the first of four regular season tilts between the two schools.<br>

Although Michigan State came out hot out shooting Michigan by a 2-1 margin, the Wolverines were the first ones to crack the scoreboard tonight at the 13:08 mark in the first period off the stick of Wolverine playmaker T.J. Hensick.

Using his explosive quickness, Hensick stole the puck from the rival Spartans, setting himself up nicely in front of the Michigan State net. Spartan goalie, Dominic Vicari, was unable to get in the way of the quick Hensick shot that found the back of the net over Vicari's shoulder, and the Wolverines went into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.

Michigan State would strike back early in the second period however, thanks to a Wolverine penalty.

Spartan forward Jim Slater was the one to capitalize on the Michigan mistake, slipping the puck past Wolverine goalie Al Montoya, who had lost sight of the puck during the pile up in front of the net.

Michigan would rebound, however, and the Wolverines would rally on the road to score the contests next three goals.

David Rohlfs put Michigan back into the lead with less than 10 minutes remaining in the second period after breaking into the Spartan zone alone. A quick deke and a backhanded shot was all it would take for Rohlfs to beat the Spartan goaltender, and Michigan was back in the lead once again.

The Wolverine lead was extended to two goals less than two minutes into the final period of play when a trio of Wolverines combined to catch Michigan State napping on the power play.

A great read by Wolverine forward David Moss led to a surprising odd man rush for the Wolverines, and even skating a man down Michigan was able to find the back of the net. After the steal, moss carried the puck into the Spartan zone with David Rohlfs ready for the cross-ice pass. Moss elected to take the shot instead, and while Vicari was able to make the initial save, Eric Werner came in to clean up the mess scoring what would end up being the winning goal for Michigan.

A final Michigan goal was added by forward Mike Brown with 15 minutes remaining in the contest, as he beat Vicari on a wrap around shot from behind the Wolverine net. Michigan State would inch closer behind the goal of one time Michigan commitment Bryan Lerg, but that was all the Spartans could get despite out shooting the maize and blue 31-22.

The second game of the series will be played Saturday night in Ann Arbor at Yost Ice Arena.

Michigan is 8-2-1 for the season , and is ranked #2 in the nation in the national polls.

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