Ice Hockey: Michigan dominates No. 5 MSU 6-2

After watching a 3-1 first period lead against the No. 5 Michigan State Spartans evaporate last night in East Lansing, the No. 9-ranked Michigan ice hockey team returned home to Yost Ice Arena with revenge on the mind Saturday night. Michigan jumped on top just 17 seconds into the contest, and this time the Wolverines didn't look back in a dominating 6-2 win.

It took a while, but the Wolverines finally got it right!

After struggling in the second period for much of the early part of the season, it was a four goal outburst from the Maize and Blue in the middle stanza that paced the Michigan offense in a 6-2 win over rival Michigan State on Saturday night.

"I thought from our goalie out, everyone played a better game than we played last night," said Michigan coach Red Berenson after the game. "We competed harder, we played more physical, played with more emotion; we just played more like a team."

It took just 17 seconds in this one for alternate captain T.J. Hensick to put the Wolverines on top 1-0. After the Spartans took control of the opening face-off, the green and white tried to dump the puck into the Michigan zone along the boards. Michigan forward David Rohlfs broke up the play, however, and the puck trickled to Kevin Porter who carried the puck into the Michigan State zone and set up T.J. Hensick on a two-on-one rush. Hensick buried the cross-ice pass passed MSU goalie Jeff Lerg, and the Wolverines led 1-0.

"And then T.J. (Hensick) starts a game with a goal on the first shift and that just gives everyone a little bit of momentum," continued Berenson to the media after the game. "We had a good start last night, but we dropped the ball. Tonight we played well. I can't tell you it was a 6-2 game, but I can tell you that the score was 6-2 -- and right now that is all that matters."

Michigan continued to apply pressure early, and, as a result, drew a pair of penalties on the visiting Spartans midway through the first period. Michigan couldn't capitalize on the two-man advantage though, and the Spartans fought back to tie it 1-1 on a wraparound goal from Tim Kennedy at 17:49.

Just 32 seconds later, Kevin Porter put Michigan back on top for good.

Porter, scoring a goal for the fourth consecutive game, beat Lerg from the slot after Hensick found him from behind the Michigan State net.

Michigan outshot the Spartans 13-10 after one.

In the second period, it was all Wolverines. Tim Miller, bumped up to the second line this weekend, pushed the Michigan lead to two goals with a shorthanded breakaway goal five minutes into the frame, and, after the Spartans pulled back within one with a power-play goal, Andrew Cogliano scored on a breakaway to make it 4-2. A couple of minutes later, Porter made it 5-2 with his second goal of the night, this one coming on the power play.

"He (Hensick) sets me up all the time. They were two unbelievable passes. There was one in the slot too. But it's unbelievable, right on the tape, pretty much empty netters," said Porter after word.

Jack Johnson would add one more goal in the period for the Wolverines.

Neither of the teams scored in the final 20 minutes of play, and the Wolverines coasted to a dominating 6-2 win. With the win, the Wolverines snap an 0-4-5 skid against the Spartans and improve to 2-2-0 in CCHA play on the season. Michigan will be back in action at Yost Ice Arena next weekend for a two game series with Nebraska-Omaha.

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