Icer's Fall to MSU 5-2

The University of Michigan ice hockey team dropped a three-goal decision to the No. 6-ranked Michigan State Spartans on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing. Michigan got goals from freshman Max Pacioretty and Ben Winnett. Michigan out shot the home Spartans 33-22 in the loss. Game two of the weekend series is scheduled for 7:35 at Joe Louis Arena.

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The No. 1-ranked Michigan hockey team saw its lead in the CCHA standings slip to just three points over both Michigan State and Miami with a 5-2 loss to the No. 6 Michigan State Spartans on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing. Michigan out shot the Spartans 33-22, but the Wolverines never led after falling behind 2-0 through the first 20 minutes despite holding a 15-3 edge in shots. Michigan State outscored the Wolverines 3-1 in the final period to put the game out of doubt after Michigan sliced the lead in half through the second period.

"I thought we played well for two periods. I thought we had the edge on scoring chances. They had a few good, isolated chances, but I thought we carried the play in the beginning," said Michigan coach Red Berenson following the game.

"We knew they would be good, and I thought we matched them for two periods. But the third period was when everything went wrong."

Michigan out shot the Spartans 15-3 in the opening frame, but at the end of the first period the score was 2-0 in Michigan State's favor. Just 1:43 into the contest, Jeff Petry beat Michigan goalie Billy Sauer on a 3-on-2 rush. Petry tapped it in from just outside the crease on a feed from Nick Sucharski.

Then, with just one minute left in the period, Tim Crowder doubled the lead with a shot that beat Sauer to the glove side.

Michigan trimmed the lead to a goal at 2-1 with 9:15 left in the second period. Skating with a power play, Max Pacioretty beat Spartan goalie Jeff Lerg from between the circles on a pretty tick-tack-toe feed from Kevin Porter and Aaron Palushaj.

"It was just a great feed from Aaron (Palushaj). There's nothing really to it. We've done that play all year. Normally it's Chad (Kolarik) giving me the puck. But it just ended up that I was in the slot, Aaron made a great pass to me and (Travis) Turnbull made a great screen as well," said Pacioretty.

Michigan had a pair of great chances to tie the score 2-2 before the end of the period, but Matt Rust's shot rang off the post just after the Pacioretty goal, and Ben Winnett was unable to hit the net on a 2-on-1 rush late in the period.

Michigan State pulled away early in the third period, however. A pair of goals just 18 seconds apart five minutes into the period sank the Wolverines, as a pair of defensive breakdowns led to a 4-1 Michigan State lead.

Justin Abdelkader scored from the left side boards on a shot from an awkward angle, and Tim Kennedy fired home a rebound just seconds later to stretch the lead to three goals.

Ben Winnett would add one more for the Wolverines, skating in onto Lerg and faking to the right before slipping it through the goalies legs, but Michigan State added one more power-play goal to end the Michigan hopes of a comeback.

With the loss, and Miami's 2-0 win over Western Michigan, the Wolverines remain three points ahead of both Michigan State and Miami University in the CCHA standings with just three games to play.

Game two of the series is scheduled for 7:35 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

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