Wolverines Defeats Spartans on Senior Night

On a night celebrating the accomplishments of the six seniors on the MSU womens hockey team, the Spartans suffered a heart wrenching loss to the Michigan Wolverines by a score of 4-3.

“We created a lot of opportunities and that’s great,” head coach Jeff Wilson said after the game. “We didn’t capitalize on all of them, but the fact that we created them means we’re working hard and doing a lot of good things.”

Michigan came out flying and scored the opening goal less than a minute into the game. The Wolverines would hold onto that lead heading into the second period.

In the second period the Spartans came out flying. Senior Maddy VanAntwerp was hooked on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot less than five minutes into the second. VanAntwerp beat the UM netminder with a nifty forehand-backhand move to tie the game 1-1.

Late in the second period senior captain Shelby Myers found the back of the net off of a quick wrister from inside the dots to make it 2-1 Michigan State heading into the final frame.

MSU continued to dominate into the third as Lyndsay Oden scored while on a breakaway to make it 3-1 Spartans, and for a while it looked like the green and white were about to run away with it.

But the Wolverines battled on and pulled their goalie for an extra attacker while on a power play with just under three minutes to play. The Spartans then took another penalty late to give UM a 6-3 man advantage. Michigan would capitalize on both power plays notching two quick goals to tie the game up at three with just over a minute to play.

Then the Wolverines pulled the coup d’etat.

A turnover in the Spartan zone led to a quick shot by a Wolverine forward that slid under the pads of senior goaltender Maria Barlow with 35.5 seconds left to play. All in all, UM scored three goals in 98 seconds to win the game 4-3 and hand the Spartans their second loss in a row.

“No excuses. Michigan played really well, and we just have to adjust and play smarter,” Coach Wilson said.

MSU will have one more crack at the Wolverines Sunday afternoon at Munn, and Wilson took an extra measure after the game to ensure the Spartans were ready to play the following day.

“We made sure we were able to crack the door, our locker room door, when Michigan was singing their fight song. We had our locker room be quiet so we could listen to their celebration,” Wilson said. “If nothing gets you fired up more than that to get a little revenge or payback, nothing else will.”

The Spartans play the Wolverines again Sunday afternoon at Munn. Puck drop is set for 12:30 p.m.

Jason Ruff is the host of Behind the Mask for Impact Sports

Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports