Spartans Unable To Complete Sweep Of Wolverines, Lose 4-1 At Munn

Tom Anastos entered the press room visibly upset.

Michigan State had just lost 4-1 in front of 6,465 at Munn Ice Arena on Saturday. The night before, the Spartans had defeated the No. 5 Michigan Wolverines 3-2 in overtime to bring the “Iron D” trophy to East Lansing.

But the Spartans couldn’t sustain the momentum to sweep the series and allowed Michigan to emerge victorious at Munn for the third straight game.

“I was disappointed, we had one line going,” Anastos said. “Then after I rattled a few cages in between periods we started to play much harder across our lineup.”

It was during the first period that Michigan got on the board, after a turnaround shot by Justin Selman found its way past senior goaltender Jake Hildebrand. The Spartans, though, had a chance to tie the game on a two-on-one but hit the post. It would become a theme for the rest of the night.

“We knew they were going to come with a push and we weren’t quite ready for it and that’s not acceptable at home, not acceptable definitely against them,” senior captain Michael Ferrantino said.

In the second period, the Spartans came out much harder and generated several quality scoring chances, including another two-one-one where the puck struck iron instead of netting. Despite out-shooting the Wolverines 17-8, it was Michigan’s JT Compher who extended the UM lead to 2-0.

The Wolverines continued their offensive roll with two goals in the third period to extend their lead to 4-0.

Villiam Haag got Michigan State on the board off of a power-play goal late in the period, but it was too little too late.

“We came out flat and when you don’t have everyone going you’re not going to perform the way you want to,” junior forward Joe Cox said.

Coming off an emotional victory Friday night could have drained the Spartans more than they had hoped. But as they have said all season, they aren’t going to be making any excuses.

“I don’t care the circumstances, I don’t care how much rest you have. When the puck drops, you’ve gotta figure out mentally how to be ready to go.” Anastos said.

The Spartans have now lost three straight home games to the Wolverines for the first time since 1964/65. It follows a pattern where Michigan State has been unable to have any sustained success against Michigan.

“No, how can you be complacent? That’s what frustrates me,” Anastos said when asked if his team was complacent with winning a single game against Michigan. “Are we accepting winning a game against a good team on Friday and we were not eager to try and complete the weekend?

“You’ve got to be ready, you’ve got to be ready.” Anastos continued. “You wanna be an elite athlete? It all starts here, where the head goes the body goes.”

The Spartans will return to action next weekend when they welcome Penn State to Munn Ice Arena.