MSU ties with Michigan on second day of GLI

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DETROIT — Michigan State may have left Sunday night wishing they had made it to a shootout in their semifinal, losing to Lake Superior State. On Monday, they didn’t even get that chance, ending up tied for third place with rival Michigan, 2-2. It was the first time since 1981 that the tournament ended with a tie for third, but this one was due to time constraints caused by a Detroit Red Wings game taking place later on in the evening.

Freshman goaltender Drew DeRidder started for MSU, his first action since allowing five goals to Wisconsin before the winter break. He made 22 first-period saves en route to a total of 45, and kept MSU in the game for all 65 minutes.

“It was a good step for us,” MSU head coach Danton Cole said following the game. “Michigan is really hard to play, hard to come through the neutral zone with any speed or forechecking, but I thought our guys did a good job with that today.”

There was even the customary physical altercation post-whistle, with MSU’s Tommy Apap inciting an all-out brawl in front of Michigan goalie Hayden Lavigne. Six different players received misconduct calls, but MSU ended up on the power play and got their first goal of the game as a result.

Freshman Wojciech Stachowiak scored his third goal in two games, connecting on a rebound with 5:15 left in the first period to give MSU the lead.

Michigan will regret not taking advantage of all their early pressure, as they were outshooting the Spartans 16-2 halfway through the first period and finished the period 23-7. However, it took them until the 17:17 mark to score once sophomore Luke Morgan tapped in a rebound after Jack Becker’s close-range attempt left DeRidder sprawling.

Two Michigan penalties allowed MSU to take advantage late in the period, as Patrick Khodorenko notched his twelvth goal of the year on the power play after a neat cross-crease pass from Cody Milan. Taro Hirose picked up the second assist, No. 21 on the year to lead the nation.

The second period was dull during stretches of 5-on-5 hockey. Lewandowski tipped narrowly wide of Lavigne’s left post on the first of three Michigan penalties, and shots were a bit more even – 15-11 in favor of Michigan.

It took a bad penalty from MSU’s Jerad Rosburg to create some major chances for Michigan, as his hit to the head of U-M’s Jack Becker earned Rosburg a 5-minute major penalty plus a game misconduct. After Hirose took a penalty shortly thereafter, it was solid defensive work that preserved MSU’s 2-1 lead at the second intermission. Captain Sam Saliba plus freshmen Cole Krygier and Dennis Cesana blocked a pair of shots and killed the Hirose penalty plus a chunk of Rosburg’s major penalty.

MSU had just seven seconds left down a man when Michigan’s Nick Pastujov scored his tenth goal of the season at the start of the period. Another shot from Becker bounced right to the stick of Pastujov, who had plenty of time out front to swat a shot into DeRidder’s open net just 1:15 into the third.

Even with Rosburg out, MSU handled Michigan fairly well defensively. Postgame, Cole was focused on how well his young defensemen played.

“I thought we moved the puck really well,” Cole said. With (Jerad) Rosburg going out, we had Cole and Christian Krygier with Dennis Cesana out there. Three freshman for the whole third period. Cole hasn’t played in eight or nine weeks, so for how much he played and how well he moved the puck, it was impressive.”

Tied at 2, the game quickly turned into the same quick, physical battles that the two teams have already played twice this season. Michigan was again without superstar Quinn Hughes, away for Team USA at the World Junior Championships in Canada. There were plenty of chances for both sides, but the teams settled for a disappointing tie. They’ll have a pair of regular-season meetings to settle that score.

Up next

Michigan State will play a home series with Ohio State on Jan. 5 and 6, while Michigan will head to South Bend, Ind. to play an outdoor game against Notre Dame.