Yesterday was absolutely perfect. It started with the shockingly beautiful weather, continued on with Michigan absolutely jail-sexing the Spartans, the presentation-making it into an event-was fantastic, and the day ended with rekindling some old friendships and sharing a lot of laughs at Ashley's and Frazier's since it might as well have been Homecoming with all the people that came back.
Shawn Hunwick wrote another chapter in a pretty incredible story. Ironically, it was another Bryan Hogan groin injury that paved the way for Michigan's miracle run to the NCAA tournament last year. This time, he was thrown into the fire minutes before the game and was admittedly scared to death. MSU may not have had a ton of great chances, but Hunwick made at least 6 or 7 really nice stops, controlled rebounds on a lot of chances with people in front, and knew when to shoulder the goal post off its moorings.
But it was a freshman defender who was the #1 star of the day. Jon Merrill, who has lived up to every ounce of the hype, got Michigan going with a great shot on an early power play (with a little help from a defender's stick) and followed it up with another goal on a nice feed from Matt Rust.
That play was horribly defended. Rust brought the puck up with two Spartan players back and Merrill following, but at the end of a shift. Rust went to the outside and the near defender slid way to his right, Rust cut middle and the far side defender came over as well, leaving Merrill completely alone going down the middle of the ice. Rust fed him, Merrill put in a great shot and it was 2-0 good guys.
MSU never really recovered from a waived-off goal and a subsequent Michigan tally on a goal by Carl Hagelin, who had a huge cheering section over from Sweden. Hagelin would later add a second goal on another sweet no-look feed from Rust.
David Wohlberg put the icing on the cake, by batting a shot out of midair into the net and nearly drawing the first excessive celebration penalty in hockey history (at least in games I've seen) by having Burlon act as the holder and kicking a PAT. Hilarious, though I would have been pissed if someone did that against my team.
The hockey gods smiled down as an MSU shot hit the crossbar with .1 second on the clock, preserving Hunwick's shutout and cementing this as arguably the most memorable of the nearing 600 sporting events that I've attended.
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