I just never had a good feeling about this one. I caught it on the DVR and managed to not hear anything one way or the other, but from the start of the game I was pretty convinced that we weren't going to win.
State came out flying in the first period and carried the play, despite holding just a 10-9 margin in shots. Michigan State got on the board first very late in the second period, as the Chelii got some small measure of revenge for getting abused regularly by Michigan this year. Jake fired a shot just past Hunwick's right pad to put the Spartans up 1-0. Louie Caporusso made it 1-1 just 37 seconds later. He made a nice pass to Scooter on the far side and the puck eventually deflected back to him. He pulled it through the crease and was able to slip it past Yanakeff with just 16 seconds left in the period.
Michigan had a huge edge in shots in the third (14-7) but the only goal was off a Zach Josepher shot that rebounded to an uncovered Joey Shean for his first of the year.
There weren't a lot of great scoring chances in the first period, but the game had a lot of flow. I think there had only been two or three stoppages eleven minutes into the game. Hunwick's best stop was four minutes into the game, and was the first thing I jotted down. He was peeking behind the net as the Spartan centered it. Somehow he was able to get back turned around and get his pad down on the ice. Yanakeff had a couple of good stops as well, notably on Glendening and a shoulder save on Wohlberg.
I thought Michigan had the majority of the good scoring chances in the second period. Yanakeff stopped Wohlberg (I think) on a 2-on-1 while Michigan had the goalie out on a delayed penalty. He also made a nice stop on Chris Brown, when the Wolverines tried to run the old Max Pacioretty play on a power play. Brownie was set up right in the slot on that one.
Outside of Caporusso's goal, the highlight of the period was Greg Pateryn sending Perlini into next month. Glendening also saved a goal with a great backcheck.
Both teams had good chances in the third, but it was only the Spartans who were able to put the puck into the net.
Hunwick did make a huge stop on Walrod after Langlais lost a puck battle on the boards. One of our defensemen also helped out by cranking Gazely as he was about to put the puck into an empty net.
Michigan missed some doozies, though. Kevin Lynch had a penalty shot pretty late in the game and put it into Yanakeff's pad. Chad Langlais also put a bomb off the post to Yanakeff's right. We weren't able to get anything much going with the goalie out and that was all she wrote.
It's strange, even though we're getting next to nothing in Production from our forwards, I don't think they're really playing badly. Rust and Hagelin's line is always buzzing in the offensive end just because those guys are so fast and so good at battling for the puck. I thought Rust, in particular, had a really good game even if he had just one shot on goal. Glendening and Wohlberg were out there for both Spartan goals (one was a PPG) but they both had ample opportunities in the offensive end.
The pucks just aren't going in right now. They'll need to this coming weekend at Miami, but on the bright side, the RedHawks haven't exactly been as stout defensively as you'd typically expect. In the last seven games, they've been hit up for 5+ on three occasions. The other four games, they've given up four goals total, so it's been a little feast or famine for opposing offenses. Still, there have been cracks in the wall.
-We can win a championship with the goaltending we're getting. The offense needs to pick it up.
-Will Yanakeff is a good goalie. At least against us, he's a lot better than Palmisano.
-Hayes made a couple of great defensive plays for the Spartans in that game to help keep Michigan to just one goal.
-I mentioned this on The Wolverine, but you can just see the talent oozing out of Mac Bennett. He may not be a great defenseman at this point, but you can see that he's improving, and it's not going to be long before he puts it together. Man that kid has wheels. He turns the puck over quite a bit, but I've noticed several times that he's moving so fast that he just overskates the puck, or he stumbles. It seems like he's always on supersonic or something. Once the game slows down a little bit for him, he's going to be really good, and I hope he stays around Michigan for a few years. Once his comfort level matches his talent, he's going to be something.
-My sympathies to Daultan Leveille and his family over the loss of his brother, Clayton. That's a sad story. Really sorry to hear about that.
-More thoughts on the game from MGoBlog.
-I didn't mention this on the main site, just on Twitter, but former Wolverine Jason Bailey has sued the Anaheim Ducks and a couple of their affiliates for Anti-Semitism. Scott Burnside has an article up on ESPN.com with more details about the suit and the nature of the things that were allegedly said to Bailey.