Wolverines Top Spartans in First of Two Weekend Games

Mar 13, 2015; East Lansing, Mi USA; UMich vs Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rey Del Rio
Mar 13, 2015; East Lansing, Mi USA; UMich vs Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rey Del Rio

EAST LANSING - A five-goal first period helped push No. 8 Michigan past the Michigan State hockey team, 9-2, on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena. Freshmen Mason Appleton and Zach Osburn scored for the Spartans, who will finish the home-and-home series with the Wolverines tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in Ann Arbor. 

The Spartans (5-14-2, 1-4) got on the board first, but Michigan (12-3-3, 3-1-1-1) responded with five goals in a 5:40 span to take a commanding lead. 

“I thought we got off to a good start, then you give up some easy goals and you find yourself in a hole and they’ve got all the momentum,” said MSU head coach Tom Anastos. “That’s when it got away from us.”

Appleton gave MSU a 1-0 lead prior to the midway point of the opening period with a one-timer from the left circle. 

John Draeger collected the puck at the right point and spotted Appleton near the top of the left circle and fed him a perfect pass. Appleton one-timed the puck toward the net where it took a bounce off U-M defenseman Joseph Cecconi’s skate and past U-M goaltender Steve Racine. 

The Spartan lead lasted just over three minutes as the Wolverines tied it with their first of five goals in a 5:40 span. JT Compher, who finished the game with five points, got the equalizer at the 12:43 marker and Tony Calderone made it 2-1 U-M 1:03 later with a power-play goal.

Alex Kile upped the U-M lead to 3-1 only 18 seconds later with a one-timer from the high slot.

MSU capitalized on its only power-play chance of the period 1:17 after the Kile goal as Osburn ripped rising slap shot from the point over the shoulder of Racine to pull the Spartans within a goal, 3-2.

An MSU penalty at the 15:40 mark put the Wolverines on the power play and the Spartans nearly extinguished it, but as time expired on the penalty, Kyle Connor scored his first of two on the night to make it 4-2.

Dexter Dancs capped U-M’s five-goal first period with 1:37 to play.

Michigan’s Zach Werenski finished off a an odd-man rush 6:38 into the second period and Connor netted his second of the game with a power-play marker 1:47 later to make it 7-2.

Ed Minney took over for Jake Hildebrand in goal with 8:15 to play in the second and stopped 13-of-15 Wolverine shots. Tyler Motte (14:45) and Compher (19:13) closed the scoring for the Wolverines with third period goals.

“We’re obviously very disappointed with how the game played out,” said Anastos. “We didn’t defend well enough, our penalty kill wasn’t good enough and we weren’t able to make plays when we needed to.”

U-M finished the game 3-for-6 on the man-advantage, while MSU went 1-for-4.