A tale of two very different match-ups.
You would have never known that the students of the University of Michigan were on Spring Break when you looked at the packed house of Yost Arena in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines were ready to take on the Michigan State University Spartans as temperatures finally reached above freezing for a solid day on Friday, March 7.
Then again, it takes a lot to deter fans from a match-up of any sport between these two schools. Most would go to a chess match between the two – maybe even a curling match.
At first, it looked like a great match-up. Michigan scored within the first minute of the game thanks senior Derek DeBlois. The scoring was actually pretty close, after Luke Moffatt had an unassisted goal to make it 2-0 at 7:46 to go in the first. MSU’s power play goal at 5:15 left from Matt Barry had the Spartans within one headed in to the locker rooms for the first intermission.
Then things went wrong (if you were cheering for Michigan State). The quick glove of sophomore goaltender Steve Racine shone for the Wolverines throughout the first and it would continue to be the star for the second. A power play for the Spartans to start the second period had Racine making incredible saves to the dismay of the green and white.
The second period saw MSU goaltender Jake Hildebrand on the fences. He would be replaced by Will Yanakeff for the third period. No Spartans scored in the second while the Wolverines saw goals from Zach Hyman, Phil Di Giuseppe and Andrew Sinelli.
Unlike Hildebrand, that would not be the last we heard from Sinelli for the night.
The junior came in to the game with just one goal on the season but would net a hat trick before the final horn sounded, scoring the final two goals for Michigan, ending the game with a 7-1 score in favor of blue.
So one would think that the Wolverines would take that momentum to East Lansing with them on Saturday night. They came out strong, ending the first period at Munn Ice Arena leading 3-1 after goals from Moffatt, Cristoval “Boo” Nieves and Di Giuseppe to MSU’s lone goal from Greg Wolfe. Once again, Hildebrand was replaced by Yanakeff, this time after just one period.
The Wolverines would fail to score in the second and third periods, which saw three MSU goals from Lee Reimer, Michael Ferrantino and Mackenzie MacEachern while Yanakeff stopped all 24 shots the Wolverines took at him. The rough last two periods for Michigan were drastically different from the previous night, resulting in a 4-3 win for Michigan State.
Next up for the Big Ten teams: #5 Michigan State hosts #2 Wisconsin while #3 Michigan faces #1 Minnesota in Ann Arbor, both games on the 14th.
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