Friday, Michigan 7 - Michigan State 1
Destroyed. Dismantled. Obliterated. Crushed. Throttled.
Any one of those words accurately portrays what Michigan was able to do to the Spartans on Friday night in a 7-1 thrashing. This was the third time this season that Michigan put 7 on the board, and the first time since doing it against Penn State one month ago (the other time was against RIT back in October).
Things got off to a quick start for Michigan on Friday night. With less than a minute having passed in the game, Alex Guptill assisted on a Derek DeBlois shot just 56 seconds into the first stanza, putting Michigan up 1-0. The goal came as the Wolverines got the puck off a Spartan turnover behind their own net, and Guptill gave the centering pass to DeBlois. With MSU goalie Jake Hildebrand out of the net and not being able to get completely positioned, it was an easy shot for DeBlois to make.
Luke Moffat then lit the lamp with an unassisted breakaway at the 7:46 mark. The goal was reviewed, but ultimately allowed, putting Michigan up 2-0. Matt Berry then scored for the Spartans to cut the Michigan lead to 1 on a rebound shot on a wide open goal behind Steve Racine (7-3-1).
After being outshot 11-6 in the first period, Michigan came out after the first intermission and poured it on like there was no tomorrow. The Wolverines took 24 shots the rest of the way, while MSU took only 11; on those 24 Michigan shots, five found the back of the net.
In the second period, Zach Hyman and Phil DiGiuseppe tallied the first two goals, but Andrew Sinelli would be the hot hand the rest of the way. Sinelli had only one goal going into the night and walked away with a hat-trick, scoring the last three Michigan goals.
The Spartans hadn't allowed six goals since 2009 vs Michigan at the Joe, and they were blocking over 17 shots per game, but the Wolverines played one of their most inspired games all year and made one hell of a statement against their rivals from East Lansing.
Much like Michigan's frustrations in some of their losing efforts, things got a little heated at the end of this game. This time it was MSU's Thomas Ebbing who was whistled for contact to the head and a game misconduct, while Dean Chelios decided to chop a Michigan player with his stick after the whistle.
Saturday, Michigan State 4 - Michigan 3
There were a few destructive words to describe what Michigan did to the Spartans on Friday night, but Saturday's words were going to be a little bit different and a lot more profane.
The night started out quickly for Michigan when Luke Moffat got his 11th score of the season 75 seconds into the game. His shot was just a wrister from the top of the face off circle, but it got past three Spartan defenders and goalie Jake Hildebrand. Boo Nieves put yet another goal on the board for Michigan at the 4:43 mark of the first period on a backhand chip-shot over Hildebrand.
Greg Wolfe put Sparty on the board to cut the margin to 2-1 Michigan on a sharp angle shot that actually went off the skate of Tyler Motte, hit the post and then the back of the net.
Phil DiGiuseppe then took a shot from the top of the circle with 2:37 to go in the first period to put Michigan up 3-1. Michigan fans everywhere were feeling good, but those good times weren't going to roll, as Michigan State would rattle off three unanswered goals and frustrate the hell out of the same Michigan fans that were so ecstatic when the Wolverines were up 3-1.
After Spartans coach Tom Anastos pulled Hildebrand in favor of senior Will Yanakeff to start the second period, Red Berenson's crew just could not find the net and the defense stalled.
Spartan sophomore Matt DeBlouw started the run off a one-timer from somewhere near Grand Rapids, and the deflected power play shot put the Spartans back in the game.
Just over six minutes into the third period, a shot by John Draeger bounced off the chest of Steve Racine and careened back to Michael Ferrantino who drove to the goal and got the puck past Racine's glove hand to tie the game at 3-all. The go-ahead goal came off the stick of Mackenzie MacEachern at 12:13 to go in the final frame.
Steve Racine entered the game with a 7-3-1 record after Friday's victory and a save percentage of .916, but could not get the necessary help to secure an eighth win of the season. Michigan won the face-off battle with 25 to MSU's 20, and they outshot the Spartans 34 to 28. However, not scoring a goal anywhere but in the first frame and letting your opponent score at least one goal in each is not a recipe for success.
Michigan now falls to 17-11-4 overall (9-7-2 B1G) and 7-7-1 on the road. They'll welcome the Minnesota Golden Gophers to Yost Ice Arena next weekend, where the Wolverines are 9-2-3. The Gophers just wrapped up a series in Columbus, winning Friday and falling in a shootout on Saturday. Minnesota will head to Ann Arbor with a still-imposing record of 13-2-3 in conference play, but 7-3-2 record on the road. It will take the best games of the Wolverines' lives if they want to sweep the second-ranked Gophers.
Friday's game can be see at 6:30 ET on ESPNews, while Saturday's game will be at 7:00 ET on BTN. See you there!