Wolverines win in shootout against Michigan State
EAST LANSING — Cooper Marody took the puck on his stick at center ice. Michigan State’s Sam Saliba had just missed his attempt, and with the shootout tied at two, Marody skated toward net with a chance to claim victory for his Wolverines. The sophomore forward rose to the occasion, lighting the lamp and welcoming his teammates who streamed from the bench in celebration.
After a scoreless overtime period, the Michigan hockey team found itself in a shootout with in-state rival Michigan State. With Marody’s goal, the Wolverines claimed victory and salvaged an ugly weekend to split the home-and-home series at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing on Saturday. Though the result will offically be listed as a tie on Michigan’s schedule, it still gave the Wolverines (2-6 Big Ten, 9-12-1 overall) a valuable point in Big Ten play.
“I thought we played harder, played with more conviction,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson. “Overall, we ended up with a better result. I thought from start to finish, maybe the first couple of minutes we weren’t as good, and then we got better. They’re a good team too, but it was important to come in here and play for points. The team that loses this game sinks to last place in the Big Ten.”
The first period was mostly spent in Michigan’s defensive zone, where senior goaltender Zach Nagelvoort faced nine total shots. Michigan State’s goaltender, Ed Minney, faced significantly less of a challenge with just four. But one of those four shots proved fatal for the Spartans (1-7, 5-16-1), as it turned out to be the first goal of the game.
After Michigan State forward Villiam Haag received a penalty for tripping, the Wolverines couldn’t capitalize on the power-play opportunity. Four seconds after Haag returned to the ice, though, De Jong scored off a snipe from the point to put Michigan ahead, 1-0, just over six minutes into the first period.
“That was huge. We were playing well, good shot, good goal, and I thought we got a lot of momentum from that,” Berenson said. “Let’s face it, we just played three periods at home without scoring, so we needed a goal.”
But just a few minutes later, Michigan State forward Dylan Pavelek scored the first goal of his career to tie things up. Spartan forward Logan Lambdin managed a shot that Nagelvoort knocked away, but Pavelek was there to clean it up and tie the game with 9:34 left in the first period.
The game remained locked in a stalemate until 7:27 was left in the second period. Junior defenseman Sam Piazza sent the puck to senior forward Evan Allen down by the net, but Allen sent it back without a clear shot available. Piazza then fired a shot from the point, which senior forward Alex Kile was able to knock past Minney for the third goal of the night.
Michigan State desperately tried to close the gap, and was almost able to early on. Forward Joe Cox brought the puck to Michigan’s net and wrapped around it, sending the puck to forward Thomas Ebbing. But Ebbing couldn’t convert from in close, and the Spartans left the second period down only one goal.
Michigan State’s student section couldn’t have been hungrier for the equalizer. Down 2-1 in the third period, every missed attempt had the Spartans’ fan base avidly expressing their frustration.
Yet with roughly 10 minutes remaining, they had their frustrations put to rest, as the students were throwing confetti and filling Munn Ice Arena with cheers after forward Patrick Khoderenko tipped a shot into Michigan’s net on a power play to tie the game at two.
But with no decisive goal scored in the overtime period, the game’s ultimate result came from the shootout. Marody was able to capitalize on his opportunity, and the Wolverines won the second game, 3-2.
“It was good to see the puck to go in the net and get that extra point for us for sure,” Marody said. “We battled hard all game and then I took a penalty at the end, so it was good that the boys battled back and we were able to have the opportunity to win in the shootout.”