Why Michigan lost against Michigan State

Patrick Barron/Daily
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By Greg Garno, Daily Sports Editor
Published December 28, 2013

WHAT HAPPENED: In a rematch of last year’s Great Lakes Invitational consolation game, the No. 3 Michigan hockey team was shut out for the first time this season in a 3-0 loss to Michigan State. Sophomore goaltender Steve Racine stopped 37 shots, but let up a goal between his legs less than a minute and a half into the first period. Michigan never fully recovered, as the Spartans’ forecheck pushed the puck back into the zone. Michigan State added two goals in the third period and held off 15 shots from the Wolverines to redeem themselves from a 5-2 loss last year.

“They took it to us,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson. “We didn’t show anything this weekend. We didn’t deserve to.”

WHERE DID YOU GO?: Michigan’s offense, which entered the game averaging 3.13 goals per game, failed to record a goal for the first time since Dec. 29, 2012 in a 4-0 loss to Michigan Tech in the Great Lakes Invitational last year. The Wolverines finished with 29 shots for the night, but on 14 through the second intermission, including a 5-shot second period.

NO EXTRA MAN: After they went 0-for-8 against Western Michigan on the Wolverines didn’t go on the power play until three minutes later in the game.

HOLY HILDEBRAND: Michigan State sophomore netminder Jake Hildebrand didn’t always see action in the win, but he stood on his head and made the timely saves he needed to. Hildebrand made 29 stops including a late third-period stop on sophomore center Boo Nieves to keep the momentum back in the Spartans’ favor.

“He made some saves with his head as a matter of fact,” said Michigan State coach Tom Anastos. “That’s what our team needs. We thought he handled rebounds real well, tracked the puck real well and our team plays with a lot of confidence in front of him.”

DOWN WENT DOWNING: Freshman defenseman Michael Downing was helped off the ice nearly two minutes into the game after he suffered an apparent knee injury. Downing returned to the ice later in the first period and Michigan coach Red Berenson offered nothing on his status. Michigan is already playing without freshman defenseman Kevin Lohan who tore is ACL against Michigan Tech in November.

COPP COME BACK: Sophomore center and alternate captain Andrew Copp missed his second straight game as he continues to play for the U.S. Junior National Team in Sweden. Copp leads the Wolverines with nine goals this season and has the best faceoff winning percentage of anyone on the team with more than 20 attempts.

BIG TEN BACK: Michigan has finished its non-conference schedule and will pick up Big Ten play again when it travels to Madison for a series against Wisconsin.