Posted Jan. 26

Michigan State only needed 46 seconds to take control of the game.

But with one minute and thirty-eight seconds left to go, Michigan made sure it ended in a tie.

Freshman Matt Rust was credited with the game-tying score, but it was a Michigan State own-goal that helped the Wolverines salvage a 2-2 tie and get one point for the weekend.

The hostility between the first-ranked Wolverines (15-2-1 CCHA, 22-3-1 overall) and fifth-ranked Spartans (13-2-3, 17-5-5) surfaced early as the teams tallied five combined penalties in the first two minutes, four for roughing after the whistle. And at about the halfway mark of the first period, sophomore defenseman Steve Kampfer earned his second roughing penalty of the game for another skirmish after play ended.

After the first period, Michigan State was leading in shots 10-3 and controlling the pace of the game. Billy Sauer was pressured early and often, while like in yesterday’s game, the Wolverines could not keep possession of the puck long enough to launch an attack in the Spartan zone.

But a little more than six and a half minutes into the second period, senior Chad Kolarik’s nifty backhanded pass to freshman Max Pacioretty caught the Spartan defense off guard. Pacioretty’s high wrist shot went over the shoulder of Michigan State goalie Jeff Lerg, giving the Wolverines the edge for the first time this weekend.

All momentum from Pacioretty’s goal was lost after penalties to defenseman Mark Mitera and forward Matt Rust were dished out 27 seconds apart at about the 11-minute mark of the second period. With a 5-on-3 advantage, the Spartans quickly capitalized – a power-play goal by Daniel Vukovic tied the score at 1 and got the Munn Arena crowd back into the game. And still with a one-man advantage, the Spartans struck again – this time, on a score by forward Tim Crowder – to gain a one-goal edge.

With 2:50 remaining in the second period, a Spartan shot hit the crossbar and Michigan State whiffed on the rebound to keep the game 2-1. Though Michigan managed 15 shots on goal in the second period to Michigan State’s 7, the two quick Spartan goals killed any chance for a Michigan run in the middle stanza.

The game continued to be nasty in the third period with scuffles after the whistle, and the Spartans continued to pressure the Wolverine net with close calls. A little over halfway through the third period, a Michigan State shot hit the post. But the only goal in the third period was Rust’s after Michigan State tried to clear the puck and instead swatted it in the net.

In overtime, Michigan freshman Carl Hagelin’s hooking penalty left the Wolverines shorthanded and unable to generate scoring opportunities. Michigan State dominated the pace of play for nearly all of the overtime period, with Michigan’s only chances for a goal came on a Chad Kolarik shorthanded breakaway and a Tim Miller shot that went wide of the net.

Look for more coverage of this weekend’s games in SportsMonday.

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