The much anticipated return of Spartan forward Corey Tropp to Yost after last year’s incident that got him suspended for the rest of the season went off without a problem. The crowd booed and the game was chippy, but it was a rivalry game after all.
Fourteen seconds into the game, junior Tristin Llewellyn took a penalty, and that started the run to the penalty box for the Wolverines. Keeping with the theme of the year, Michigan found various ways to go to the box early in the first but eventually settled down throughout the game.
The Spartans were unable to convert early on the power play but did find the net rather easily in general, winning 3-2. Their first goal came when Michigan junior goaltender Bryan Hogan had a miscommunication with his defensemen when playing the puck. He tried to fire the puck around the boards, but hit a defensemen which gave the puck to Spartan forward Andrew Rowe. Rowe deposited the puck into the net for the first period lead.
The Wolverines were able to bounce back midway through the second when freshman Lee Moffie took a pass in the slot and scored five hole to tie the game.
The tie was short lived as enemy No. 1 for the Wolverines, Tropp, took an outlet pass and beat the other player involved in the incident last year, Steve Kampfer. After a move on Kampfer, Tropp let a wrist shot go which found the top right corner of the net.
The Spartans extended their lead a minute into the third when junior Michigan State forward Daultan Leveille was hauled down. As Leveille was sliding toward the goal, he was able to get a weak shot off that found its way into the net. The goal was initally called off as the referee thought the net was dislodged before the puck went in, but after a lengthy review, it was changed to a goal.
When it looked like all hope was lost, junior Carl Hagelin found the puck in the slot and sent a quick shot past the glove with seven minutes left in the game to cut the Spartan lead to 3-2.
Matt Rust’s shot on a 2-on-1 was one of the best chances the Wolverines had in the closing minutes, but the shot was deflected by a sprawling defensemen and into the protective netting.
A Spartan penalty and Michigan pulling the goalie created a six-on-four with 47 seconds left, but the Wolverines were unable to convert and Michigan fell for the third game in a row. This is the first time since the 2005-06 season that Michigan has lost three straight. It lost four straight games that season, and if the Wolverines lose in East Lansing on Saturday, history will repeat itself.