Michigan hockey team blows two-goal lead in 3-2 loss at Michigan State
Updated 11:24 p.m.
EAST LANSING -- Michigan goaltender Shawn Hunwick hadn't given up three goals in a game since Dec. 10. The Michigan hockey team hadn't given up three unanswered goals since Dec. 2.
Both happened on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena as Michigan State came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Wolverines, 3-2.
After killing off 26 straight penalties, including three in the first two periods on Friday, Michigan (17-10-4, 11-8-4-1 CCHA) surrendered two power play goals in the first 4:07 of the third period as a one-goal lead turned into a one-goal deficit in the blink of an eye.
"You can’t keep killing penalties, against any team," said Michigan coach Red Berenson. "We got off the hook in the first two periods, then we take two more penalties. ... Cost us the game."
Michigan State defenseman Torey Krug -- coming off a week in which he was named CCHA offensive player of the week -- made a strong bid to make it two in a row, scoring the Spartans' first two goals and assisting on Matt Berry's game winner.
Krug was dangerous every time he touched the puck, with three of his six shots resulting in goals.
"I think our forwards did a great job of controlling the puck down low, then once the puck finally did come up to the points, we had all the time in the world," Krug said.
For all of Krug's and the Spartans' success late, the first two period were filled with missed opportunities, like when Brett Perlini couldn't put a stick on a Krug pass in front of a wide open Michigan net during a first period power play after goaltender Shawn Hunwick was beat on the backdoor.
"You get a little bit frustrated, to say otherwise would be lying to you," Krug said of the early missed chances. "Sitting on the bench when we’re down two-nothing, not a head on the bench went down. So we stuck with the process, did what the coaches asked us, then we were able to pop a couple in and gain some momentum."
The Wolverines would stretch their streak of successful penalty kills to 26 before Krug ended it with a power play goal to tie the score at 2-2 at the beginning of the third period. Krug scored on a slap shot from the left point to put Michigan State (16-11-4, 11-9-3-2) on the board in the second period.
"I thought we were playing a decent game at the end of two periods, and then you know, I couldn’t see the penalties, but they were a huge part of game," Berenson said.
"You can’t play shorthanded, especially in the third period, up a goal trying to hold a lead. It’s just unacceptable," said Michigan forward A.J. Treais, who opened the scoring for Michigan 4:28 into the second period, putting a Phil Di Giuseppe centering pass over Will Yanakeff's blocker on a two-on-one.
"The first five minutes of any period (are important), really, especially when it’s the third period," Treais said. You’re up a goal and all of a sudden you don’t even know what hit you.
The teams are now tied for third place in the CCHA standings heading into Saturday night's series finale at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Michigan will get a boost in its lineup with the return of co-leading scorer Chris Brown, who was serving a suspension Friday night for a fight from last weekend.
Prior to Friday, Brown or his linemates, David Wohlberg and Alex Guptill, hadn't all been held without a point in eight straight games.
"(Brown) brings the noise, he’s physical, he scores goals. How can you not miss someone like that?" Treais said.
"We'll bounce back," said Berenson. "Our good players have to play better and we better shut some of their guys down."
Yankeff finished with 28 saves and Hunwick with 27.
Of note: Kevin Lynch scored his third goal and fifth point in four games against Michigan State this season to put Michigan up 2-0 in the second. Half of his points this season have come against the Spartans. ... Michigan State's penalty kill unit, which is second best in the nation, killed three penalties on Friday and currently has 19-game streak going.
Contact Pete Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-623-2561. Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.
Sun, Feb 12, 2012 : 1:53 a.m.
The headline for this article could have been only 4 words...why waste time? "Michigan hockey team blows......" AND Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo...the best coaches in the BIG! BEAT DOWN IN C'BUS....JUST LIKE FOOTBALL! 2011 - Spartan baseball best record in BIG! 2011 - Spartan football best record in BIG! 2011/12 - Spartan basketball best record in BIG! Get used to it. IT'S SPARTAN TIME!
Sun, Feb 12, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.
Coach Hutch? Your daughter must play softball...nobody else would care. Heard that Brandon is going to drop Men's Baseball (like the BADgers did) in hopes that BIG Men's Softball will take off sometime soon! Academics? MSU has excellent academics. Can you spell M-S-U S-P-A-R-T-A-N D-O-M-I-N-A-N-C-E? Get used to it!
Sun, Feb 12, 2012 : 2:30 a.m.
Funny you did not mention coach Hutch taking to you losers at your new softball stadium grand opening. Academics it is Michigan all the way. Like they say can't get into college go to MSU!!! Can't read can't write!
Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 6 p.m.
This is a classic example of an overly wordy headline. It should have simply been limited to 23 characters. That would have told you everything you needed to know.
Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 4:11 p.m.
Love it.... LOVE IT!!! Go GREEN!!
Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.
Congrats Spartans on the win. Can't play undisciplined and expect to win. Go win tonight's game - GO BLUE!
Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 4:54 a.m.
The loss is especially painful because the two teams higher up in the CCHA standings (FSU and WMU) won thus putting Michigan six points behind the former and four points behind the latter with fifteen possible points left to win. To Tie for first place Michigan must win out while FSU loses two of its final games and WMU loses two games while Michigan wins five and ties one game, or similar combination. Furthermore, if Michigan does not win most of its remaining games then they risk slipping as far down the standings as eighth. Fortunately, that should not happen since Michigan's last four games are against the ninth and eleventh place teams, Northern Michigan and Bowling Green. Keep fingers crossed! Go Blue!
Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 3:50 a.m.
Ouch that hurts like a punch in the gut. Letting little brother score three unanswered smarts. Go get even tomorrow men. GO BLUE!!!!
Sat, Feb 11, 2012 : 2:10 p.m.
"Little Brother," what a tired and pathetic phrase used by poor sports and sore losers.