Michigan State Athletics
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Daultan Leveille tipped a shot from the right point by Matt Grassi 1:54 into the overtime period to give Michigan State a dramatic 4-3 overtime victory against archrival Michigan on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena. Torey Krug had a hat trick for the Spartans, who won back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Wolverines battled back from a 3-1 deficit with a pair of goals in the final three minutes, but MSU put the game away by continuing to generate chances with shots from the points, and ended up with their first overtime victory in six chances this season. MSU remains undefeated against top 10 teams this season (3-0-2), and improves to 8-10-3 overall, 4-8-1 in CCHA play.
The teams skated through a scoreless first period that was not short on entertainment value — MSU outshot its guests by a 13-8 margin, and the pace was up-tempo from end to end. Torey Krug put the Spartans on the board five minutes into the second period. Matt Grassi slid the puck to his defensive partner from the right point, and Krug’s slapshot from the high slot beat a screened Shawn Hunwick blocker-side.
Less than a minute after the Spartan score, Yanakeff came up with a big save on a breakaway chance by Chad Langlais. Carl Hagelin tied the game for the Wolverines with a power-play tally at 10:23. The Spartans had tried to clear the puck at the left point, and two defenders got caught up-ice as the Matt Rust kept it in and four Wolverines crashed the net. Langlais slid the puck across the low slot to Hagelin on the right, and Hagelin beat a sliding Yanakeff five-hole for the senior captain’s tenth goal of the year.
Yanakeff came up with a big sliding pad-save on Luke Glendening with just over four minutes remaining in the second period, and made back-to-back point-blank saves on Scooter Vaughan and Ben Winnett less than a minute later.
The Spartans pulled ahead again with a five-on-three power-play goal at 8:13. Michigan goalie Shawn Hunwick was assessed a double-minor for punching Spartan Dustin Gazley in the face, and Gazley went to the box on a minor and a 10-minute misconduct. Scooter Vaughn was then sent to the box on a hooking call, and the Spartans eneded up with 40 seconds of a two-man advantage. Krug took the pass from Brett Perlini in the left circle, and scored his second of the game from the high slot — the same spot he scored his first in the second period.
The spot was so sweet for Krug, he took another power play shot from there while skating five-on-three later in the period, and got his third of the night for his first career hat trick. Assists went to Derek Grant and Brett Perlini.
The Wolverines got a five-on-three of their own, and the Spartans were able to kill off the entire minute-plus two-man advantage, and were close to killing off both – but Brandon Burlon’s shot from just above the right hash mark was tipped by Lee Moffie brought the Wolverines within one with just under three minutes to play. With the Wolverines buzzing in the zone, the Spartans had a hard time clearing the puck. UM sent the puck deep, and as David Wolhberg tried to send the puck out in front of the net from behind the right goalpost, the puck banked in off the back of Yanakeff’s left skate for the game-tying goal.
Yanakeff had 37 saves in the victory, while Shawn Hunwick made 26 in the loss. He had won three straight games against MSU, dating back to last spring. MSU was 2-for-7 on the power play, while Michigan was 2-for-5.
The teams will face off on Saturday in Ann Arbor. The game, which will be aired on FS Plus, will drop the puck at 7:05 p.m.
NOTES: The Spartans won back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Spartans last won two consecutive games on Feb. 20 (Ferris State) and Feb. 26 (Bowling Green) of last year … Michigan State entered the game 0-2-3 in overtime games this season … The Spartans are 5-7-0 against ranked teams overall, but are 3-0-2 against teams ranked in the top ten at the time of the game … These two teams played an overtime game for the first time since Jan. 26, 2008, which was a 2-2 deadlock … The teams had played to seven consecutive stalemates when advancing to overtime; the last time there was an overtime winner between these teams was Dec. 30, 2004, a 2-1 Spartan victory in the GLI finals … MSU had a pair of power-play goals in seven chances, and had its first game with multiple man-advantage tallies since Nov. 26 at Minnesota. MSU had gone 2-for-25 on the PP since that game … Krug’s hat trick was MSU’s first since Corey Tropp’s against Bowling Green on Dec. 12, 2009. To his recollection, it is his first hat trick at any level of the game … Krug scored his first goal since Dec. 3 at Ferris State. … Kevin Walrod has points in back-to-back games. He scored twice against Michigan Tech, and assisted on Torey Krug’s second-period score … Greg Wolfe also has points in back-to-back games for the first time in his career — he had the secondary helper on Krug’s third-period tally … Derek Grant’s assist streak reached three games, his longest of the season. His career-best is four games … Freshman Will Yanakeff made his first career start at Munn Ice Arena and had a career-best 37 saves. He had surpassed his career best by the second intermission …