Michigan State Athletics
DETROIT — Senior Joey Shean scored his first goal in nearly two calendar years at 12:26 of the third period to propel Michigan State to a 2-1 victory over Michigan at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday evening. Freshman Will Yanakeff made 34 saves in the victory, his fourth straight. Jake Chelios had the other Spartan tally.
The teams were scoreless through most of the first two periods, but the 17,577 fans in attendance were hardly starved for entertainment – the teams went end-to-end, and both goalies came up with big saves to keep the opposition off the board. Each team had waves in which in dominated play and had chances, but neither team could capitalize for the first 39 minutes.
The scoring came quickly in the final minute of the second period. The Spartans struck first, on their first power-play chance of the evening. Zach Josepher held the puck behind the net to the right of the goaltender, and threw it out into the slot. Dean Chelios got a stick on it, but the best handle on the puck came from Jake Chelios – who one-timed it past Shawn Hunwick. MSU’s goal came at 19:07.
The Wolverines countered, getting their goal with just 15 seconds remaining in the period. Scooter Vaughan had the puck at the left point, and sent a cross-slot pass down into the right circle. Mac Bennett got a stick on it, and deflected it to the right side of the net for Louie Caporusso. Caporusso’s initial shot was saved by Yanakeff, but Caporusso’s quick stick got the rebound between Yanakeff’s toe and the left post. It was Caporusso’s eighth goal of the season.
The Spartans broke up the deadlock at 12:26. Daultan Leveille won the faceoff in the offensive zone back to Matt Grassi, who dished to Joey Shean; Shean sent it to the left point to Josepher. Josepher held the puck in the high slot, then sent it down to Shean below the right circle, and Shean’s shot beat Hunwick glove-side.
With 5:10 remaining in regulation, Brock Shelgren was whistled for taking down Kevin Lynch on a breakaway attempt. Lynch was awarded a penalty shot; his attempt was saved by Yanakeff with a kick save with his left leg pad.
Yanakeff kept the Wolverines off the board for the balance of the game, earning his fourth straight victory. He has had 30+ saves in three of his last four games.
The Spartans, now 11-13-4, 7-11-2 in CCHA contests; Michigan, which leads the CCHA, is now 17-7-4, 14-5-1 in conference contests. The teams split the season series, 2-2; each team had a victory on its home ice, Michigan won the Big Chill game, and MSU won the meeting at Joe Louis Arena.
The Spartans are on the road next weekend for a pair of games at Ohio State. The teams met earlier this season, and split at Munn Ice Arena: the Buckeyes won a 4-3 decision in overtime, and the Spartans earned a 4-0 shutout in the other contest …