Maize & Blue Bombards Spartans for Series Sweep
Derek DeBlois

Feb. 2, 2013

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• Postgame: Highlights | Coach Berenson | Rutledge & DeBlois | The Victors

Site: Detroit, Mich. (Joe Louis Arena)
Score: Michigan 5, Michigan State 2
Records: U-M (10-16-2, 7-13-2-2 CCHA), MSU (7-18-3, 5-14-1-0 CCHA)
Attendance: 16,124
Next U-M Event: Friday, Feb. 8 -- at Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind.), 7:35 p.m.

DETROIT, Mich. -- The University of Michigan ice hockey team claimed its first weekend series sweep of the season, outskating the Michigan State Spartans en route to a 5-2 decision in the final of a two-game set on Saturday (Feb. 2) inside Joe Louis Arena.

The Wolverines scored at least once in every period, including netting a power-play goal for a fourth consecutive game to aide in the victory. On the offensive end, four Michigan forwards recorded goals in the winning effort, including a two-goal performance by Derek DeBlois (Narragansett, R.I.). Defensively, U-M relied on goalie Jared Rutledge (Chicago, Ill.), who backstopped the team while picking up his second win in as many nights.

Just 16 seconds into the game, Lee Moffie (Wallingford, Conn.) was called for slashing, but Michigan State failed to convert on the man-advantage in large part to Rutledge making three key saves to keep the game scoreless early.

Less than a minute later, Michigan was rewarded with a power-play chance, and only 3:08 into the contest, Luke Moffatt (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) helped the Wolverines grab a 1-0 lead. The goal was Moffatt's fourth of the season and was the result of converting a rebound off a Phil Di Giuseppe (Maple, Ontario) shot attempt, and Cristoval 'Boo' Nieves (Baldwinsville, NY) was credited with the second assist.

At the midway mark of the first frame, the Spartans returned to the power play as Andrew Sinelli (Dexter, Mich.) was whistled for charging. On the penalty kill, Michigan withstood initial MSU pressure, and with 9:26 left on the on the clock in the first, DeBlois stole the puck in the neutral zone and rocketed a shot over Jake Hildebrand's glove side to put U-M up 2-0 on Michigan's second shorthanded goal of the season. U-M held an 18-13 shots advantage as the teams entered the locker room for the first break.

Special teams continued to play a major role at the beginning of the second frame as Michigan State's Chris Forfar, at the 4:59 mark, streaked past the U-M defense and beat Rutledge five-hole on a breakaway for a shorthanded goal, cutting the Michigan lead in half, 2-1. However, just 2:37 later, Michigan reclaimed its two-goal lead when Andrew Copp (Ann Arbor, Mich.) knocked home his fifth goal of the campaign on a play assisted by Sinelli and Mike Chiasson (Henderson, Nev.).

In the second half of the stanza, the back-and-forth play continued when MSU's Greg Wolfe connected on a two-handed chip shot to score, bringing the Spartans back to within one. But, Michigan answered right back with only 16.4 seconds remaining in the period, when DeBlois found the back of the net on a rebound for his second goal of the game, sending U-M off for the second intermission holding a 4-2 lead.

After a quiet first half to the third, Nieves hit the puck off a Spartan defender from behind the net at the 9:20 mark to extend Michigan's led to three, 5-2. On the U-M goal, the play was setup by Kevin Lynch (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) and Di Giuseppe, as both collected helpers on the play.

Rutledge made 26 saves in all, while Michigan State netminder Hildebrand was bombarded with 45 shots against, saving 40 of them.

The Maize and Blue closed out the night 1-for-5 on the power play and 0-for-5 on the penalty kill.

Michigan returns to the ice next Friday (Feb. 8) to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Ind. The puck is slated to drop at 7:35 p.m., and the contest can be seen live on CBS College Sports Network.

Contact: Bruce Madej (734) 763-4423

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