Michigan Lets Early Lead Slip Away at Michigan State
Phil Di Giuseppe

March 8, 2014

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Site: East Lansing, Mich. (Munn Ice Arena)
Score: Michigan State 4, #11/12 Michigan 3
Records: U-M (17-11-4, 9-7-2-1 Big Ten), Michigan State (10-16-7, 4-8-6-4 Big Ten)
Attendance: 6,475
Next U-M Event: Friday, March 14 -- vs. Minnesota (Yost Ice Arena), 6:30 p.m.

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Phil Di Giuseppe (Maple, Ontario) and Cristoval 'Boo' Nieves (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) each had a goal and two assists, as the 11th-ranked University of Michigan ice hockey team led 3-1 at the end of the first period before relinquishing the lead in a 4-3 loss at Michigan State on Saturday night (March 8) inside Munn Ice Arena.

Luke Moffatt (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) had a goal and an assist, and Michigan led 3-1 after one period of play. However, the Spartans rallied with a power-play goal in the second period and two goals just 1:13 seconds apart early in the third period.

Steve Racine (Williamsville, N.Y.) made 24 saves in net for Michigan, while Will Yanakeff made all 24 saves in relief of Jake Hildebrand, who stopped seven shots in the first period. Michigan outshot the Spartans, 34-28, on the night.

With U-M leading 3-2 entering the third period, the Spartans tied the game at 6:34 when Michael Ferrantino scooped a rebound past Racine.

Moments later, Brent Darnell freed a loose puck in the neutral zone to set up a 2-on-1. Mackenzie MacEachern kept the puck and beat Racine with a low shot at 7:47.

Michigan nearly tied the game on the next shift, but Yanakeff made a big stop on a deflection by Moffatt in front of the net. The Wolverines, who finished the night 0-for-4 on the man-advantage, had their final power play chance of the night when RJ Boyd was sent off for hooking at 11:14 but could not score.

With a little more than 4:00 remaining in the third period, Di Giuseppe had another great chance for the Wolverines, but his wrist shot from the left circle deflected off the mask of Yanakeff and over the net.

As they did on Friday night, the Wolverines took a 2-0 lead in the opening 10:00 of the game. A little more than a minute into the contest, Nieves fed Moffatt in the high slot, and his wrist shot through traffic beat Hildebrand at 1:15.

Minutes later, Nieves scored his third goal of the season. After taking a pass from Di Giuseppe off the wall, Nieves toe dragged the puck to his backhand and flipped the puck into the top corner of the net at 4:43.

Michigan State scored on an unlucky bounce at 11:58, as Greg Wolfe threw the puck towards the front of the net from behind the goal line, and the puck deflected off the skate of Tyler Motte (St. Clair, Mich.) past Racine.

But Michigan's third line struck again to help the Wolverines maintain a two-goal lead heading into the first intermission. Moffatt made a good pass to the right point to Di Giuseppe, who fired a slapshot through Hildebrand at 17:23.

The Wolverines had two power-play chances in the second period but failed to generate quality scoring chances on either.

The Spartans converted on their first power play, as Lee Reimer deflected Matt DeBlouw's shot past Racine at 16:00 to pull Michigan State within a goal heading into the third period.

Michigan will host No. 1 Minnesota next weekend (at Yost Ice Arena in its final two games of the regular season.

Contact: Jeffrey Weinstein (734) 763-4423

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