Minnesota and Michigan State continued their respective Big Ten seasons with Friday’s meeting at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. Adam Wilcox got the start in net for Minnesota while Sparty countered with Jake Hildebrand.
Minnesota’s Sam Warning put the first shot on goal in the first minute of play, and the Gophers really were pushing play early in Michigan State’s defensive end. The first three minutes of period one didn’t have any penalties, but Minnesota would draw a slashing minor at 3:39. Sam Warning got the penalty called against him, with Michigan State looking to capitalize.
Early on, Minnesota’s Adam Wilcox was making the saves that he needed to throughout the penalty kill, and Michigan State had three shots on goal on the power play. As the first ten minutes elapsed, each team was done feeling its opponent out, yet there were no goals on the board.
At 10:40, Michigan State struck first off a Gopher turnover when Michael Ferrantino lit the lamp on even strength off a setup and therefore, an assist by Matt Berry. The goal was Ferrantino’s seventh of the year. Villiam Haag would put the Spartans ahead at 12:14 with his sixth goal of the year. Thomas Ebbins and Jake Chelios were given the assists on the goal.
At 17:35, Minnesota would get their first power play as Michael Ferrantino would go for roughing. Michigan State’s Jake Hildebrand would be powerful to a point. Hudson Fasching scored Minnesota’s first goal at 19:05 on the power play. Travis Boyd and Mike Reilly would be credited with assists on the marker.
As twenty minutes elapsed, defense was nowhere to be seen for Minnesota for most of the first frame. Both first period Spartan goals could be construed as defensive lapses. Shots on goal through twenty favored Minnesota 9-8. Power plays had Minnesota at 1-1 and Michigan State at 0-1.
The second period started slower than did the first period. Nate Condon and Villiam Haag would fly into their respective offensive zones only to stop short of firing on goal. Shots were even at ten apiece through 2:30 into the second period.
Minnesota would get their second power play of the game when MSU’s Dean Chelios would be called for tripping at 5:01. The Gophers looked off during their advantage, and shots were only 14-12 in Minnesota’s favor as the advantage ended. Minnesota’s Jake Parenteau would go to the box for roughing at 9:07, giving Michigan State their second power play. Despite two shots on goal, the Spartans couldn’t convert to add to their lead.
At the 13:52 mark, Michigan State’s John Draeger would be called for cross checking, giving Minnesota its third power play of the game. Vinni Lettieri would get tripped into the boards, creating the penalty. One shot would be all Minnesota would get on goal during the power play that went up in smoke.
At 17:10, Minnesota’s fourth power play would go to work as Jake Chelios would be called for hooking. Minnesota would not get a chance to pocket a puck. After forty minutes, Michigan State still held a 2-1 lead. Shots favored Minnesota 21-17. Power plays had Minnesota at 1-4 and Michigan State at 0-2.
The Gophers were struggling to put shots on goal in the first three minutes of period three. A trend that was found early in the third involved Mike Reilly. He had the most shots on goal of any skater in the first forty plus minutes. All the shooting would pay off as Minnesota's Justin Kloos scored on even strength at 5:27. Brady Skjei and Justin Holl were credited with assists.
As the game entered the stretch run (you're free to think, "Down the stretch they come..."), the team who would score the next goal would likely win the game.
At 16:01, Minnesota's Jake Bischoff would go to the box for indirect contact to the head, giving Michigan State its third power play of the night. It may have been number three, but it was the most crucial. Michigan State had the ice position to get many shots away, but none hit the twine.
Shots were 27-26 with ninety seconds to go in regulation time, but neither team could produce a winner, so we were headed to overtime to decide it. Shots on goal totaled fifty-four, with each team taking twenty-seven. Shots finished 30-27 to Michigan State.
As the game entered the shootout, the Spartans earned the extra point when Matt Berry defeated Adam Wilcox for the extra Big Ten point. Keep in mind, the game goes down as a tie in the standings.
Geoff Discher is Examiner.com's Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey Examiner as well as the National College Hockey Examiner. Leave a comment below, or feel free to reach him at Disch61@hotmail.com with comments, story ideas, or any general talk surrounding college hockey. You can find him on Facebook as well by clicking here as well as here and joining the conversation from the social media side as well. He's always chock full of fact and opinion. I’m also on Twitter @Disch_InTheVOX. Check it out!
Until next time, I'll see you at the rink!