By @MichaelCaples –
EAST LANSING – Round 1 goes to Michigan.
In the first of two battles between in-state rivals, the Wolverines prevailed over the Spartans in East Lansing, picking up a 5-3 win to move into first place in the Big Ten standings.
After scoring two quick goals in the opening minutes, a third-period strike from White Lake native Travis Lynch broke a 3-3 tie at the 14:57 mark of the final frame – the third and final time the Wolverines had to take the lead in the contest.
“I liked our start to the game, and then they pushed back,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “I think they scored on their first chance, so that’s the way the game was played. They got a couple of timely goals. We bent but we didn’t break, and it was good to see our team hang in there and win the third period. Good game, either team could win, that’s how close these games are.”
Dexter Dancs and Cutler Martin (East Lansing) scored in the first 9:42 of the contest for Michigan, with Dylan Larkin (Waterford) adding a goal in the second, and Tyler Motte finishing things off with an empty-netter in the third.
Photos by Andrew Knapik/MiHockey
“I think that once we scored the first goal, we really had a lot of energy to build off that,” Martin said. “We knew that if we scored another goal, we could really keep the lead and continue to have our potent offense keep continuing to score and we were very confident that if we held the lead we would not let them get back.”
Meanwhile, Ryan Keller turned in a hat trick for the Spartans, scoring all three of MSU’s goals in the contest.
“I thought they started way faster than us the first ten minutes,” MSU coach Tom Anastos said. “I thought we looked tight, kind of slapping the puck around. I thought we finally settled down and got through that period and then we started to play a little better.”
Photos by Michael Caples/MiHockey
The Spartans have a shot at redemption tomorrow night, as the series shifts to Ann Arbor for a 5 p.m. season-concluding contest.
Cutler Martin talks about playing in hometown, scoring a breakaway goal:
Travis Lynch talks about the Michigan victory and the upcoming rematch:
Dexter Dancs on the win:
More quotes, photos and videos to come from Munn Ice Arena…