Unranked Michigan State was able to keep up with No. 4 Miami in the first game of the weekend series.
Miami freshman forward Alex Gacek scored the first goal of the game, unassisted, midway through the first period. Despite 2 power play opportunities and out shooting Miami 9-6, the Spartans were unable to find the back of the net in the first period. The score favored the Red Hawks 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Sophomore forward Alex Wideman increased Miami’s lead to 2 early in the second period with a goal off a rebound. However, leading Michigan State scorer Matt Berry did what he does best and answered with the first Spartan goal of the night, cutting Miami’s lead in half. Following Berry’s lead, Jake Chelios ended the Miami lead completely with a power play goal on a blast from the high slot. The second period ended with the score tied and the Spartans out shooting the Red Hawks 17-14.
With each team unable to score in the third period, Michigan State entered its first overtime period in CCHA play this season. Shots favored Miami 25-20 after 3 periods of play.
Like the third period, both teams were also unable to score in overtime as well. Wideman earned Miami the bonus point with the shootout victory.
It looks as if junior Will Yanakeff may have been replaced as Michigan State’s starting goaltender. Freshman goaltender Jake Hildebrand got the nod in net for the Spartans. Hildebrand came into tonight’s game with an impressive 1.80 goals against average and .944% save percentage, compared to Yanakeff’s dismal 3.71 goals against average and .879% save percentage.
Both teams will get another chance to secure a win tomorrow night in Miami.