On Saturday night, the 5th-ranked Michigan hockey team (20-9-1, 12-8-0 Big Ten) took down the 15th-ranked Michigan State Spartans (15-15-2, 9-11-2 Big Ten) at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI.
The win is Michigan’s 7th in a row — the Wolverines also took the season series, 3-1, with tonight’s win. Over the past ten matchups, Michigan hockey is 9-1 against the Spartans.
Michigan hockey claims second-straight victory over Michigan State
Last night, the 5th-ranked Wolverines packed up the 15th-ranked Spartans in their own building — Michigan defeated Michigan State 4-2 in a scrappy, hard-fought Big Ten matchup in East Lansing. Tonight, the story remained the same for both teams as it has been over the past ten matchups — the Wolverines sent Michigan State home with yet another loss.
This time, Michigan hockey took home a 4-3 overtime victory — their 20th of the season — against the Spartans. In the first period, Michigan freshman forward Luke Hughes netted the first goal of the game on the power play with just over four minutes remaining in the first period. The Spartans answer quickly with a goal of their own with just under two minutes remaining in the first. After one, Michigan and Michigan State remained tied up at 1-1.
With around 12 minutes remaining in the second period of play, Michigan State netted its second goal of the game, taking a 2-1 lead. The Wolverines responded just seconds later, and the game was tied up again at 2-2. Minutes after that, Michigan freshman forward Frank Nazar III scored a tie-breaking goal that gave the Wolverines a 3-2 advantage.
Michigan State’s Michael Underwood netted a game-tying goal in the third period, eventually sending the game to overtime. A thrilling overtime period finally saw a game-winner off the stick of Michigan’s Luke Hughes.
What now for Michigan hockey?
The 5th-ranked Wolverines could very well rise in the next college hockey rankings as they head into a two-game series against Ohio State next weekend. The Buckeyes, who are currently ranked No. 7 in the nation, will likely fall in next weeks rankings after finishing this weekend 0-1-1 in their series with at Notre Dame. After the Ohio State series, Michigan hockey will return home for their final series of the season against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
The Wolverines are currently ranked second in the Big Ten, only behind Minnesota. While the Wolverines will not escape this season with a regular season title, Michigan hockey is still in contention for the Big Ten tournament title and the NCAA title. Michigan’s weekend sweep of the Spartans gives Michigan hockey 20 wins on the season — the first time since 2016 that the Wolverines have finished with 20 or more wins in back-to-back seasons.
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