Sunday, February 8, 2015

No. 14 Michigan exacts revenge on Michigan State with a 4-1 win at Soldier Field

After losing to the Michigan State Spartans 2-1 on Jan. 30 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich., the No. 14 Michigan Wolverines were forced to wait an extra 99 minutes to exact revenge Saturday night at Soldier Field.

Michigan (16-8-0, 7-3-0-0, Big Ten) defeated Michigan State (10-12-2, 4-4-2-2) 4-1 in the Hockey City Classic played under the lights in Chicago, Ill.

The puck drop was pushed back to 8:39 p.m. CT due to compressor issues earlier in the day.

Despite the conditions, Michigan forward Andrew Copp realized the magnitude of the win staying on top of the Big Ten at 24 points.

"Coming out on top was important for us," Copp said. "Given that we have 10 games left in conference play, we want to keep the momentum going."

Michigan coach Red Berenson knew keeping the team as relaxed as possible throughout the delay would help.

"They were all in their rooms and if you have a delay sometimes, you might lose focus, but we were prepared tonight," Berenson said.

Goal Summary:

At 1:43 of the first period, Michigan defenseman Michael Downing scored his fifth goal of the season with Tony Calderone and Cristoval Nieves picking up the assists.

Another defenseman got into the scoring party at 13:16 of the second stanza when Cutler Martin ripped one through Michigan State goaltender Jake Hildebrand (33 saves) for his fourth goal of the season with Nieves and Justin Selman on the assists.

With 2:13 left in the second, Copp's goal on the doorstep of Hildebrand put U-M ahead 3-0 going into intermission.

Michigan State got on the board at 5:51 of the third period on Matt DeBlouw's sixth goal of the season as he poked in a loose puck.

The Spartans showed signs of aggression on offense towards the end of the game, but time would not be on its side as Selman scored the an empty-net goal at 18:48 to put the game away for the Wolverines.

Game Notes:

The Wolverines have won eight of its last nine games overall.

Michigan improves to 3-1-1 in outdoor games, while Michigan State falls to 1-2-2 all-time.

Looking Ahead:

On Feb. 13, Michigan State will look to get back on track as it hosts Penn State in East Lansing, Mich., for a two-game series, while Michigan travels to Minneapolis, Minn., to play Minnesota for a couple of contests.

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