DETROIT - The Michigan State Spartans (14-15-1, 10-9-1) fell to the Michigan Wolverines (15-12-3, 10-8-2) 4-1 in the second game of the weekend series. Michigan’s Will Lockwood scored two and added an assist en route to their fourth straight win and fourth game in a row scoring at least four goals. The loss drops the Spartans to fourth in the Big Ten with 31 points. The Wolverines jump into third with 33 points.
After being upended on home ice, losing 5-1 in game one, the Spartans looked to respond early in Monday night’s contest. Lockwood, the Wolverine’s senior forward, scored just five minutes into the first period, the second early goal for Michigan in this series. Lockwood’s 1-0 tally was met just over a minute later by Michigan State’s Dennis Cesana. The sophomore defenseman knotted the game at 1-1 at 6:15 in the first. Michigan’s Jacob Hayhurst, a graduate transfer from Rensselaer, broke the tie at 14:46, connecting on a crease-front pass from Will Lockwood and beating Michigan State’s John Lethemon for a score of 2-1. The power-play goal was Hayhurst’s second of the weekend and ultimately the game-winner.
The Wolverines scored a dagger early into the second, with sophomore defenseman Nick Blankenburg adding a power-play tuck three minutes in, the Wolverines’ second man-up of the game. The 3-1 score held to the end of the first.
The Wolverines continued the trend of scoring goals early in periods into the third, as Will Lockwood picked up his second goal of the night and eighth of the season. Lockwood’s 4-1 finish was his second unassisted goal of the game. The goal was the fourth goal conceded by Spartan goaltender John Lethemon on just 21 shots. The result marks his second straight poor outing, with a save percentage far below his season average. Lethemon drops out of first place in the nation in save percentage and into a tie for fourth place with the Wolverines’ Strauss Mann, who was near perfect on the weekend. Michigan State’s special teams went 0-4 on the night, with both the power-play and penalty kill failing twice.
The Wolverines victory helps them and move into third place two points ahead of the now fourth place Spartans. Michigan State will play Ohio State at home next weekend. Five points out of first place and with four games left in the regular season, it’s now or never for the Spartans to end their late-season skid and prepare for the Big Ten tournament.
MICH power-play goal at 5:07: Will Lockwood (7). Unassisted.
MSU goal at 6:15: Dennis Cesana (6). Assisted by Adam Goodsir and Müller.
MICH goal at 14:46: Jacob Hayhurst (7). Assisted by Will Lockwood and Jake Slaker.
MICH power-play goal at 2:50: Nick Blankenburg (4). Assisted by Cam York and Jake Slaker,
MICH goal at 0:58: Will Lockwood (8). Unassisted.
IN THE BIG TEN:
Standings PTS - GP
1-Penn State 36 - 22
Minnesota 36 - 20
3-Michigan 33 - 20
4-Michigan State 31 - 20
Ohio State 31 - 20
6-Notre Dame 29 - 20
7-Wisconsin 20 - 22