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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Wolverines and Spartans play to 3-3 tie

The Michigan-Michigan State rivalry continued Saturday night in Ann Arbor and nothing was settled as the two teams played to a 3-3 tie in front of 6,784 at Yost Ice Arena.

Tim Kennedy and Andrew Ebbett traded first-period goals with Kennedy’s giving the Spartans an early 1-0 lead 4:17 into the game. Ebbett, U-M's captain, tallied at 13:01.

The goal snapped a 142:52 shutout streak for MSU goalie Dominic Vicari, which extended back to the opening minute of the game against Wayne State in the Lefty McFadden Invitational on Oct. 8.

In the second period, the teams again swapped goals as Brandon Kaleniecki’s power-play goal at 1:03 game U-M a 2-1 lead only to see Tyler Howells tie it back up for the Spartans at 3:22. Andrew Cogliano made it 3-2 Michigan with a power-play goal at 7:14, but a late goal by Tim Crowder at 19:17 gave MSU a 3-3 tie.

Nothing was settled in the final 20 minutes or in overtime. Michigan defenseman Tim Cook did get booted out of the game at the 11:18 mark for a check from behind that also got him a five-minute major.

“It was a hard-fought game and we knew it would be,” Michigan head coach Red Berenson said. “From our standpoint, we didn't get off to a good start. We turned the puck over and it cost us a goal, but our power play got us back out of the first period tied. It was a battle after that. Our power play was a good factor and our penalty kill was as well. I can't tell you that we played that bad, but they played well and we played right into their hands in terms of turnovers. We got stronger as the game moved on but we couldn't score. It was anyone's game.”

“We played well enough to win, but they could have won, too,'” MSU coach Rick Comley said. “It was very intense and very physical.”

Michigan goalie Billy Sauer (pictured) finished with 35 saves while Vicari stopped 20 for the Spartans. Sauer, though, had his first experience in the rivalry and how loud Yost can be.

“I had my first little taste last weekend against Boston College, so I kind of knew what to expect,” Sauer said. “It was still a little nerve-wracking when I first got out there. I thought I was going to be sick the first few minutes to tell you the truth. To look up there and see 6,900 people screaming, it was a great experience.”

Late in the third playing four-on-four, Michigan State nearly picked up the go-ahead goal, when defenseman Ethan Graham's dump-in attempt careened off of Sauer and into the slot. MSU captain Drew Miller picked up the loose puck, but Sauer made his best save of the night, forcing the game into overtime.

“I just knew he wasn't going to score,” said Sauer. “I could see him winding up the whole way and all I had to do was get in front of him. I knew he wasn't going to make any other move, so it wasn't really that hard.”

Michigan State returns to action on Tuesday with an exhibition contest against the U.S. Under-18 Team at 7:05 p.m. and continues regular-season action with a trip to Cornell on Oct. 29 and 30. The Wolverines take to the road for the first time this season next weekend as they make the trek to play Alaska-Fairbanks. U-M faces UAF at 7:05 p.m. Alaska time (11:05 p.m. EDT) each night.

Michigan and Michigan meet again in the regular season Jan. 17 in East Lansing, but could meet at the Great Lakes Invitational on Dec. 30.

Michigan has added three walk-ons: sophomore defenseman Jon Montville (Novi), sophomore forward Chris Fragner (Ann Arbor) and senior forward Morgan Ward. The latter is ineligible for the fall semester as a result of his transfer from Army. Neither Montville nor Fragner played in the MSU game.

The Michigan State game was also Parents’ Night at Yost.

Kennedy and Crowder scored their first collegiate goals for the Spartans.

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