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Monday, December 08, 2008

Wolverines sweep hapless Spartans

By Matt Mackinder/Michigan & Michigan State Beat Writer

The bragging rights stay in Ann Arbor.

And the winless streak stays in East Lansing.

Michigan earned its first weekend sweep of Michigan State since Nov. 2004 with two notches in the win column this past weekend in a home-and-home series with the Spartans.

MSU's winless streak is now at 11 games.

"We took advantage of a couple of our opportunities to make good plays and finish our chances," Michigan head coach Red Berenson said. "We had a little bit of luck, but we'll take it. It has been a long time since we had our way with this team in two games, whether it was (in East Lansing) or at our place. It was a good weekend for us."

Friday night at Yost Ice Arena, David Wohlberg scored two goals, including the game-winner, in a 6-1 win as the 14th-ranked Wolverines earned their largest margin of victory over Michigan State in 12 years.

After allowing a goal on the second Spartan shot of the game, netminder Bryan Hogan made 16 consecutive saves.

"We knew coming into the game it was going to be a battle," Michigan defenseman Chris Summers said. "We hate them as much as they hate us. The coaches said it best, 'There are no friends when it comes to Friday and Saturday night.' Obviously, they showed up, especially in the first period. We knew it was going to be a battle for 60 minutes and the puck bounces went our way tonight."

Summers, Brandon Burlon (first NCAA goal), Aaron Palushaj (two assists) and Brandon Naurato scored the other goals for Michigan and Louie Caporusso added three assists.

Matt Schepke scored for MSU (the Spartans' first shorthanded goal this season) and Jeff Lerg made 21 saves before being lifted for Drew Palmisano late in the third period. Palmisano stopped four shots.

Last night, Michigan (11-7-0, 7-5-0-0 CCHA) defeated Michigan State by a 5-3 score at Munn Ice Arena.

The offensive output starred Travis Turnbull, who garnered his first career hat trick, as well as Wohlberg, who registered three assists.

Caporusso scored the game-winner with a mere 1:36 seconds remaining in the game after Carl Hagelin had tied the game at 3-3 just 53 seconds prior.

"I was just working hard out there," Turnbull said. "I've had a lot of chances this year and the puck hasn't really been going in for me. I guess some nights you get the bounces and tonight was that night."

Hogan finished with 24 saves for the Wolverines, while Lerg made 35 for Michigan State.

"Hogan's got the winning record right now and I think he's getting the benefit of our best games -- the best offense," Berenson said. "But I think Billy Sauer can play just as well. I mean, I had to go with Hogan again tonight just based on his winning record. We haven't won a game here since 2004 when Al Montoya was in goal, so when you look at everything, you have to go with Hogan."

Dustin Gazley scored two for MSU and Schepke another. Andrew Rowe tacked on a pair of assists as well.

Michigan is 130-118-18 all-time against Michigan State.

The Wolverines will resume play in three weeks at the Great Lakes Invitational, Dec. 27-28, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. U-M kicks off the tournament with a game against Michigan Tech and will face either Michigan State or North Dakota on Sunday.

MSU (4-11-3, 2-9-2-2 CCHA) is idle next weekend and will entertain the U.S. National Team Development Program on Tuesday, Dec. 16 for an exhibition game. The Spartans will then prepare for the GLI and their opening game against North Dakota.

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