BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Torey Krug picked a good time to score his first collegiate goal.
The Spartan freshman took a pass from Derek Grant 35 seconds into overtime and found the back of the net to give No. 14 Michigan State a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Bowling Green Falcons at the BG Ice Arena on Friday night.
Its funny, but I wasnt even going to play him in overtime, said MSU coach Rick Comley. But he jumped into the rush, the puck came to him, and he put it away.
Any time you get the monkey off your back, it feels good, said Krug of the game winner. It was kind of sitting in the back of my mind, and something Ill always remember.
The defenseman from Livonia, Mich., took a drop pass from Grant and beat BGs Nick Eno top-shelf on a wrister from between the circles to give the Spartans their 11th win of the year.
[Jeff] Petry made a great play moving it up to our forwards, said Krug. It was a great effort by our whole line. Grant made a good play when he heard me busting down the slot, and I had my shot and I buried it.
The sound of the puck hitting the back of the net was almost as loud as the big sigh of relief coming from the Spartan bench.
Bowling Green shut down the Spartan offense for the first 48 minutes of the game, staking themselves to a 2-0 lead, before MSU finally began to awaken.
Zach Josepher took the goose egg off the scoreboard for MSU on a power-play goal, driving a shot through a screen at 7:58 of the third period.
A 5-on-3 penalty kill by the Falcons in the middle of the stanza seemed to put momentum back on the skates of the Brown and Orange, but MSU regained that lost momentum on a rebound goal from the teams leading scorer, Corey Tropp, at 14:58. The goal came off the shot of Grant, who picked up assists on the final two goals of the evening.
That tally sent the game to overtime and set up the winner by Krug.
We were fortunate, said Comely. BG played really well. They made it tough to get shots through. We started well, [Bowling Green] came on and played real well, and to be honest with you, probably deserved a little bit better fate.
Goals havent been coming easy for us lately, so well take them any way we can get them right now, said Tropp.
For the Falcons, tonights loss was disappointing, to say the least.
We made some mental mistakes, said BG coach Dennis Williams. We were caught down low. Their D did a good job of jumping into the rush, and it cost us.
Its tough to go in to the locker room and see them. They worked hard. Weve got to go to bed tonight, learn from this tomorrow morning on video, and put it to rest.
Bowling Green took a 1-0 lead at 14:53 of the opening period thanks to a defensive breakdown behind the Michigan State net. A Spartan defender, attempting to clear the zone, threw the puck out to Wade Finegan at the top of the circle. The junior one-timed the shot past the stick of Bobby Jarosz for his first goal of the year.
The Falcons increased their lead to two goals at 6:54 of the second period. Tomas Petruska, skating hard for the puck along the sidewall, threw a shot toward the Spartan net, where Nathan Pageau was waiting to tip the puck in for his third marker of the year.
We stress driving to the net. It was a great play by Tomas just to get that puck over. Those are the kinds of goals youre going to score just crashing the net.
The Falcons held the lead until Michigan States offense kicked in during the third period.
They worked really hard, said Comley of the Falcons. We jumped them early, but then we didnt score, and they got confidence and they scored. Everybodys better with the lead, for sure.
Jarosz finished the night stopping 29 of the 31 shots he faced. His counterpart, Nick Eno, made 21 of 24 saves.
The Falcons finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play, while Michigan State ended the night 0-for-5 with the man-advantage.
The two team travel to East Lansing tomorrow night for the conclusion of the series.