MINNEAPOLIS — Michigan State coach Tom Anastos was displeased with his team’s performance last weekend against Michigan and he made it known.
His team responded Friday, getting off to a quick first period start and eventually tying top-ranked Minnesota 2-2 and winning in a six-round shootout.
“We talked about growing up,” Anastos said. “I think we’ve taken a little step forward in growing up and I liked how we prepared for the week.”
Gophers’ forward Sam Warning was unable to convert in the sixth round after J.T. Stenglein put one home for Michigan State.
Earlier in the shootout, Michigan State forward Joe Cox appeared to have scored, but Gophers’ goaltender Adam Wilcox dislodged the net and the goal was discounted.
Anastos said the referees told him the net “was not in its place when the puck crossed the line.”
Despite the goal being waved off, the Spartans found a way to win and freshman forward Villiam Haag said the team was disappointed after last weekend, but this weekend they showed how they were “really supposed to play.”
Minnesota coach Don Lucia said it was a “hard-fought,” game like he expected it would be.
“They make it difficult trying to get pucks through [and] they did a good job blocking a lot of shots,” Lucia said.
The game marked the second time this season that Michigan State has dispatched Minnesota in a shootout.
“We know now that we’ve played against them three times, that we can compete with, on the paper, the best team,” Haag said.
The Gophers were thin defensively, playing without Michael Brodzinski, who was out due to an injury, and Ben Marshall, who was serving a suspension.
Michigan State capitalized on defensive miscues, including a collision between Minnesota players, and took the lead midway through the first period on a goal from sophomore forward Mike Ferrantino.
Haag collected the puck in the corner and wristed a shot past Wilcox for the Spartans’ second goal just minutes later.
Minnesota cut the lead in half on a power-play goal from Hudson Fasching with less than a minute remaining in the first period. Fasching collected a rebound off a Travis Boyd shot and was able to corral it into the net for a goal in his third straight game.
“He’s putting himself in a position to score goals, especially off rebounds, and that’s the type of player he is,” Lucia said of Fasching.
Both teams had scoring opportunities in the second period, but neither team was able to convert.
Minnesota’s game-tying goal came in the third period on a puck that appeared to hit off of Justin Kloos’ skate.
The referees determined that there was no distinct kicking motion.
Despite both reviewed plays going against Michigan State, the Spartans were still able to maintain composure.
“It was good we stayed with it,” Anastos said. “[Goaltender Jake Hildebrand] stayed focused and came up with some big stops.”