Ann Arbor native Drew Palmisano made all three saves in the shootout as the Spartans rebounded with a 4-3 win to pick up the extra point Saturday night at Munn Ice Arena. It was the first shootout in the history of the rivalry.
The Spartans were outplayed for the second straight night, and fell behind 1-0 6:35 into the first when Chris Brown tapped in his own rebound. It was a sloppy period for MSU, but Torey Krug's show from the point deflected off a Wolverine to tie the game 13:07 into the first. Chris Forfar pushed a shot past the outstretched leg of Shawn Hunwick less than three minutes later as MSU took a 2-1 lead after one.
U-M scored the only goal of the third when Luke Moffatt buried a backhander to tie the game midway through the second.
The Spartans looked like a mess for much of the third period. The breakout wasn't working and a lack of effort resulted in no forechecking. The Wolverines took advantage when Spartan-killer David Wohlberg buried a rebound with less than seven minutes to play to give U-M a 3-2 lead. The Spartans then picked up their energy, and were rewarded with a powerplay.
Not long before, I had made the comment to my father that this was the least physical MSU/U-M game I had seen in a long time, and it showed, as there were no penalties through the first two periods. Five were assessed in the third.
MSU's powerplay looked ugly, but Lee Reimer scored a loose puck in the slot to tie the game with less than four minutes to play.
U-M dominated the overtime, outshooting MSU 8-0, but couldn't find the winner.
MSU elected to shoot first in the shootout. Matt Berry scored on MSU's second shot and Palmisano made three saves to give MSU to the extra point and sort-of-split the weekend series. After the third save, Palmisano skated over to the student section and jumped into the glass in celebration.
U-M outshot MSU 38-35 and Palmisano was solid after a so-so performance from Will Yanakeff on Friday night. Faceoffs were again won by MSU, as Reimer won 13 of 25 faceoffs and Brett Perlini won 16 of 26.
Coming away with multiple points was big for MSU after losing the previous night. Now it's holiday break until the Great Lakes Invitational.
**Mike Merrifield left the game in the first period after tripping and sliding hard into the boards. It looked like a right shoulder injury to me, but Tom Anastos told media after that he didn't know the extent of it.