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December 30, 2012

Michigan bests rival MSU to place third at GLI

The Michigan hockey team salvaged its weekend with a 5-2 victory over rival Michigan State in the Great Lakes Invitational third-place consolation game. U-M would rely on a dominant third period, scoring four times, to earn the win.

"We played well in the early going and finally got the first goal of the game," coach Red Berenson said. "I thought our team came ready to play. Then State took over the game and got the goals they needed and it came down to the third period. I liked our push in the third period. We haven't had much puck luck around the net in recent weeks, so it was nice to see the puck go in."

U-M led early on senior defenseman Lee Moffie's second marker of the year just 4:20 into the game, but that lead would be short-lived as State scored twice over the next 12 minutes to take a 2-1 advantage into the intermission.

As he did last night, junior netminder Adam Janecyk played well enough to win but his teammates let him down early, and after the two teams failed to score in the second, it appeared he might be a victim of a team in a terrible funk.

This time, though, the Wolverines wouldn't quit, peppering MSU goalie Jake Hildebrand with 16 third-period shots, and scoring four times.

The first marker came just 1:29 into the third when freshman forward Andrew Copp took a pass in the slot and rifled the puck into the upper right corner of the net to tie the score.

Senior forward Kevin Lynch would pounce on a loose puck just 47 seconds later, netting the rare power-play goal - U-M entered play having converted just 1 of its past 33 man-advantage chances - and when sophomore Phil Di Giuseppe scored, off a terrific no-look backhand pass from junior Luke Moffatt, at 9:09, the Maize and Blue had a commanding 4-2 lead with 10 minutes left.

"We had been struggling on the power play," Lynch said. "A.J. Treais made a great play and saw me in front of the net, and then Phil got a stick on it and got it out to me and I just fired it in."

The Spartans, struggling worse than Michigan at just 5-11-3 on the year, wouldn't muster much after they fell behind as the Wolverines smelled blood and went for the kill. Sophomore Zach Hyman would put the final touches on the win when he was awarded a goal at 18:06 after an MSU defender threw his stick to disrupt a sure empty-net goal for the U-M forward.

In addition to netting a power-play tally, Michigan also scored four goals in a period for the first time since a 7-2 win over RIT Oct. 12, and put five markers on the board for the first time since besting Michigan State 5-2 Nov. 9. Janecyk, meanwhile, earned his second win in three starts, lowering his goals against average to 2.00 and improving his save percentage to .940.

"Well, it was nice to see us get some goals for our goalie," Berenson said. "I think they may have had 30 shots in the first two periods alone and we weren't giving him much. Then we got some shots and got some goals and Janecyk hung in there. It wasn't an easy game for a goalie; he had a lot of work the first two periods."

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