DETROIT (WXYZ) - The University of Michigan ice hockey team claimed its first weekend series sweep of the season, outskating the Michigan State Spartans en route to a 5-2 decision in the final of a two-game set on Saturday (Feb. 2) inside Joe Louis Arena.
The Wolverines scored at least once in every period, including netting a power-play goal for a fourth consecutive game to aide in the victory. On the offensive end, four Michigan forwards recorded goals in the winning effort, including a two-goal performance by Derek DeBlois (Narragansett, R.I.). Defensively, U-M relied on goalie Jared Rutledge (Chicago, Ill.), who backstopped the team while picking up his second win in as many nights.
Just 16 seconds into the game, Lee Moffie (Wallingford, Conn.) was called for slashing, but Michigan State failed to convert on the man-advantage in large part to Rutledge making three key saves to keep the game scoreless early.
Less than a minute later, Michigan was rewarded with a power play chance, and only 3:08 into the contest Luke Moffatt (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) helped the Wolverines grab a 1-0 lead. The goal was Moffatt's fourth of the season and was the result of converting a rebound off a Phil Di Giuseppe (Maple, Ontario) shot attempt, and Cristoval 'Boo' Nieves (Baldwinsville, NY) was credited with the second assist.
At the midway mark of the first frame, the Spartans returned to the power play as Andrew Sinelli (Dexter, Mich.) was whistled for charging. On the penalty kill, Michigan withstood initial MSU pressure, and with 9:26 left on the on the clock in the first, DeBlois stole the puck in the neutral zone and rocketed a shot over Jake Hildebrand's glove side to put U-M up 2-0 on Michigan's second shorthanded goal of the season. During the final nine minutes of play there was end-to-end action as U-M held an 18-13 shots advantage as the teams entered the locker room for the first break.