The in-state rivalry meets for the 312th time at the annual ‘Duel in the D’ competition at Joe Louis Arena, which, unless they face each other at the Big Ten tournament in March, will be the last game these two teams play against each other at the Joe. The Wolverines (9-13-2) hold an overall 159-132-20 record against the Spartans (5-17-2). These two teams have played each other more than any team in college hockey.
With both teams at 1-3-1 for the last five games, the standards are pretty even for who could take home the win. Both Michigan and Michigan State have struggled this season with consistency in play.
Ed Minney returns as the starting goaltender for this matchup, after taking a game off and allowing freshman John Lethemon a chance to start at net for the Spartans’ most recent game against Wisconsin.
Michigan State dominated the first half of the first period, scoring two goals in just six minutes by freshmen Taro Hirose and Sam Saliba.
Michigan came back with two quick goals that both went through Minney’s legs, an easy mistake to make.
Lethemon makes his appearance at the start of the second period while Minney sits out. This has been one of several appearances for the freshman goaltender this year and his confidence has grown noticeably throughout his games, despite letting in two goals from Michigan’s Nolan DeJong.
The Spartans make a late comeback with just minutes left into the game, something they are known for, with Sam Saliba’s second goal of the night, tying up the game.
A crowd of over 17,000 is loudly cheering for both teams to finish out on top, as the game ends a tie and overtime is held, remaining scoreless.
After six shots each, Michigan comes out on top with two goals, while Michigan State only able to get one from senior captain Joe Cox. The game will count as a tie, but Michigan receives the ‘Dual in the D’ trophy for the year.
Michigan State will face the Ohio State Buckeyes next weekend at their home rink, Munn Ice Arena.