UM, MSU trade shutouts in two-game series
Michigan and Michigan State traded shutouts as both teams introduced new head coaches to the rivalry.
Michigan State (8-9-1 overall and 2-7-1-1 in the Big Ten) came out on top 5-0 on Friday night at Munn ice Arena in East Lansing after Michigan (7-7-2 and 2-5-2-1) won 4-0 on Thursday night at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.
So Michigan State’s Danton Cole and Michigan’s Mel Pearson are each 1-1 after their first two-game series as the man calling the shots behind the bench.
But neither is new to their schools nor the rivalry. Cole played at MSU from 1985-89 while Pearson was an assistant coach to Red Berenson from 1988-2011.
John Lethemon made 29 saves for the Spartans to earn the shutout on Friday night as Patrick Khodorenko scored two goals, Mitchell Lewandowski had a goal and an assist and Taro Hirose had three assists.
“It was obviously a little different than last night,” Cole said on Michigan State’s athletic website after the game. “Give our guys a lot of credit for figuring out some energy, some focus and commitment and bouncing back from a game like that last night.”
Mitch Eliot and Logan Lambdin also scored for MSU.
On Thursday Hayden Lavigne made 21 saves for Michigan and senior Tony Calderone had a natural hat trick, giving him 13 goals on the season to tie for the NCAA lead.
“That makes it special (against MSU). The color we love to hate. It feels really good,” Calderone told the Lansing State Journal after Thursday night’s game.
Freshman Josh Norris, whose father Dwayne Norris played at MSU from 1988-92, scored the first goal for the Wolverines, which was the game winner.
“It was a little it emotional. I probably shouldn’t say this online, but my dad texted me today saying, ‘Go Blue.’” Norris told www.mlive.com. “I think that got me fired up a little bit.”
Pearson said he didn’t feel out of place at all as Michigan’s head coach.
“It’s not much different, really. From playing at Joe Louis Arena, the Duel in Detroit, the Great Lakes (Invitational) Tournament, anytime you play them, I don’t think it is any different being the head coach,” Pearson said on www.mlive.com after Thursday night’s game. “You want to beat them, they want to beat us. It is as simple as that. Tonight, we got the better of them.”
Michigan is idle until the Great Lakes Invitational at Little Caesars Arena Jan. 1-2, while MSU has only an exhibition game with the NTDP 18U team next weekend before the GLI.