EAST LANSING — Freshman goaltender Drew DeRiddermade 43 saves and Mitchell Lewandowski’s goal 9:44 into the third period broke a tie game to give the Michigan State hockey team a 4-3 victory over No. 14 Michigan on Friday night at a sold out Munn Ice Arena. Junior Taro Hirose assisted on each of the Spartans’ final three goals for his second straight three-point game.
“It’s fun to win and get ready for tomorrow because it’s going to be another battle,” MSU head coach Danton Cole said. “The intensity and emotion I think it was pretty much what we thought it would be.
“Obviously we’re real happy and now we’ll try to figure out a way to be a little better tomorrow at Yost.”
With the game tied 2-2 going into the third period, Cody Milan gave the Spartans’ their first lead with a power-play goal 1:05 into the stanza. Milan forced a turnover behind the U-M net where Lewandowski was able to get the puck and quickly fire it out to Hirose in the low slot. Hirose let got a low shot that Milan just got a stick on, redirecting the puck past goaltender Hayden Lavigne.
The lead lasted just 1:32 as Michigan’s Nick Pastujov made it 3-3 at the 2:37 mark, putting in a loose puck from the left circle.
Lewandowski was able to get the eventual game-winner with 10:16 to go. Dennis Cesana and Hirose got the puck to Lewandowski low in the left circle and he let shot go that got through Lavigne’s legs.
DeRidder stopped 18 shots in the final period as his 43 total saves in the game were the most by a Spartan goaltender since Ed Minney’s 46 against Penn State in January 2017.
“He was excellent,” Cole said of DeRidder. “He was on his feet, he was square to pucks.”
Michigan (6-6-2, 2-3-2-1 B1G) had two power plays before the game was five minutes old and made good on the first as Josh Norris converted on a one-timer from the left circle. Norris’ shot was partially blocked by Jerad Rosburg, but had enough to get through a crowd and into the net.
“The first one was a weird bounce,” Cole said. “I don’t know how directly it hit Jerad but it kind of hit his jersey and kind of went up in the air and got over him. Sometimes when you’re a young goalie that might get to you where hey you give up a bad goal – it wasn’t his fault bad goal; an unlucky goal or an unfortunate one – and that can kind of get to you. He doesn’t miss a beat. He competes; he’s confident and you need that in a game like this.”
The Spartans (6-7, 2-3-0-0 B1G) were able to tie the game with 4:30 to go in the opening period when Brody Stevens tipped Rosburg’s point shot into the net for his fourth goal of the season and second in as many games.
Michigan reclaimed the lead 1:46 into the second period with another deflection for a goal. After a terrific save by DeRidder, the Wolverines were able to maintain control in the MSU end. Joseph Cecconi got the puck at the right point and let a shot go that Jack Becker tipped into the net.
The Spartans were able to fight back and even the game at the 8:13 mark when Tommy Miller scored the first goal of his career. Hirose and Patrick Khodorenko combined to the get the puck to Miller who fired a shot from the top of the right circle past Lavigne.
MSU finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play, while Michigan was 1-for-5.
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