DETROIT (AP) – Michigan State coach Tom Anastos says his team needs to get superior goaltending and the Spartans got it on Saturday.
Jake Hildebrand made 29 saves for his third career shutout as Michigan State beat Michigan 3-0 in Saturday’s consolation game of the Great Lakes Invitational Tournament.
“That’s what our team needs, excellent goaltending,” Anastos said. “It also needs timely saves and he made two huge saves.”
One of those was an spectacular glove save on Michigan’s Cristoval Nieves, who had a breakaway from the hash marks and made a move before attempting a backhand shot, two minutes into the third period.
“I just tried to stay with him and get something in front of the puck,” Hildebrand said. It was Hildebrand’s first shutout of the season. Thomas Ebbing, Matt Berry and Brent Darnell scored for Michigan State (6-9-2).
The tournament is being played outdoors at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. The game’s original-scheduled start time was pushed back an hour due to sunshine affecting the ice.
Steve Racine stopped 37 shots for Michigan (10-4-2), which came into the tournament as the only one of the four participants with a winning record. The Wolverines lost 3-2 in overtime to WMU Friday night in a semifinal.
“We didn’t do much,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “I thought we had a good first period and had some chances. He (Hildebrand) either made the save or we hit the bar or something.”
Ebbing opened the scoring just 1:23 into the game when his harmless-looking shot from the left circle that eluded Racine. It was Ebbing’s second goal of the season.
“That took a lot of pressure off of me and I’m just trying to stay relaxed,” Hildebrand said about the early lead. “And the coach talks about timely saves and I was able to make those tonight.”
The score remained 1-0 until Berry’s power-play goal 7:32 into the third. His second goal in two games, and of the season, came on a shot from the bottom of the left circle with three seconds left in Michael Downing’s elbowing/contact to the head penalty.
Darnell scored with 6:08 remaining. It was also his second goal.
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