Michigan sweeps MSU; will Hughes turn pro after season?
UM players hold high the Iron D trophy after beating MSU in the Duel in the D at LCA.
Michigan swept Michigan State for the first time in three years Friday and Saturday night.
The Wolverines (12-11-6 overall and 8-7-4-2 in the Big Ten) beat the Spartans (10-15-5, 6-10-4-2 Big Ten) by a score of 5-2 at Little Caesars Arena Saturday night in the annual Duel in the D game for the Iron D trophy.
The night before, UM outskated MSU 5-3 at Ann Arbor’s Yost Arena.
Michigan last swept Michigan State Jan. 8-9, 2016.
It was also UM’s first conference sweep of the season and first consecutive wins since November.
"Putting together a weekend here late in the year is huge for our team, and it's huge for the locker room,” said Nolan Moyle, who had two goals and an assist on Saturday. “And it's obviously great to sing that song."
Moyle’s comments were on www.mgoblue.com.
Will Lockwood got his seventh goal in eight games, and Dakota Raabe and Luke Morgan also scored for the Wolverines on Saturday night.
Defenseman Quinn Hughes had three assists, and Strauss Mann made 21 saves.
"I can't say enough about our goaltender, Strauss Mann," Michigan coach Mel Pearson said. "I thought he stood tall tonight. Maybe he didn't have that many saves, but he had some great saves on some of their top players, and I think he was the real difference in the hockey game."
Mitchell Lewandowski scored both goals for the Spartans. Jerad Rosburg had two assists, and Drew DeRidder stopped 25 shots.
“The guys battled back in the second period and did a decent job and in the third period and we got it to 3-2,'' MSU coach Danton Cole said on www.msuspartans.com. "Overall, I thought the guys competed and battled hard, and there are some things we can do better.”
Michael Pastujov and Jack Becker scored two goals each for UM on Friday. Pastujov now has five goals in his last three games.
“We sat him out against Ohio State” Jan. 11-12, said Pearson. "And he came in and we had a good talk with the (coaching) staff and Mike about what direction his game was headed. And he had to make some changes.
“First and foremost, it started with nothing with the puck. It was without it – working harder, competing harder.”
Lockwood added a goal and two assists whileJake Slaker had three assists.Hayden Lavigne made 20 saves.
Sam Saliba, Austin Kraemer and Wojciech Stachowiak scored for Michigan State. Logan Lambdin had two assists, and Drew DeRidder made 31 saves.
“I thought the first 40 minutes they were skating better than us,” Cole told the Lansing State Journal. “It was kind of a get-off-the-bus period for us. Coming in that way was fine, but I didn't like the response in the second period. I thought we worked a little harder and thought a little less in the third."
Michigan plays at Notre Dame on Tuesday before hosting Ohio State Friday and Saturday. Michigan State hosts Penn State Friday and Saturday.
Hughes to turn pro?
This will be Hughes’ last season at Michigan, according to Bob Mackenzie of www.tsn.ca.
"Not a surprise to anyone in Vancouver, but the expectation is that as soon as the season is over for the University of Michigan, the expectation is that sophomore player Quinn Hughes, who was drafted by the Canucks in the first round of the 2018 draft (No.7 overall), wants to turn pro as quickly as possible," McKenzie said on the website’s Insider Trading.
Hughes,19, has four goals and 29 points in 25 games this season.