Spartans And Wolverines Skate To A 2-2 Tie

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- A win and a tie against top-ranked Michigan was a lost opportunity for Michigan State, which was 1:38, a disputed no-call and a gift deflection away from a weekend sweep.
Matt Rust was credited with a goal that bounced in off the glove of the Spartans' Matt Schepke after an apparent cross-check to give the Wolverines a 2-2 overtime tie on Saturday night.
"It took a break to get the goal," Michigan State coach Rick Comley said. "But they're good enough to get a break, too. I just thought there should've been a call."
The Spartans (17-5-5, 13-2-3 CCHA) thought they should have finished the job after beating the nation's second-best scoring team 1-0 on Friday in Ann Arbor and appearing to be in control for another one-goal win.
"Everyone's real disappointed," Michigan State goaltender Jeff Lerg said. "We deserved to win. I think we played our game better than they played their game."
The Wolverines (22-3-1, 15-2-1) did just enough to stay two points ahead of the Spartans and within striking range of first-place Miami (Ohio) by scoring first and last.
"I'm happy with the effort," Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "I thought our team rebounded. I thought we played well pretty much the whole game."
Daniel Vukovic and Tim Crowder scored 46 seconds apart on the power play in the second period for Michigan State, which remained unbeaten in 2008 and in its past 12 league games.
"We thought we deserved four points, not three," Vukovic said. "A championship team wins those games. But to get three (points) shows we can play with anyone in the nation. After going 0-3 against No. 1 teams (North Dakota and Miami), we had to prove that to people."
Freshman Max Pacioretty proved that Lerg was beatable. The CCHA's goaltender of the week the past three series finally gave up a goal after 190 minutes, 52 seconds of shutout hockey.
Pacioretty's power-play goal from the slot in the second period was also the first score against the Spartans' penalty-killers in 33 attempts.
But Vukovich answered on a screened blast from the blue line and Crowder followed with a shot from the top of the left circle to put Michigan State ahead until the final deflected goal.
"We took a step," said Spartans captain Brian Lerg, who had the lone goal Friday. "I totally don't think we're out of the race. We play Michigan two more times (in Detroit and East Lansing). But it's sort of a sad three points."
Lerg stopped 29 shots for Michigan State, including 13 in chance-filled third period.
Billy Sauer made 32 stops for the Wolverines and got help when Michael Ratchuk's reviewed blast hit the post in the third period.
"I thought he played pretty well," Berenson said. "I don't know about the two power-play goals, whether he had trouble seeing them or not. But he really hung in there in the third period when the game was on the line."
Comley saw it differently and thought his team was in great position to seal the deal.
"We were playing great, and I don't think they were even coming close until the last goal," he said. "That's hockey."

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