Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 12/31/11
DETROIT -- The Michigan State Spartans led the Michigan Wolverines 2-1 and were less than a minute away from winning their 13th Great Lakes Invitational championship. But nothing is ever guaranteed in the most-played rivalry in college hockey. The Wolverines were already on the power play and pulled goaltender Shawn Hunwick to get a 6-on-4 opportunity. Standing on the goal line to the left side, Luke Moffatt sent the puck toward the net where Kevin Lynch was waiting to redirect it with 50.4 seconds remaining in the third. The goal capped off a dominant third-period effort which saw the Wolverines out-shoot the Spartans 22-3. Michigan State goaltender Drew Palmisano, who had 45 saves Thursday in a 3-1 victory over Michigan Tech, had a lot of work again in Friday's title match. Palmisano, named the outstanding goaltender of the tournament, had 45 again to set a new GLI record for most saves in two games with 90. The record was formerly held by Colgate's Geoff McMullen, who had 89 saves in 1970. "He was excellent," Michigan State coach Tom Anastos said. "He was everything we thought he would be. Guys play with confidence in front of him. He made some big saves for us. He gave us a chance to win tonight, without a doubt." But it was the last save Palmisano couldn't possibly make which cost the Spartans the game in overtime. Sophomore defenseman Kevin Clare drove to the right side of the net as Palmisano took the shooter, Lee Moffie, on the left. Moffie passed the puck to Clare, who did not miss the open net. "Moffie made a great play, had the puck, was patient," Clare said. "Thank God it got to me because if it got poked, it would have been odd-man rush down. Thankfully he got the puck to me and open net, right down the middle." It was Clare's second career goal. "He'll remember that one for a long time," Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "That was an exciting game. You had to really enjoy the game, no matter which team you were cheering for." The Wolverines won their second straight GLI title and fourth in the last five tournaments. Overall, it's their 15th GLI championship. "Palmisano played great tonight and I think the game could have gone either way," junior A.J. Treais said. "Chances for and against, each team, were probably equal. We just stuck with it, gutted it out." After a scoreless first period, the Spartans took a 1-0 lead at 13:59 of the second when freshman Tanner Sorenson scored his first career goal. At 10:11 of the third, Michigan sophomore Derek DeBlois buried a rebound past Palmisano to tie the game at 1-1. But just a couple of minutes later, at 12:31, Michigan State senior Brett Perlini collected his sixth goal of the season, beating Hunwick stick-side from the left circle on a nice backhand pass from Kevin Walrod. The Spartans (11-7-2, 6-6-1-1 CCHA) have now lost two of three to the Wolverines (11-8-3, 6-6-3-1 CCHA) this season after losing 4-3 at Michigan Dec. 9 and then tying them 3-3 at Michigan State Dec. 10. "I thought we played hard the whole game," Spartans captain Torey Krug said. "Absolutely it's a disappointing loss for us. We had them down there, 30 (50) seconds left and they were able to pop one. They're a good team. Losses like that make you sick to your stomach but we'll bounce back. "When you lose to these guys, obviously it stings a little bit more." The Spartans were also hampered by the loss of senior forward Trevor Nill (son of Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill) to an arm injury during the game. Anastos didn't know how serious Nill's injury was. "I thought it was a heck of a hockey game, really tough down there," Anastos said. "Guys really competed hard on both teams for space and we certainly had our opportunities to win the game and we didn't. So we're obviously disappointed in the result but I'm real proud of the effort of our team. This experience will be an experience that we'll have to learn from and build on."
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