Detroit — For the second straight night, Michigan State lost a shutout in the third period, then lost the game in overtime.
Robbie Payne’s winning goal at 3:38 of overtime for Northern Michigan on Wednesday gave the Spartans their second straight overtime loss, 2-1, in the third-place game of the Great Lakes Invitational at Joe Louis Arena.
"I just fired it and it went in," Payne said. "It was pretty lucky."
Joe Cox scored for Michigan State.
"Yeah, I really don't have much to say," MSU coach Tom Anatsos said. "We're going to have to do some soul searching."
Dominik Shine scored the first goal for Northern Michigan (7-7-6).
Shine said his grandmother, who has been fighting cancer, was in attendance for the game -- which made it that much more special for him.
"It was nice to have her here," Shine said. "She doesn't get to see very many of my games."
Cox started the scoring at 1:06 of the first period. He punched in a shot past Northern goaltender Mathias Israelsson on a rebound.
Mackenzie MacEachern picked up the first penalty of the game for Michigan State (5-13-2) at 13:16 of the first, a minor penalty for hooking. The Spartans killed it.
Michigan State had a 1-0 lead after one. Both teams had six shots on goal.
Northern Michigan’s Cohen Adair got a minor penalty for interference at 2:59 of the second. The Wildcats killed it.
"I thought the game was sloppy early," Northern coach Walt Kyle said. "We got better as we went along."
There was a 4-on-4 midway through the second. Northern’s Jordan Klimek was called for slashing at 11:36 and Michigan State’s Zach Osburn got a minor for tripping at 12:07. The Wildcats killed their penalty, but did not capitalize on the ensuing 31-second power play.
Adair got another minor, at 16:34, for hooking. Northern killed the penalty.
The Spartans maintained their one-goal lead after two periods, and a 16-13 shots advantage.
MacEachern picked up a minor for roughing at 26 seconds of the third period. Michigan State killed the penalty.
Both teams picked up offsetting minors for roughing — Cox for Michigan State and Darren Nowick for Northern — at 1:45 of the third.
Osburn got a minor for slashing at 4:11. The Spartans killed the penalty.
"There were too many of them, that's for sure," Anatsos said of the penalties.
At 14:20, Brennan Sanford went to the box for boarding, giving Northern its fifth power play of the game. Shine scored a power-play goal at 15:45, tying the game at 1.
Northern Michigan center and captain Shane Sooth missed the game with an undisclosed illness. He was replaced by Ryan Black.
Al Willman is a freelance writer