Detroit – With nothing to play for except pride in Monday’s Great Lakes Invitational third-place game at Little Caesars Arena, Michigan and Michigan State wore their collective hearts on their sweaters during the first period of an eventual 2-2 tie.
A line brawl involving everybody on the ice except Spartan goaltender Drew DeRidder broke out between the bitter rivals at 13:17 in the first period after a scrum formed in front of the net.
Michigan forward Nick Pastujov (Islanders draft pick), who tied the game with a power-play goal in the third, said “both teams were looking to just kind of kill each other.”
MSU’s Patrick Khodorenko said about the bad blood, “We hate them and they hate us.”
Wolverine coach Mel Pearson said that from his vantage point, “It was an innocent play at the net. I don’t know why it escalated so fast.”
Pearson added: “It’s an emotional game. Anytime Michigan and Michigan State get together you’re going to have some of that.”
MSU’s Tommy Apap was given a four-minute double minor for roughing and Brennan Sanford got two for roughing. Both received 10-minute misconducts.
For Michigan, Joseph Cecconi, Nicholas Boka, Pastujov and goaltender Hayden Lavigne received two-minute roughing penalties, with all of them besides Lavigne receiving 10-minute misconducts.
When the dust settled, the Spartans were given a man advantage and Wojciech Stachowiak scored his third goal of the tournament to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
Michigan Tech and Lake Superior State played the second game for the GLI championship.