Maine Hockey Journal

Tropp gave Maine a night to forget

Orono, ME – Tyler Ennis wasn’t the only Sabres prospect to have an amazing night in the State of Maine.

Michigan St. forward Corey Tropp scored a hat trick as the Spartans defeated the University of Maine men’s ice hockey team, 5-3, in front of a rowdy crowd of 4,790 at Alfond Arena on Friday night.

“When you are on the road, you need to keep your composure and keep chipping away,” said Tropp. “They had great fans, and we had to weather the storm and chip away.”

Maine started the game on positive note as they scored first at 5:18 of the first period when David de Kastrozza deflected a Jeff Dimmen shot past Spartans’ goalie Drew Palmisano while on the powerplay.

“I think we came out flying,” said Maine’s sophomore forward Gustav Nyquist. “We were on them all the time, but at the end we didn’t do a good job in front of our net.”

Tim Whitehead believes the team came out to excited.

“The crowd was tremendous,” he said. “We had 1,200 students here which is unbelievable and that gave the guys a lift. We had a tough (last) weekend and we didn’t know who would show (up). The guys were really jacked up maybe a little too much. We took a couple of penalties that cost us, so did they.”

Just 17 seconds after Maine scored, Corey Tropp batted the puck past Scott Darling, tying the game at 1-1.

“(The shot) was tipped, and it fluttered towards the net,” Darling said. “One of their guys came in and batted it in. There’s nothing much I can do about that one.”

At 9:11, Robbie Dee regained the lead for Maine, 2-1, when he batted home Mike Cornell’s shot that bounced off the end glass.

The Spartans evened the contest back up, 2-2, when Tim Buttery scored his first goal of the season with a blast from the point.

It was the Corey Tropp show in the second.

He intercepted a pass in the neutral zone while shorthanded, firing it past Darling with 4:48 remaining in the second period, giving Michigan St. their first lead of the game.

“Robbie Dee was coming off the ice,” Whitehead said. “Instead of going up the wall, he tried to drop it back to O’Neil… It was the wrong play; he should have chipped up the wall.”

“He (Dee) knew it when he came back to the bench.”

With 1:10 remaining, Tropp scored another powerplay goal for the Spartans with Derek Grant earning his third assist of the night.

“I think Derek Grant might have tipped it, or it hit off his skate,” Tropp stated on the initial shot on his third goal. It was a nice low shot to the net that came off his (Darling) pad.”

Maine fought back before the final buzzer sounded as Nyquist recorded his third goal of the season on the powerplay with 14 seconds remaining in the second period.

Spartans’ defenseman Jeff Petry scored the lone goal in the third period as he found the back of the net at 16:38 of the period. It was his first goal of the season as Spartans’ captain.

Scott Darling made 29 saves in the loss, while Drew Palmisano made 23 saves on 26 shots.

Maine was 2-for-7 on the powerplay; the Spartans went 2-for-6.

The two same teams will face each other tomorrow night at Alfond Arena. Game time is 7pm.

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