The Wolves introduced their new home jerseys against the Spartans on Friday night. (Credit: Aarif Mohie El-Deen)
The Wolves introduced their new home jerseys against the Spartans on Friday night. (Credit: Aarif Mohie El-Deen)

By AARIF MOHIE EL-DEEN, Staff Writer
@DailyNHLGrind

The Wolves hosted the Michigan State University Spartans Friday night for their annual autism awareness charity event. The crowd was a near sellout for the first time all season as parents, students, visitors, and guests were there to see the Wolves skate away with a 5-3 victory over the Spartans in a heated matchup.

The Spartans took control off the opening face off, and just under three minutes into the period Anthony Casali beat junior Micah Collier from the right circle off a bad bounce.

The Wolves once again used the goal as a wakeup to get going offensively. Just three minutes later, sophomore Jeremy Klotz stickhandled into the offensives zone and shot the puck at the net where sophomore Jace Paciocco awaited to tap home the rebound.

Minutes later, freshman Ryan Kelly put home his second goal of the season to give the team their first lead of the game.

Beautiful saves and big hits highlighted the second period. With the score tied at two, Jake Stricker skated in on the breakaway only to be stoned by Collier. Minutes later, sophomore Cody Longuski would hit Casali into the boards to separate him from the puck in the Spartans zone.

The Wolves were carrying the momentum in the later stages of the second period, and the top line was there to give them a much-needed lead.  Senior Rob Zubke received a pass from captain Anthony Olson and with his back facing the net; he turned and fired one past Derek Hess beating him five-hole. The goal would be Zubke’s fourth since his return from injury just three games ago.

With the Wolves up 4-2 early in the third period, the intensity started to pick up and the refs did not hesitate to send players off for the night. Freshman Spartan forward Jacob Bolyard received a fighting major and a disqualification after a tussle tussling with sophomore forward Shaun Graff and minutes later junior Casey McLogan received a five minute major and a game misconduct for a hit to the head.

With the Spartans trying to tie it up, defenseman Alex McDonnell scored on his own rebound late in the third to give the Wolves a 5-3 lead.

The Wolves have now won four straight games. This week Western Michigan University comes to town for a back-to-back at the Fieldhouse Friday and Saturday night.  Puck drops at 7:30pm on both nights.

The match against John Carroll that was postponed last week has been rescheduled for January 13th at the Fieldhouse as well.  That contest will be an early start with puck drop scheduled for 1:30pm.