MSU SID

4 goals and 23-save effort from freshman goaltender John Lethemon were more than enough to give the Michigan State hockey a win over UM

Four consecutive goals and 23-save effort from freshman goaltender John Lethemon were more than enough to give the Michigan State hockey team a dominating 4-1 victory over Michigan

Here is the complete run down from our good buddy Jeff Barnes, the MSU hockey SID.

Spartans Smother Michigan on the Road, 4-1

Freshman John Lethemon picks up his first-career win with a 23-save performance.

 

ANN ARBOR - Four consecutive goals and 23-save effort from freshman goaltender John Lethemon were more than enough to give the Michigan State hockey team a dominating 4-1 victory over Michigan on Saturday night at Yost Ice Arena. With the game scoreless in the second period, the Spartans scored three straight goals, two of which were unassisted, and never looked back.

 

The win gave the Spartans a sweep at Yost this season.

 

“I thought we played a solid game all night long tonight,” MSU head coach Tom Anastos said. “I thought the depth in our lines was good tonight; we got contributions up and down both up front and on defense.”

 

After outshooting U-M, 14-5, in the opening period, MSU kept the pressure on in the second.  The Spartans came away empty on consecutive power plays early in the period, but Rhett Holland broke through at 7:18 for the first of three straight for the Spartans.

The goal was a result of the work of Thomas Ebbing and Brennan Sanford keeping the puck in the Michigan zone. Sanford ripped it around the boards to Holland on the right side where the defenseman immediately let a wrister go from the right circle from just off the boards that got past Jack LaFontaine with the help of a screen in front.

 

MSU (6-17-3, 2-8-2) pushed the lead to 2-0 with 3:32 to go in the period courtesy of another defenseman in Zach Osburn.

 

With Michigan (9-14-3, 2-8-2-2) looking to break out of its own end, Osburn stepped into Dexter Dancs just inside the blue line, picking the puck away from the forward and then raced in unobstructed. The sophomore defenseman then ripped a shot just under the crossbar for his fourth of the season.

 

A scrum in the MSU end near the end of the second resulted in a U-M power play, but rather than allowing the Wolverines to gain any momentum, the Spartans struck shorthanded to extend the lead to 3-0.

 

Again, it was a turnover forced by the Spartans that resulted in a goal as Taro Hirose knocked the puck free at the U-M blue line and headed up ice all alone. Hirose deked, and slipped the puck through the legs of Zach Nagelvoort for another unassisted Spartan tally with 50 seconds to play in the period.

 

As the third period began, MSU struck yet again with Michigan on the power play in the opening minute. Mason Appleton scooped up the puck in the MSU end and turned up ice, one-on-one. He cruised into the U-M zone and let a soft wrister go from the low slot that beat Nagelvoort along the ice for his team-leading 10th goal of the season.

 

In what was his sixth-career start, Lethemon kept the Wolverines off the scoreboard until the final minute of the game. His best save came just over three minutes into the third when he stoned Evan Allen’s one-timer from the top of the crease.

 

Lethemon stopped 23 of 24 U-M shot attempts, the only one to get past him came from Griffen Luce with Michigan on the power play in the final seconds of the third period.

 

“I’m so happy for John in getting his first win,” Anastos said. “I’m still grinding a little bit that we gave up the shutout at the end, but overall it was a really good performance from him. I thought he looked confident in net.

 

“This is a tough building to play in and he was very poised all night.”

 

MSU finished the game with 34 shots on goal and went 1-for-5 on the power play. U-M went 1-for-8 on the man-advantage.

 

Michigan State will start its final homestand of the season next weekend when it host Ohio State, Feb. 17-18, at Munn.


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