Spartans Nip New Hampshire 1-0

Michigan State shut down the high powered New Hampshire offense and skated away with a 1-0 victory that moves them on to the next round in the NCAA Tournament. The Maine Bears will be up next for the Spartans.

OKEMOS,MI-The Spartan hockey team was preparing for a high scoring New Hampshire hockey team, and instead got themselves a gritty club that battled but lost to MSU by the score of 1-0.

MSU got superb goaltending from Jeff Lerg, who once again was up to the task and stopped all 36 shots he faced to preserve the victory for MSU. It was Lerg's third shutout of the season, and first in Spartan history in 24 years in NCAA Tournament play.

Ironically, the only goal of the game came just after two minutes were played in the first period when Tim Kennedy hit Tim Crowder with a cross ice pass, who then ripped a slap shot from just inside the blue line.

The shot from the right point went behind Wildcat goalie Jeff Pietrasiak's blocker side, and hit the left post and went into the net for an MSU goal.

This was Crowders 15th goal of the season and assists came from Kennedy, his 13th, and from Justin Abdelkader, his 12th of the year.

The Spartans had another good chance with Kennedy later on from point blank, but Pietrasiak was up to the task.

The tough, hard fought game was close knit until New Hampshire had its best opportunity a few minutes into the 3rd period, when the Wildcat's top scorers tried to hook up on a power play.

Jacob Micfliker slide the puck across the crease and Brett Hemingway's one-timer hit the post. Lerg slide across the crease and got a pad on the puck, and Lerg then stopped Daniel Winnik on the rebound attempt to keep the Wildcats off the board. Winnik had five shots on goal to lead New Hampshire.

Pietrasiak, playing in his first NCAA Tournament game, also played well for New Hampshire, stopping 29 out of 30 shots, but it wasn't enough for the Wildcat's.

Neither team was effective on the power play, with MSU going 0 for 4, and New Hampshire going 0 for 2.

MSU improved to 12-5 in one goal games, as they continue their march tommorrow against the Maine Bears at 2 p.m. Maine beat Harvard by the score of 6-1.

Tommorrow, MSU must continue it's solid play in their own zone, keep the penalties down, get good net play from Lerg again, and all the other little things which have got them this far.

Stayed tuned to GSN for more exciting Spartan hockey.

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