Maine Ends Spartans Hockey Season

Maine jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead, and hung on to beat the Spartans by the score of 5-4. GSN recaps the game that ended the Spartans season inside.

OKEMOS,MI-Maine had all the answers early, and pressured MSU from the opening whistle, but had to hang on to beat Michigan Stateby the score of 5-4, ending the Spartans season.

The Black Bears jumped on MSU early for two early first period goals by applying pressure and taking the play to a shell-shocked Spartan team.

Matt Duffy scored first with an assist from Derek Damon to put Maine up 1-0. John Hopson then scored his ninth goal of the season with assists from Mike Hamilton and Keenan Hopson to extend the lead to 2-0.

MSU coach Rick Comley called timeout when it reached a 2-0 deficit, but the Black Bears came back back with another goal on a tip-in front of the net by John Hopson, his 2nd of the game and ninth of the season on a power play to make it 3-0 late in the first period.

None of the first three goals appeared to be Jeff Lerg's fault, as Maine simply camped in front of the Spartan net and tipped in goals that Lerg didn't have a chance on.

Jim McKenzie had a chance to put the Spartans on the board late in the first but came up short.

MSU's Chris Mueller and the Black Bears Travis Ramsey and Billy Ryan drew penalties at 18:53 to give MSU a man advantage and first Spartan power play advantage.

MSU's Tim Crowder tipped in a shot by David Booth to score a goal at 19:17 to make it 3-1, and put the Spartans back in the game. It was a power play against the top penalty killing team in Hockey East.

Booth had another chance moments later but his backhand was stopped and the period ended. Maine started with a 16-5 shots on goal advantage, but by the time the 1st period had ended, MSU cut that to shot lead to 17-12. Each team had a power play goal at this point.

MSU's Justin Abdelkader and Maine's Michel Leveille drew penalties for each team to start the second period resulting on four on four play. Tyler Howells had a shot tip over the goal early. Tim Kennedy also put a shot that caught glove and was tipped over the net. Kennedy then found Lerg on the doorstep who couldn't get it home. Then a shot just dribbled past the goal crease to end the early Spartan pressure.

Kennedy then threw a shot on goal and just missed. Then Kennedy, who was all over the ice, checked someone from behind and drew two costly minutes of penalty time.

Special Teams broke down for the Spartans, as MSU left Derrick Damons all alone and he scored his 15th goal of the year to extend the lead to 4-1, with assists going to Josh Soares and Mike Lundin.

But Maine drew a penalty, and Tim Crowder once again scored for the green and white, as David Booth did a good job keeping the puck inside the blue line, and found Crowder down low with the help of Tim Kennedy to cut the score to 4-2.

Maine then drew another power play at 9:10 of the second period. Then a Spartan shot hit off the cross bar, and then a funny bounce was nearly misplayed by Black Bear goalie Ben Bishop, but a replay look on the first shot showed it did not go in, and MSU was turned back.

Maine's Matt Duffy drew an interference call and MSU was on the power play again but the Black Bears defense was solid.

MSU then got a huge goal near the end of the second period as Jim McKenzie blistered a shot from inside the point that caught the short side to cut the lead to 4-3.

Booth got another great chance near the end but was turned back, and the period ended. At this point the Spartans pulled ahead in shots with a 28-25 advantage for MSU as they carried the play in the second period.

MSU started strong early in the 3rd period. Corey Potter and Jim McKenzie had early chances but came up empty.

Corey Potter then took a huge hit and was sent to the bench hunched over, as the game became a close checking affair.

Tyler Howells rifled a shot on a takeaway but came up empty. Byran Lerg threw a shot on net also but to no avail.

MSU was also throwing their body around as Maine's Travis Ramsey went to the bench holding his hip.

Leveille then ripped a shot that Jeff Lerg made a nice stop on. MSU's Tim Crowder just missed on a scoring chance.

Colton Fretter looked liked he had a wraparound goal when his shot appeared to hit just inside the net, but actually it hit the post, and after a brief review, play continued.

Goalie Jeff Lerg was pulled and MSU got the puck near the Maine crease, but Greg Mohr scored a empty net goal on his 22nd birthday to give Maine a 5-3 lead.

The Spartans scored a goal with 4.2 seconds left by Drew Miller to cut the lead to 5-4. The clock had dwindled down to three seconds put time was put back on the clock. However, the Spartans last shot was deflected by Bishop ending the game.

The Spartans now end the season at 25-12-8.

GSN wants to congratulate the CCHA Champion Michigan State Hockey team on an exciting year.

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