The Spartans expected to cruise in this one, but were shocked when USND came up with three power-play goals during a crucial stretch when State was short handed during a five-minute major penalty to Justin Abdelkader.
"Obviously, the three power-play goals on the major was a huge factor," said Michigan State head coach Rick Comley. "But we're obviously still in a period where we're trying to figure some things out. We are a work in progress - we aren't as deep as we were a year ago, and some guys are stepping into new roles. We have to really focus and work hard on getting better."
USND took command of the game at 4-2 when forwards Jimmy Hayes, Mike Hoeffel and Matt Rust of the Red, White and Blue all beat goaltender Jeff Lerg during the five-minute shorthanded period.
Brian Lerg cut the lead to 4-3 with the second of his two tallies of the night but Justin Vaive ended the second period by beating Lerg on the glove side to give USND a two-goal lead.
Tyler Howells scored early in the third to give MSU hope but USND goaltender Dan Sturges never waivered even as MSU pulled goaltender Lerg in an effort to tie the score.
The disappointing loss continues the Spartans struggles in shorthanded situations. USND had only beaten one collegiate team this season and improved to just 8-4 on the season, 2-4 against collegiate teams.
Look for a tough week of practice for the MSU icers before they host St. Lawrence next Friday and Sacred Heart on Saturday.