EAST LANSING - On a night that last years National Championship was honored, the ninth ranked Spartans opened a weekend series against Colgate with a convincing 6-3 victory.
Michigan State dominated the game outshooting the Raiders 29-25 and was able to generate numerous odd man rushes and scoring chances.
"We were taking the puck to the net," said Bryan Lerg. "I think that came from having a good forecheck and playing the body."
Prior to the game Michigan State raised their National Championship banner along with a video tribute to the 1986 and 1966 National Championship teams.
The Spartans were led by Lerg who had four assists tying a career high. His cousin Jeff also had a solid game between the pipes, turning away 22 of the 25 Raider shots.
The Spartans would strike first after Tim Kennedy drew a hooking penalty to put the Spartans on the power play. Dan Vukovic let a slap shot go that missed wide and careened back in front of the net onto the stick of junior Matt Schepke, who put it past Colgate goaltender Mark Dekanich for a 1-0 Spartan lead.
The Green-and-White would add to their lead twice before the end of the period. The first goal came when Spartan captain Bryan Lerg won a deep zone faceoff cleanly back to freshman Dustin Gazely, who let a snap shot go that found its way through traffic and past Denkanich.
"It was actually a set play, said Gazely. "He did, and I got off a shot."
Gazely would strike again with just under a minute left in the first period when he took a rebound and pulled Dekanich to put the Spartans on top 3-0 heading into the intermission.
The Spartans opened the second period the way they had ended the first period when Schepke let a bad angle shot go that somehow found its way past Denanich. That would be all for Denanich who was replaced by Justin Kowalkoski.
Michigan State greeted Kowalkoski just 47 seconds later when Nick Sucharski let a blast go from the point, beating the Colgate net minder top shelf to extend the Spartan lead to 5-0.
After a couple quick penalties putting the teams 4-4 with less than six minutes to go in the second, Tyler Burton would put the Raiders on the board off a beautiful feed from Colgate captain Jesse Winchester.
Things would get chippy in the third period after Justin Abdelkader put a rebound past the Colgate goalie to make it 6-1.
The two teams combined for 20 penalty minutes the rest of the way. Colgate would add two late goals to make the final 6-3.
1. Dustin Gazley (MSU): 2 goals
2. Matt Schepke (MSU): 2 goals, 1 assist
3. Bryan Lerg (MSU): 4 assists
These two teams will play again tomorrow night back at Munn for the series finale. Puck drops at 7:05
Spartans Get 6-3 Win Over Colgate
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