Spartans Complete Sweep of Northern Michigan

On Saturday night the Michigan State hockey team parlayed its 5-4 victory Friday with a 3-2 win to complete the sweep of instate foe Northern Michigan.

EAST LANSING- On Saturday night the Michigan State hockey team parlayed its 5-4 victory Friday with a 3-2 win to complete the sweep of instate foe Northern Michigan.

The Spartan victory was fueled by three power play goals and stellar play from Goalie Jeff Lerg who stopped 33 of 35 Wildcat shots.

"I thought Jeff was really good tonight," said head coach Rick Comley.

The Green-and-White jumped out to an early lead on the power play Nick Sucharski made a beautiful cross ice pass to Captain Bryan Lerg who put it past Northern net minder Derek Janzen for the 1-0 lead just 1:39 into the contest.

Michigan State would capitalize on the power play once again with just less then seven minutes left in the first period after Janzen stopped the initial Jeff Petry shot, junior Tim Kennedy would knock home the rebound to send the Spartans to the locker room with a two goal lead.

Michigan State came out sluggish in the second period and was out shot 15-7. The Wildcats would capitalize late in the second with a power play goal by Nick Sirota who took Matt Butcher's centering pass and beat Lerg top shelf to draw the Cats within one after forty minutes.

"(Our) puck movement got sloppy, but then in the third period we got good again," continued Comley. "You want to be at your best in the third [period]."

Neither team was giving much in the third and when Northern's Jarred Brown tipped home an Erik Gustafsson slap-shot to tie the game at two things looked to be going south.

However the Green-and-White would respond less then a minute later on the power play when sophomore Mike Ratchuk took Nick Sucharski's pass in the high slot and let a slap-shot go that found its way through traffic and into the back of the net putting the Spartans ahead for good.

Michigan State would salt away the finial eleven plus minutes for their fourth consecutive win. The win puts the Spartans and 4-1-0 and 2-0 in conference play.

They will play a pair of games next weekend in Fairbanks against the Alaska Nanooks.

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