Spartans Stymie Buckeyes, Sweep Series

For the second night in a row, Jeff Lerg played an outstanding game in net for Michigan State. For the weekend series in Columbus, the junior goalie made 50 saves on 51 shots as the Spartans climbed into third place in the CCHA.

Michigan State (16-5-4) completed a weekend sweep of Ohio State (7-17-2) Saturday night with a 4-0 victory. They have now won ten consecutive conference road games.

The Spartans were led by junior goalie Jeff Lerg who stopped all 23 Buckeye shots in route to his first shutout of the season. Lerg stopped 50 of the 51 Ohio State shots this weekend and has now gone four consecutive games without allowing more then one goal.

The Green and White skated to an early lead in the first when Matt Schepke netted his tenth goal of the season on the power play with 14:07 left the first period.

Despite facing four Buckeye power plays in a scoreless second period, the Spartans out-shot the Buckeye's eleven to four. Michigan State's four successful penalty kills in the second period were part of seven penalty kills overall by the Green and White Saturday. They have now killed 28 in a row.

Justin Abdelkader lit the light for the Spartans again early in the final frame with just 28 seconds gone, scoring his first of two third period goals when he took Cory Tropp's pass in the high slot and let a wrist shot go, beating Buckeye freshmen net-minder Dustin Carlson glove side to make it 2-0.

Abdelkader's second goal came ten minutes later on the power play. He slapped a one-timer from the right circle past Carlson to make it 3-0.

The Spartans added one more, short handed, when Chris Mueller took a Brandon Gentile pass and streaked down the right side. Mueller let a wrist shot go from the right circle beating Carlson five-hole for his sixth goal of the season.

Lerg turned away eight Buckeye shots in the final frame, sealing a 4-0 Spartan win.

Michigan State remains four points behind conference leaders Miami and Michigan, who both won Saturday night.

The Spartans will look to carry this weekend's momentum into next weekend's home-and-home series with Michigan, the nation's number one team.

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