THE LAST TIME these two teams met for a series, Michigan State limped away with a pair of losses courtesy of Northern Michigan.
In the first game of their current series in the CCHA Tournament, the Spartans set a dominating tone, shellacking the Wildcats 5-1. The Spartan power play set the pace, connecting three times in seven chances.
NMU opened the scoring 4:32 into the game with a shrot-handed goal by Mark Oliver. But the Spartans answered quickly, only 36 seconds later on a power play goal by center Bryan Lerg, his 19 of the season.
It took MSU until well into the second frame to begin to pull away. Center Justin Abdelkader scored his 18 goal, another Spartan power play tally that came with just over 3:30 left in the period.
Then the Green and White really got going. They lit the lamp three times in the third period, courtesy of center Nick Sucharski (8), right wing Tim Crowder (14) and left wing Tim Kennedy (19).
Spartan goaltender Jeff Lerg made 24 saves in a solid performance.
The teams drop puck again tomorrow in their best-of-three series at 7:05 p.m in Munn Arena.
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