No. 1 Icer's Drop 1-0 Decision

No. 1 Michigan dropped a tight 1-0 decision to the No. 5 Michigan State Spartans on Friday night at Yost Ice Arena. Michigan was unable to solve Michigan State goalie Jeff Lerg as the Spartans goal tender recorded his second career shutout against the Wolverines. Game two of the weekend series is scheduled for Saturday night at 7:35.

ANN ARBOR -- Top-ranked Michigan dropped a tight 1-0 decision to the No. 5-ranked Michigan State Spartans on Friday night at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor. Spartan captain Bryan Lerg scored the lone goal of the contest with 3:27 left in the first period as the Michigan State Spartans skated on their first power play of the game.

"The goals can be ugly, it doesn't really matter. That's hockey," said Michigan coach Red Berenson. "It doesn't matter how the goals were scored, it just shows on the scoreboard. Obviously, our special teams were challenged tonight; the penalty killing maybe was not as good as it needed to be. They did not score on their best chances. They're a good team, and we knew that they were a good team. It was a good game for us to play. That's NCAA hockey right there. It was good for our team to go through this and we'll see if we can rebound tomorrow night."

"Special teams," Michigan captain Kevin Porter continued. "Michigan State scored on the power-play, we did not. Our penalty kill gave a goal up, theirs didn't. I thought for the most part we played a good game. But like I said, the special teams were the difference."

Winning control of the puck inside the Michigan zone, the Spartans riffled a shot from the point off the back boards. Chris Mueller took control of the loose puck and threw it back in front of the Michigan net. Sauer scrambled to cover it, but Lerg crashed in and buried the puck to score the games only goal.

Both teams opened the contest with multiple scoring chances. For the Wolverines, however, each opportunity came with a bad bounce or an errant pass to end the Michigan scoring chances. Michigan State's first chance came on a Matt Schepke breakaway just 1:30 into the game, but Sauer turned aside the chance with a right pad save.

Michigan State controlled play for most of the second period as the Wolverines struggled breaking out of their own zone. Not until a late Michigan power play did the Wolverines sustain any pressure on the Spartans and goalie Jeff Lerg. Lerg, however, brushed aside each chance to maintain the shutout through two periods.

"There was a point in the game where we'd hardly got a shot at (Jeff) Lerg. They played a good road game, but we have to play better," said Berenson. "We can't be satisfied with a one-goal game. I thought Billy Sauer had to have a good game to keep it close."

Michigan scrambled to create scoring chances in the third period, but Lerg held Michigan off the scoreboard. Louie Caporusso had the Wolverines best scoring chance as a feed came to him in the right circle. Caporusso hesitated, forcing Lerg down to the ice. The freshman riffled the puck into Lerg's chest protector, though, and the MSU goalie held on to the shutout win.

Michigan's Brandon Naurato missed the game-tying goal with just under 10 seconds left on the clock.

Game two of the weekend series is scheduled for 7:35 at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich. Fox Sports Net Detroit will provide television coverage of the second of the two weekend games.

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