Lethemon, Spartans Shut Out No. 18 Wisconsin on the Road, 2-0
Mitchell Lewandowski scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season.
MADISON, Wisconsin - John Lethemon made 30 saves and Mitchell Lewandowski’s second period power-play goal gave the Michigan State hockey team a 2-0 victory over No. 18 Wisconsin on Friday night at the Kohl Center in Madison. Cody Milan added an empty-net goal with 1:06 seconds to play to seal the win – MSU’s second straight shutout victory over Wisconsin.
“Even when shots got through tonight, I thought our defensemen did a good job,” MSU head coach Danton Cole said. “We had some good intensity, but most of all John (Lethemon) was good tonight. He did a really nice job and looked really calm back there.”
Neither the Spartans or Badgers generated many quality chances in the first, but the second period saw good scoring opportunities for both teams.
MSU (9-13-1, 3-9-1-1) got its best look to that point in the game on a power play courtesy of Lewandowski and Patrick Khodorenko. Lewandowski hit Khodorenko with a perfect feed on the right side of the crease, but Khodorenko’s one-time attempt went off the heel of his stick and Wisconsin goaltender Kyle Hayton kept the puck out of the net with his left pad.
The Spartans killed consecutive Badger power plays later in the second period and then got a man-advantage of their own in the final minute where they converted to take a 1-0 lead. After a faceoff win in the UW zone, Carson Gatt got the puck to Taro Hirose near the top of the right circle. Hirose flung the puck toward the net where it bounced off Hayton and out to Lewandowski, who put the rebound home for his team-leading 12th goal of the year.
Lethemon stopped 20 shots through two periods and made one his best saves of the night midway through the third, robbing Wyatt Kalynuk off a give-and-go near the end of a Badger power play. With Kalynuk cutting toward the net from the left circle, Lethemon snared the defenseman’s low shot with his glove to keep it a 1-0 game.
The Badgers (10-11-3, 4-7-2-0) pulled Hayton in the closing minutes and Milan made it 2-0 on a shot from the UW blue line with 1:06 to play.
MSU killed all four Badger power plays while going 1-for-4 on the man-advantage.
“A lot of our games, when things go right, we’ve been able to get something out of the power play,” Cole said. “Special teams tonight were strong.”
Lethemon’s shutout was his fourth of the season and second against Wisconsin.
Michigan State and Wisconsin will meet again at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.