Icers Skate to 2-2 Tie, Lose In Shootout
Feb. 6, 2009
East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State snapped a five-game winless streak with a 2-2 tie against Ferris State this evening, but lost a five-round sudden-death shootout by a 2-1 margin that provided the Bulldogs the extra point in the standings. MSU is now 7-18-4, 4-14-3-2 in conference play; Ferris improves to 11-11-6, 8-8-5-2 in CCHA play. Jeff Lerg made 44 saves in the victory, while Joey Shean and Andrew Rowe had the Spartan tallies. The teams will face off again on Saturday in Big Rapids to wrap up the weekend series.
Rowe pounced on a loose puck in the crease to put the Spartans on the board at 3:56. With Brendan Connolly in the box for the Bulldogs on a cross-checking penalty, the Spartans struggled early to set up in the offensive zone. A Daultan Leveille shot from the left circle was saved by Pat Nagle, but the puck trickled through his leg pads and was headed slowly for the goal line. An opportunistic Rowe jumped in from the left side and sent it into the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season.
At the other end of the ice, Lerg was keeping a pesky Ferris State team off the board, with three of his 11 first-period stops of the highlight reel variety.
The Bulldogs broke up the shutout at 10:21, seven seconds after a man advantage elapsed. Cody Chupp drove wide and found Justin Menke in the slot at the hashmarks for his third of the season.
Nagle was making quality saves at the other end as well, none more notable than his stop on a MSU two-on-one midway through the third which would have given the Spartans a two-goal cushion. Instead, the Bulldogs got an equalizer with seven and a half minutes to play - Menke's shot from the left half-wall got through two defenders and ricocheted off of Chupp in front.
The teams headed to overtime, and were down to skating four-on-four less than a minute into the extra frame when Menke and MSU's Jay Sprague were assessed coincidental minors for roughing. Ferris held a 3-1 edge in shots in the extra period, but the period ended in a deadlock and the squads went to the shootout.
Both of the first shooters missed on their attempts - Kurt Kivisto's offering slipped off his stick, and Brendan Connolly's shot was saved by Jeff Lerg. MSU came back In the second round with a goal by Matt Schepke, a shot he sniped over the glove hand of Nagle. Zach Redmond rung the post, giving MSU a 1-0 lead headed into the final round. Nagle saved Shean's offering, and then Cody Chupp went high, glove-side on Lerg to send the shootout into sudden death. Ben Warda's shot went high, and Jeff Lerg kept the contest going with a save on Mike Embach. Rowe was MSU's fifth shooter, and Nagle made an exceptional glove save on a shot that was destined for the upper right corner. Derek Graham was the final shooter, and his shot beat Lerg five-hole to give the Bulldogs the shootout point.
The two teams face off tomorrow night at 7:05.
NOTES: MSU is now 2-1 on the season in shootouts ... Michigan State played an overtime game for the first time since Nov. 29 against Minnesota ... It was MSU's fourth overtime game of the season, and the third in CCHA contests... Michigan State last won an overtime contest on March 17, 2007, a 7-6 thriller over Lake Superior State in the CCHA Consolation game, and last lost one in the CCHA quarterfinals last season to Northern Michigan ... Joey Shean recorded hi s first collegiate goal at 4:21 of the second period, tipping a Brock Shelgren shot from the right point ... Jeff Lerg recorded his 11th straight game with 29 or more saves. He reached the total before the end of the second period ... Kurt Kivisto missed his first shootout attempt in three tries this season. Matt Schepke is now a perfect 3-for-3 ... Each goaltender made two shootout saves ... Lerg made 20 of his 44 saves in the second period.
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