EAST LANSING - The Michigan State hockey team tied Windsor, 2-2, in an exhibition game on Tuesday night at Munn Ice Arena. Brent Darnell and Ron Boyd scored for the Spartans, who created several quality scoring chances throughout the game and outshot the Lancers, 45-24.
"I thought tonight was a good first step for just being on the ice for a couple of days," said MSU head coach Tom Anastos. "They were an experienced team with excellent goaltending.
"Once we got going, I thought we saw the things that we worked on in our couple days of practice. As a step to get ready for our first game, I wish we could play one more like that."
The Spartans' heavy advantage in shots on goal started early as they outshot the Lancers, 16-3, in the first period and then, 17-5, in the second period.
Despite MSU's offensive aggression, it was Windsor that found the back of the net first as Spencer Pommells made it 1-0 at the 2:27 mark of the second period.
MSU responded just two minutes later on a goal by Darnell. The play started when freshman defenseman Carson Gatt picked up the puck near the red line and turned into the Windsor zone on the left side. Gatt slid a perfect pass to Darnell across the ice, who snapped the puck past Van Buskirk.
The Spartans made it 2-1 with a power-play goal at the 12:43 mark of the second. Mackenzie MacEachern and Darnell worked the puck around to Boyd at the left point, who snuck a shot past Van Buskirk.
MSU came within inches of taking a two-goal lead when Thomas Ebbing rang a shot off the post from the left circle with just over 10 minutes to play in the third period.
The missed opportunity combined with a Windsor power play less than a minute later got the Lancers back into the game as Matt Beaudoin tied it at 2. A cross-ice pass by Saverio Posa hit Beaudion in front of the net, who tapped the puck past Jake Hildebrand with 9:23 to play in the third period.
The Spartans created more chances in the remaining minutes of the third period, the best of which came off the stick of MacEachern with 30 seconds to play. MacEachern batted at a loose puck just outside the crease, but Van Buskirk was just able to corral the bouncing puck before it crossed the goal line.
"It was encouraging that we had some really good chances tonight," said Anastos. "Their goalie made some great stops, but we did a lot of things well offensively."
Following a five-minute overtime session, the two teams took part in an unofficial shootout, which the Lancers won, 1-0, in three rounds.
The Spartans will begin the regular season on Oct. 17 when they host UMass in the first of a two-game series.